HOW AND WHAT DO I GIVE?
How we give and what we give are very important. Don’t give with nonchalance. Don’t give with an attitude of “If one does not give now, they will think that one does not want the preaching of the gospel to progress, they will think one is stingy” How and why you give are as important as what you give. Giving is first a “heart matter” before it becomes a “hand pattern”.
I read the following statement from one of Gloria Copeland articles in the 90’s that blessed me so much and I haven’t forgotten. “Tithing is first 100% of your heart, then 10% of your income” Every believer must learn how to set aside something from his or her salaries /business ventures for the cause of the gospel on a regular basis. This is one of the lessons tithing under the Old Testament teaches us. There must be “a laying aside”
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come”(1 Cor. 16:2).
And it must be done as a mark of honour!
“Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” (Prov. 3:9-10).
Giving must be done wholeheartedly. This was the reason Jesus said “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matt 5:23-24). Forgiveness and giving flow from the same source : your heart. So Jesus said, before your hands do the giving, let your heart do the forgiving.
A giving that is not from your heart is a mere hand out which is a waste of your resources considering it is not from your heart.
Apostle Paul had this to say:
“Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness. But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. (2 Cor 9:5-11)
How do you give?
1. You purpose in your heart what to give. Like we have already said in the first part of this series, giving involves planning. Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well. You ponder on your giving, this ought not to be done during church services. It should be settled before!
2. You give bountifully and not sparingly. The word “sparingly” is an adjective of the word “spare”. A spare is something you are not using currently, what is not important to you. An extra, an alternative, a reserve, a non essential. Our giving shouldn’t be seen or done this way. Your giving must placed at the front burner of your income or business profit. It must be generously done. As a matter of policy for a believer, the amount you give to the cause of the Gospel must be an equivalent of, if not more than whatever you spend on your self or a personal project. For instance, it is wrong for you to eat a 500 naira plate of food if you have not given that same amount if not much more to the cause of the gospel. If you want to determine what generous or bountiful is, check up on what you spend on yourself or your loved ones. You are the yardstick of what generosity truly is. Why? “For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church” (Eph. 5:29). Jesus said in Mark 12:31, “love your neighbour as you love yourself”. He went further to say “There is no commandment greater than this..” You see, giving cures you of self centeredness.
3. Your giving should be done cheerfully not grudgingly or out of necessity. A necessity is a requirement born out of legalism. That’s why when we give, we don’t do it like they did under the Old Testament. They gave out of compulsion. They were often reminded of the consequences of disobedience. We are under grace, we give graciously! We give generously! We give cheerfully! We do it with the consciousness of the fact that we are supporting the GREATEST AND BIGGEST WORK ON EARTH. You ought to allow joy to fill your heart up anytime you hear about giving! Just a thought of it should generate spontaneous rejoicing in your heart!
Some believers don’t like to hear about giving. Any bible subject you don’t like to hear is an area you need to work on in your spiritual work.
Giving is a privilege to a believer. Such an honour to be part of the fulfillment of the plan of God on the earth…salvation of sinners, maturity of believers!
What do you give?
1. Time and commitment to church meetings. Paul said the Macedonian church first gave themselves in service and then gave of themselves…their money and materials. Your presence in meetings and your service there when it is convenient or not are the greatest gifts you can ever give.
2. Ideas and creativity…your creative idea can solve an organisational or administrative problem if you are willing to share it. Go ahead and share it with the leadership of the church, you can never tell how so desperately needed your idea is.
3. Regular service lovegifts i.e. money. Under the O.T, it was said “none should appear empty handed” (Ex. 23:14; Deut. 16:16).
4. Material things to the pastor and then those in need amongst us.
Always have this in mind, anytime you want to give “I don’t give to be blessed, I give because I’m blessed”
Editor’s note: We would like to receive feedback from you. Let us know in the comment section or via direct message how these teachings are enriching your spiritual walk.