Bible Reading: Luke 18:18-30, Matthew 10:8
I had this thing I was fond of doing as a little child. Whenever I got stuff- whether a snack or my pieces of plantain had been counted- I would give out all or most of mine to anyone who cared. Then two minutes later I would be seen in some corner of the house crying my eyes out about my loss.
Thinking about it now, I can imagine how annoying it was for everybody! My parents would keep asking ‘did anyone force you?’
It was even more annoying when the next day again, I’d bring some of my stuff and say I wanted to give it out.
My friend, will you ger’out!
I think it perfectly reveals the human condition.
The need and pain in the world touches on something in us and propels the good part of us to want to give; but the insatiable part of us never wants to let go.
Therein is our dilemma. We can’t have our cake and eat it.
We read of Jesus telling the rich young ruler to give away all his possessions and the bible says he went away sad. It’s the same dilemma we deal with- we want give, but we don’t want to let go.
There are five top reminders we must hold dear about why we give:
1. Because We Have
This sounds obvious, but the reality is that giving is one of our biggest statements of dominion over our possessions.
One key difference between us having stuff and stuff having us is in our willingness to give.
That’s what Jesus was testing in the rich young ruler. You want real life? Then come beyond the dominion of stuff.
2. Because We Love
Our giving is a statement of our love. God didn’t just love the world. He gave his Son. Love must propel action, and one of the key actions of love is to give.
We give to what we love.
It’s not a relationship if all we do is share scriptures and pray. Love gives!
3. Because We Honour
Again, our giving is a statement of value and honour.
There’s a point where we think giving is all about meeting needs. But it actually does go.
I can’t meet every need in the world. But I can genuinely honour those God put in my life.
This is why we give to God. This is why we tithe. It is not meeting God’s needs- it is our honour for God. Our tithe is a statement of recognition that God is our source, therefore we bring the first ten percent of everything we get to him.
Our giving ultimately reflects our honour.
4. Because We Sow
Have you ever considered why a farmer gives seed to his ground? It’s a statement that there’s more to his life than what’s in his hand.
We believe God gives more!
We refuse to make our current level a statement of the level of our life. So we give.
Giving is more than just a good deed, before God it always turns out as a seed.
5. Because We Obey
Finally, the Bible teaches us to live generous lives. It is the life we are called to.
Jesus said ‘freely you have received, freely give’.
My challenge to you is what acts and what structures can you hold yourself to that will raise the bar or sustain you in your level of generosity ?
Take the deliberateness to make sure you’re not just giving to life by compulsion, but that you are giving deliberately in reflection of your love and honour.
There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself. Proverbs 11:24-25 NKJV
The world of the generous gets larger and larger; the world of the stingy gets smaller and smaller. Proverbs 11:25 MSG
Something To Pray
Pray today for the Lord to create in you a willingness and a yieldedness to give.
Make a sound declaration over yourself:
I am generous by the help of the Holy Spirit!
My stuff don’t own me, I own my stuff!
I love and honour in action, not just in words.
My world is getting larger and larger, because I am generous.