Summary: As we learn to obey God’s call to support his work through our giving, the result will be personal growth.
As Christians, we are called to grow in our faith. We are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ, which means that we are to grow through the practice of certain spiritual disciplines: Bible study, prayer, witnessing, forgiveness, and the discipline we will consider over the next few weeks—giving.
As we think about growth in giving, we will consider how giving contributes to our personal growth as believers, to the growth of our church, and the growth of the kingdom of God. READ TEXT)
In verse 6, we read that if we give generously to the support of God’s work, we will always receive more than we give. If we sow generously, we will reap generously. And what is the nature of the harvest we will reap? Paul tells us in verse 10 that it is a “harvest of righteousness.” In other words, growth in giving means personal growth. Why? Because as we grow in giving, we will grow in our appreciation of . . .
1. God’s Love - v. 7
When we grow in giving, we will grow in our appreciation of the love of God. Why? Because the nature of God’s love for us was expressed through giving.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” - John 3:16 (NIV)
In response to the cry of sinful man, God demonstrated His love by deciding to give of Himself unhesitatingly, willingly, and enthusiastically. Likewise, we grow to appreciate the love of God as we, in response to the call of a holy God, decide to give of ourselves unhesitatingly, willingly, and enthusiastically.
“We love because he first loved us.” - 1 John 4:19 (NIV)
“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.” - John 14:21 (NLT)
As with any type of obedience, when we obey God in the area of giving to support his work, we come to know more of Him, which causes us to grow in His love!
2. God’s Grace - vs. 8-9
Notice how Paul emphasizes the sufficiency of the grace of God - “All grace,” “All things,” “All times,” “All that you need.” Paul makes it clear that as we respond to God’s call to give in support of His work through his church, we will not lack anything we need!
“And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:19 (Amplified)
This same Apostle who testified that God’s grace was sufficient to sustain him in times of trial and sickness, also testifies here that God’s grace is sufficient to supply our needs, even though when we give to God’s work, it will mean we actually have less to live on! Through the discipline of giving, we learn that God’s grace is always sufficient!
Notice that Paul tells us that we can give and still have enough to live on because God is able!
Which brings us to a third thing we will grow in appreciation of as we seek to grow in our giving . . .
3. God’s Supply - v. 10
While verses 8 and 9 emphasize God’s power to provide for our need; verse 10 emphasizes God’s power to provide for our obedience. Not only does God promise to provide your need, He also promises to provide your seed! There are two types of giving we can practice: Reason giving and Revelation giving.
Reason giving depends upon human calculation to determine the amount to be given. Reason giving figures from me to God. Therefore, my concerns come first and whatever is left (if anything) is given to God.
Revelation giving depends upon divine revelation for the amount to be given. Revelation giving figures from God to me. Therefore, God’s concerns come first as all I have is given to God and used as he supplies and directs. Reason giving is giving by sight, as I take into account my resources. Revelation giving is giving by faith, as I take into account God’s resources.
Reason giving determines the amount to be given by counting pennies. Revelation giving determines the amount to be given by committed prayer.
Reason giving says, “Oh, let’s see . . . I have so much and so, I guess I can give this much.” Revelation giving says, “Faithful is he who has called me, who also will do it,” (1 Thessalonians 5:24).
Revelation giving says:
A. God knows what the need is.
B. God knows how much He wants to make available
C. God is pleased to let me know what He wants to give through me - a tithe, plus.