10 Aug The Importance of Giving to God
James 1:17 “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Have you ever realized what the Bible says about giving to God? As Christians, we are called to be faithful stewards of our possessions. The Psalms say that the earth belongs to the Lord- Psalm 24:1. As good stewards, one sure way we acknowledge God’s ownership is by giving.
People say “I want to give to God not man. So why give money in church?” First of, God does not live physically on the earth. But He has called His church the ambassador of Christ on earth. See how Hebrews 7:8 witnesses that Jesus does receive tithes in heaven though tithes are given here on earth. “And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth.” It is wisdom to realize that God recognizes and recieves our giving, not men.
Why should I give to God?
- Giving is an act of worship. Whenever we decide to honour God through our giving, we acknowledge His ownership of our resources. Proverbs 3:9 says “Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops”. This helps boost our confidence in Him, knowing that He is in control of everything.
- Giving encourages our trust in God. Our giving not only acknowledges the lordship of God over our resources. It also increases our faith in Him. The condition of the heart is in such a way that it is always in despair. Giving helps us to break free of fear concerning our resources and to solely look to God for provision. Malachi 3:10- “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this says the Lord Almighty, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Giving frees us from the love of money.
1 Timothy 6:17 says “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment”. The Bible constantly warns us about the love of money. One effective way of releasing ourselves from the bondage and lust of the love of money is by giving. As good stewards of God, we are to take control of money not vice versa.
- Giving advances the Kingdom of God. This should be the heartbeat of giving for every Christian. Our giving is a form of partnership with God with respect to the gospel. When we sponsor the gospel of Christ, we are fulfilling the will of God concerning His kingdom. Financial resources are important tools in advancing God’s kingdom. Through financial sponsorship, the church is better able to proclaim the gospel in different locations, set up buildings, help the needy, poor, orphans and widows. This really makes God happy.
- Giving opens doors of blessing and opportunities to express God’s love. As said by Paul the Apostle in Acts 20:35, “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'”. Giving not only proves our love for the Lord. It is also a sure way to have God’s blessings flowing in and through our lives. God promises to honour His Word and there are a number of scriptures which show that the Lord will take care of us. One of such is Philipians 4:19.
How should I give to God?
- One important way one should give to God is sacrificially. “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything- all she had to live on.'”- Mark 12:41-44.
God is not just concerned about how much one gives but the heart with which one does it. God was more pleased with her sacrifice because this was the only thing she had but she decided to give it to God. She more than gave; she showed her trust in the One she called God.
- Giving should be done cheerfully and not out of compulsion. The Bible makes it clear that as born-again believers, we have not been given the spirit of fear. 2Timothy1:7. The Apostle Paul makes it clear that we are to give with a cheerful heart. 2 Corinthians 9:10 says “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver”. Whatever we give, we should give with an attitude of merriment and true gratitude in our heart. Realizing that even our ability to give is in itself a blessing from God; From the God to Whom belong all the cattle on a thousand hills! Our awesome God. Wouldn’t you consider it an honour to give a gift to a person you hold in high esteem?
- The last but not the least important way we should give to God is out of love for Him. Our giving to God should not be burdensome but should be done to express how we love God. 2 Corinthians 8:7-8 says “But since you excel in everything; in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you, see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others”.
Giving is an important principle God instituted as a means of blessing His children and for His children to bless others. As born again believers, we take on the very nature of Christ which includes giving. Our giving is supposed to be intrinsic in us by the new nature of Christ in our spirit. When we are totally consumed by the love of God, we will want to give our all to Him.
All being said, we should realize and remember that God is not just interested in our giving money and substance of worth but in giving our total being; body, soul(heart) and spirit.
Something for you to look at