Summary: This message discusses giving as one of the seven motivational spiritual gifts found in the Bible. This is a part of a series titled If we are the Body asnd was inspired by the song by Casting Crowns.
“Give Till it Feels Good”
We have been talking about what it means to be a part of the Body of Christ....what it means to be connected. Last week we began looking at spiritual gifts. Let me remind you that there are 7 of what I am calling motivational spiritual gifts. These gifts are what motivate us to do God’s work. The scripture is very clear that all of us have at least one of these gifts.
I have mentioned two so far...the gift of encouragement and the gift of leadership. I want us to look at one more of these today. It is this gift of giving. Paul words it this way....Romans 12:8....if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously. The scripture is filled with examples of those who gave and we also learn that they gave for a variety of reasons.
Paul writes to the church in Corinth to tell them what a good job of giving the churches in Macedonia are doing. 2 Corinthians 8:1-7.
Now when we excel in something...whether it is sports....in a certain subject in school or in our jobs...to excel usually means that we do that one thing better than we do other things and it also means that we often do it better than others.
Paul is saying to all of us that we must learn to give and that we must give generously. The Bible also gives us some principles for giving...some rules to go by.
1. Jesus says when you give don’t make an announcement about it. Do it in secret. He says if you do it for praise from others you will miss your reward in heaven. In Matthew 6 he says don’t announced it with trumpets....now they weren’t literally using trumpets but they were calling attention to themselves.
I’ve always thought it interesting that the last public act of Christ’s ministry was not a sermon or a miracle but He spent the day evaluating someone’s giving. Jesus visited Herod’s temple and sat down by the treasury, the place where they collected the offerings. So Jesus spent the last day of his public ministry looking at an offering. Mark 12..
There were 13 treasuries in the courtyard...each one bearing a letter that signified the purpose of that particular treasury. Each one was shaped like a tall box with a trumpet...a large cone coming out of it... When someone would toss their money into it, it was possible to make the coins roll around and be heard all over the temple. Some people would bring their entire offering in copper coins so that they could throw it in and everyone would notice their giving. It was an announcement. Jesus sat and watched these people as they walked by dropping their coins into the boxes. Apparently this matter of giving meant a great deal to Jesus. It not only matters that we give...it matters how we give.
Paul reminds us of a couple of more principles. He says give according to your ability. 1st Corinthians 16:1-2. If God has given you the ability to give more, then do it. Don’t hold back. But giving is not just required of those who have great resources.
We remember the story of the widow and the mite. Jesus tells this story in relation to the same day when He observed those who were coming to the treasury with their gifts. Some were making an announcement about their gift. This woman’s gift said more about her heart. She had very little but she gave it all. Here is the way Jesus says it....Luke 21:4. So whether we have much or we have little there is the commandment to all of us to give.
But then there is this spiritual gift of giving and how do we know if we have it?
Some guidelines...people with this gift:
1. Will give even when it makes things harder for them. Even if ti will bring hardship on them. They do it because it brings them real joy.
2. When they learn of a financial need someone has their first thought is not I wonder who can help them....their first thought is what can I do?
3.They enjoy giving without recognition. A person with the gift of Giving is greatly encouraged when they can meet a need.
4. They have the ability to discern whether an investment is wise or not.
5. They are willing to sacrifice financially if it will meet a real need.
Now one more principle about giving. We said don’t make an announcement about it (20 give according to your ability and now (3). Give with the right attitude, never expecting anything in return. The Bible puts it this way....don’t give with a grudge or out of necessity for God loves a cheerful giver. In the Greek NT that word cheerful can be translated hilarious. In other words be happy about it...be excited about it...Have the right attitude.