Summary: Giving keeps our focus on God, our true Provider. It makes us channels of His blessings.
Today we are into the subject of GIVING TO GOD. [Read 2 Cor 9:6-15]
Giving don’t come naturally to most of us. We prefer to be at the receiving end.
• Yet the Lord did say that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Not that receiving is not a blessing, but giving is MORE of a blessing, relatively speaking.
• There must be something about GIVING that we need to know.
The first thing I need to set straight is this - God does not need your money.
• Do not see it from the point of need – the church needs money, the work of God needs financing… That’s a wrong perspective.
• When I was young I had this wrong perspective. The church then was financially tight and canvassing for funds. I want to give but I am not rich. So I pray to God to make me rich, so that I can give to the church. But such a thought only caused me to think of myself as valuable, indispensable and that God needs my money.
• It was in a retreat that God corrected me, quite directly: “I do not need you to earn for me. If you do not give, I can still get it from somewhere else.”
The truth is, God owns everything. And that includes your life.
• I like the way C. S. Lewis puts it in MERE CHRISTIANITY: “When you argue against Him, you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.”
• When you argues with Him, even the breath you take to argue with Him comes from Him.
God is self-sufficient. He does not need anything.
• The psalmist sets it straight for the people in Psalm 50:7-12
7 "Hear, O my people, and I will speak, O Israel, and I will testify against you: I am God, your God. 8 I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices or your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. 9 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, 10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the creatures of the field are mine. 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
• When the issue about paying taxes arose and Jesus wanted to pay the temple tax, He could even produce a coin from a fish’s mouth (cf. Matt 17:27).
There must be something more about GIVING that we need to understand.
• God wants us to give. It is the teaching we find in both the OT and the NT. We are called to give generously and cheerfully.
• If GIVING is not about God wanting FROM us, because He has a need, then it must be about God wanting something FOR us in the act of GIVING.
• God wants to bless us in the act of giving! Giving is not meant to be for His good, but for our good.
There is something about the act of giving that is more important than the gift itself.
IT KEEPS OUR FOCUS ON GOD, OUR TRUE PROVIDER
2 Cor 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
Imagine this, I give you my wallet and say, “Take it and bless someone with it…” The feeling is awesome, right? You can go for lunch afterwards and treat everyone to a great meal. You can pay for your own and sponsor someone to the retreat in June.
You have at your disposal that which does not belong to you and yet something you can use to bless others! That changes the way you handle money.
When we give, we are using what God has given us. That’s the right perspective.
• God will not demand from us what we do not have. But He wants us to use what we have, that which He has given us.
• Giving breaks the grip of greed in our heart. It disarms the power money has over us. It forces us to acknowledge God as the true PROVIDER of what we have.
Man has the tendency, over time and after a lot of hard work, to think that he has earned it all. This is natural but it’s not the full picture.
• The strength that we have in earning our pay cheque, the good mind and the steady hands, the healthy body and the ability to work, all comes through God’s grace.