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Why Giving Will Never Leave You Empty Handed (Giving is Worship)
Give yourself first to Christ
“He is no fool to give what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”-Jim Elliot
One can never experience the joy of selfless giving if one has not been first a recipient of it. And we can never receive such grace in no one else but from Jesus Christ alone. What did He gave? Well, He gave Himself to pay a debt we could not pay, when we were lost, He gave Himself to be our way. Our nails were in His hands, our crown of thorns He wore; our heavy cross, He bore. Thank you Lord for Jesus paid it all. Why did He gave it all? Simple, it’s because He love us with His all. For it is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”(John 3:16) So how can we receive this gift? Through faith alone! It is by God’s grace that we are saved, through [God-given] faith, not of ourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. (-Ephesians 2:89) Therefore, God invites us to receive His gift, and believe in His name and in what Jesus has done for us. After we have freely received His gift of salvation then we will be taught by that same grace to learn how to give and experience its joy. Give yourself to Christ, lose everything for Him and you will gain more than you ever had, you will gain Christ and eternal life with Him.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”-John 14:15
“The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”-Ecclesiastes 12:13
1. Obedience to God
Obedience to God
There will always be abundance in giving because it is an act of obedience and worship to God. And the Bible promises that obedience brings much abundance, not just in a material aspect but in every aspect of our lives and being. The greatest of which is the blessedness that comes from doing what pleases and honors our God.
We must completely destroy the idea that we are saved to just be a recipient. Though it is indeed solely by His grace that we are blessed in unmeasurable ways but we should always be reminded to obey God in His desire for us to be givers too. We might even argue that as long as we are thankful and content it is okay to skip the giving back part. To think so is absolutely unbiblical. For I have personally experienced how hard it is to be content and thankful if we are filled with selfishness. Giving develops thankfulness and ensures contentment. It may sound paradox but it is a principle God upholds and expects His children to follow. Besides isn’t it much better to be thankful for being blessed that we may be a blessing rather than just receiving something for our own consumption alone? And we can definitely be assured that God is more pleased and honored with a thankful and giving heart than just a thankful one.
“…But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ…”-Romans 13:14
2. Becoming more like Christ
Becoming more like Christ
Jesus Christ is our ultimate and perfect example. And we cannot deny His generosity which included His grace. And that He died on the cross and “gave” His life for us then rose again that we may “have” eternal life. Now that should be our greatest motivation in giving; that Jesus Christ “gave” Himself for us. It’s really not that hard to give if we will only remember how God gives. And if we trust Him in providing for us, isn’t it a bit too much to think that we will suffer lack if we give? Besides, following Christ in generosity makes us more like Him. As Christians we are not just acting in generosity but we are putting on Christ and letting His heart for giving evident in our lives. Remember that the good in us is Christ in us. And that the Bible exhorts us to put on our new self in Christ and no longer live that way we did before we were saved.
Consequently, giving is just one way to grow in Christlikeness which is holiness. But we must not have a selective attitude in what we imitate from our Savior. We are to be holy as He is holy. We no longer live for ourselves for He is now our life; we live for Him. There is truly much abundance in growing to become more like Christ. Allowing Him to live out His purpose through our lives. For it is both an honor and a privilege to become submissive followers of Christ.
“ In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.”-Acts 20:35
3. Blessed to be a blessing
Blessed to be a blessing
“Make me a blessing to someone today,” says the hymnist and so should every other saint. We should not just pray to be blessed but to be blessed to be a blessing. Christlikeness does not include selfishness. Our hearts can easily be hardened from giving if we do not regularly practice the command to give. The more we disobey or set aside giving, the harder it will be for us to actually do it. Just think about how much joy it is to see someone smile and be the reason for it, to see someone relieved from pain and suffering and be the giver of their relief; what bliss it is to let God use us to touch people’s lives and to join Him in His work in His church through the ministries and tithing. Such honor it gives God to see His son/daughter faithfully and cheerfully giving for His glory.
Nevertheless, we must be more than dedicated to live not just a blessed life but a blessed life that is a blessing to others for the glory of our God. Just look around and see how God can use you to make a difference and rest assured that He will provide everything that you will need and promises that you shall never suffer lack, if only we trust and obey Him and open our hearts and hands to give. There’s much abundance in the blessedness of being a blessing!
“…But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also…”
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”-Matthew 6:20-21, 24
4. Storing treasures in heaven
Storing treasures in heaven
What will we feel when everything we have worked for and own suddenly burns up and we are left with nothing but our souls? Well, we can feel two things, rejoicing and sorrow. Rejoicing if we have made a heavenly investment. When we have lived a faithful and obedient life that includes a giving heart. A heavenly investment is entrusting to God and letting Him use all that He gives us for His glory. That kind of investment makes a difference in this world and creates an impact in eternity. It is where God is honored and glorified, unlike in an earthly investment where we are merely storing up treasures where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal (Matthew 6:19-20). This kind of investment will eventually lead us to sorrow in the end. For all of our toil will just be burned up, we may have been materially rich but we will face the shame of being a pauper because of our selfishness.
Therefore we must always be reminded of our heavenly citizenship. It may get really tempting to satisfy our lusts and cravings and the riches of this world can get so desirable that we tend to allow ourselves indulge in its deceiving invitation; to be lovers of money and gain. If we do so, we will slowly slip into a state of greed and selfishness. Greedy people can also be thankful people but never for the right reasons. They are thankful for what they have and not for what they can give. They desire and long for perishable riches but does not seek to glorify God who is the source of everything.
Lastly, if we are not storing treasures in heaven such as faithfulness, obedience, and through our giving, then we are merely collecting stuff only to lose it one day. It is not all bad to want and acquire something or work hard for it. God blesses diligent hands and graciously gives us with so many kinds of blessings and He never falls short or delayed with His provisions but He commands us not to love anything more than Him. For if we love what He gives us more than Him then He will surely make the blessings cease. And if we are to be consumed with gain and all sorts of riches, then surely God is not glorified. Let’s ask ourselves then, what kind of investments have we made or been making lately? What kind of treasures are we looking for? The Bible tells us that where our treasure is, there will our hearts be also.
May all be blessed and God glorified.
Soli Deo Gloria!