Giving and the Greatest Gift of All
This month we set aside a time for remembrance and a time for celebration. We remember Christ’s great sacrifice on the cross. We also celebrate His resurrection.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
We didn’t have to do anything. We didn’t have to change and Jesus came and gave his life for us, out of love for us.
And they said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household."
We now have the opportunity to believe and be saved. God calls us to have faith and belief in Him, yet He also calls us to give back to Him from the overflow of our hearts.
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.' Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?'
And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'
Jesus is saying that if we give to the least; the poor, the orphaned, the widowed, etc…, we do it for Him. Our Father calls us to love Him first and to love our neighbor second (Luke 10:27). One of the ways God tells us to show our love for Him and for others is by giving.
One way of giving is by tangibly giving, like the Matthew 25:35-40 passage above; by feeding someone, by providing a home for them, by providing them with clothing, or by visiting someone. Those are all great things and very necessary things, things we all should do, but that is not the kind of giving I want to talk about right now.
The giving I want to talk about this month is the giving of your money, of your tithe. God commands us to give a percentage of what we have to Him. He also says, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7). God wants us to give, not because everyone else is giving or because we feel pressured to give, but out of the overflow of our hearts.
I recently heard a pastor say God calls us to give financially so that our joy will grow, then he challenged, “If you don’t have joy in giving, maybe you need to give more”.
Are you willing to give your finances to God? No matter what size they are? Whether big or small?
Here are a few tips on how to start giving:
Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce;
O – The Bible also calls us to contribute to our families. Now I know you are probably not the financial supporter of your family right now, but maybe you do need to be helping out or maybe you can be planning for your future family by putting money aside now and saving it for when you start your own family.
A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children,
but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.
O – We are to also give to the poor and to practice generosity to others. Make it a habit and plan to give to others. *Check out Helping in the Harvest for more info*
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will repay him for his deed.
Y – So where does the “Y” and the “You” come into all of this, you might ask? Your job is to manage your money wisely now and to learn it now so that you will be able to manage it in the future.
First, try to avoid debt. Spend less than what you make, then you will be able to save some, too.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
Be not one of those who give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
If you have nothing with which to pay, why should your bed be taken from under you?
Second, save your money. You never know when you might need it or for what. Make it a habit to put aside a percentage to save as well as to tithe. Maybe something like 10% - tithe, 10% - savings, and 80% expenses and other things or divide it out even more to include things like; gift giving, clothing, etc…
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man’s dwelling, but a foolish man devours it.
Are you truly willing to give? To give to see how God will work in your life? To give to see His faithfulness, joy, and blessings? Are you willing to give to God so that others will give all the glory to Him?
Ponder these questions as you think about the greatest gift God gave us. He gave us the gift of His Son and the freedom from death that we celebrate at Easter. Celebrate by giving from the overflow of your heart!
Are you willing to give your all to God, in the same way He gave us His Son?
Crown Financial Ministries - http://www.crown.org/
This website had budget plans, books, and many other resources to help you get started.