Summary: Don’t give to get. You can also listen at www.preaching.co.nr
Good Giving vs Bad Giving
Good Giving of our Time, Talents, Possessions and Money is a result of being good stewards of what God has already given to us. If we care for our spiritual well being we shall give from a heart that loves God, is obedient to God’s directives on giving and is mature, consistent and committed to faithful giving.
There are too many ‘fire work Christian’ who start out with a bang, giving their time to projects, giving their skills to serve and their finances to support the ministry and fizzle out after a short period.
Christians fizzle out when they realise it takes consistence and commitment to be faithful in giving their Time, Talents, Possessions and Money
Bad giving is when we give with a reluctant and resistant heart that says “if I must then I will.” Or “Well if there is no one else then I suppose I better do it.”
I can’t emphasize enough the quality of our giving is not matter of what or how much we give but the condition of the heart behind it.
Remember the story of Cain and Abel’s gifts, it was the heart that mattered not the gift. Gen. 4:3-5
Give and Receive
Give and receive, Luke 6:38 not the reverse, don’t wait until you can afford to give before you give as you’ll find you will never be able to afford to give.
Read Luke 21:1-4
1. Proportional Giving. Jesus teaches us that how much we give is related to how much we have. "From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked" Luke 12:48 "On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income..." 1 Corinthians 16:2
2. Sacrificial Giving. Jesus doesn’t tell the poor woman to keep her money, that God doesn’t really need it. Jesus will not rob of us the blessing to us Give to our Father.
3. Faith-filled Giving. The third lesson I see here is that we ourselves should not despise our small gifts to God. Sometimes we fall under the worldly spell that "bigger must be better." That’s not true of our giving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:6-11
Methods and Motives
Unfortunately some modern methods to encourage people to give can promote bad motives behind peoples giving that can result in living disillusioned with God. Of course Church methods to get people to give money are nothing new;
490 years ago, Pope Leo wanted to build a new church in Rome. So he sent preacher/salesmen into the German territories with a deal for the peasants: give us money and we’ll give you a plenary indulgence...the entire forgiveness of all your sins (or the sins of a loved one already suffering in purgatory). They even had a catchy slogan: "When a penny in the coffer rings, another soul to heaven springs."
Some modern day church methods encourage a “Give and Get or Give to Get” motive taking verses such as;
Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
2 Corinthians 9:6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Many Christians who don’t get a £1000 for the £100 they give live angry, disappointed and disillusioned with God, the danger of giving with the motive to get is that you have to hold God to ransom and demand He pays up on His promise!
I firmly believe if you give you will receive and abundance in return, if you sow you will reap. However, to demand that God pays us back 100 fold in the kind we sow is a manipulation of scripture.
God’s return of blessing and provision is limitless and it may not necessarily come back to us in the form that we give it.
After we have sown Time, Talents, Possessions and Money we must let the seed die, that mean letting it go, forgetting we have sown it and letting God bring it back to life in our lives, Corinthians 15:36 What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. Letting go is like
Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again. Ecclesiastes 11:1
The key is to GIVE and let God be responsible for what you receive.
What God gives in return may be what he has stored up for in heaven Matt 6:19-20 which is a better place for it as all that you receive here will waist away, grow old and of course you can’t take it with you when you die.
I can’t get everything I need to say on this subject into these notes, however you can listen again at www.preaching.co.nr.