The Christian Giving is an offshoot of the LOVE OF GOD (AGAPE). God is the Supreme Architect of both. The bible is full of the actions of God that depict Him as the Absolute Lover and Giver. For example, in Genesis 1 and 2, He gave man breath, authority, dominion, companionship, fellowship, His time etc
So right from the beginning of these lessons, we must be cleared in our minds that when we give, we are only displaying the Image of God in us and when we fail to give, we are announcing our annihilation from Him.
The purpose of man on earth is to give to the world what God has deposited in him. Man is created social, selfless and heavenly minded
The Pillar on which the Christian faith is built is Giving. John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16 show this assertion.
Meaning of Giving?
It is from the root word “give”. To give means to present or transfer one’s possessions freely and voluntarily to another person without ant expectation of compensation.
Giving, therefore, means the act of transferring one’s possession or property to another person without any expectation of compensation or appreciation.
What is Giving?
- It is a sacrifice – Rom 12:1ff (Holy, living and acceptable)
- It is a way of life and an act of relationship
- It is a sowing – 2 Cor. 9: 6ff
- It is an act and show of love
- It a voluntarily compulsory duty of a Christian
What is not Giving?
From the onset, we must be clear-minded what are not giving
- Giving is different from thrift and contributions.
- Giving is not trade by barter – when it is, that is a business
- Giving is not a show off – This actually depends on the mind-set of the Giver.
- Giving is not by force – 2 Cor. 9: 6 -7
- Giving is not to yourself or immediate family – that is our obligation
The Church ( Ministry) and Giving: a reluctantly giving church will produce same members. When a church doesn’t want to give, she will definitely lack. So giving is “like the church, like the members “
Types of Biblical Giving for the contemporary Christians:
- First Fruits
- Seed sowing
- Offerings – Building, service,
- Ministry seed for the ministers
- Offertory for the poor
The Macedonian example of giving: 2 Cor. 8
- Giving is a grace – ability to do what the flesh cannot succeed in doing v 1 – 4
- The gave more than their ability to give: not in proportion to their resources v 2 – 3
- They were pleading to give v 4. In our own time, we are pleaded to before he can give the little we want to give
- They First gave themselves to God and to their spiritual leaders v 5
- The Corinthian Christians had other graces – faith, utterances, knowledge, diligence, love ( agape) – but they lacked the grace of giving.
- Jesus Christ is the Christian’s pattern of giving – He was rich but became poor so that thro5His poverty, we can become rich.
The David example: 2 Samuel 7: 1ff; 1 Chron. 29: 1ff
- To King David, giving is a pleasure and not a burden. He cared less about who took the glory
- There is Joy is giving
- The leaders make the difference. A stingy leader will have a stingy organisation
- Genuine giving is done from the heart. Joyful giving is a heart matter
- David’s thought is to add value to the work of God
- Conditions of a true giving: self giving, quantity and quality of giving, no vain glory
- He can give whether directly affected or not – Saul time
- David was a giver of Time, Talents and Treasures
Other givers – Cain, Abel (Gen. 4: 1ff), Abraham to the priest and later God (Gen 14: 18ff; 22: 1ff), Zarephathite widow (1 Kings 17: 8ff), Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4: 8ff; 8: 1ff), Paul (Acts 20: 35),
Benefits of Giving:
- 28: 1ff – All blessings of the obedient
- Malachi 3: 8ff – Rebuking and disarming the defrauders and devourers
- Acts 20: 35 – Giving is more blessed than receiving
- Opening of doors – Prov. 18: 16
- It gives Joy to the givers and the given