Monday, July 26, 2021

The Blessing of Sacrificial Giving

 Monday, July 26, 2021 

Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Ephesians 4:25-28

The Blessing of Sacrificial Giving

So that he will have something to share with one who has need…

In Ephesians chapter 4, Paul tells us that not only should we refrain from stealing, but we should also labor in order to be able to share with others. The past 18 months have stirred so many different needs, feelings, and reactions among all of us. We have seen people lose their jobs and we have seen many come to the aid of those who are in need. During Covid there were meals provided and meal deliveries by churches, boxes of food provided, and many other services that are still going on. We watched this world as we knew it fall apart and yet, many came together to help where we could. 

Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

One of the first lessons many of us learned as a child in church was to give a tithe. Children love to put money in the offering plate as it is passed, and it is a great lesson for them to learn. When you are an adult, it is your own responsibility. No one gives you the money to put in the plate or tells you to do it, but there is something special about the first time you tithe of your own earnings. Suddenly, it seems like quite a bit more money when it comes out of your own pocket and not your dad’s.  The feeling, however, of sharing personally in the mission of the church is fulfilling.

Giving begins with compassion, responsibility, and sacrifice.

A gift is not a gift if you expect anything in return…even a thank you.  There is nothing that brings value to us like giving without strings. If you have ever been given a gift with strings attached, then you know that those strings often outlast the life of the gift. This kind of gift is not the sacrificial giving that Jesus modeled and that God’s word teaches us. Sacrificial giving involves a sacrifice – the giver gives up something for the benefit of someone else. It does not have to be money. In fact, you cannot put a monetary value on the most sacrificial giving. Giving of ourselves to others requires the greatest sacrifice. It is easy to write a check, but more costly to give our time to serve or spend with someone who needs it. 

The value of a gift should be determined by the difference it makes in the life of the one receiving. God gave us the greatest gift ever given when He send His Son to die for us. Jesus Christ sacrificed His life so that we can have life – a life now that is free from sin, and life everlasting in eternity. 

We all have the ability to give sacrificially. Many people wait until they can afford to give and miss the blessing of God in multiplying their gift as they become a vessel for Him to use. The sacrifice part of sacrificial giving ends when the gift is given, but the blessing continues forever. 

What is God calling you to give? Money? Time? Food? If you think you don’t have enough, God honors the amount of the FAITH, not the amount of the GIFT.  When we are willing and open our hearts and hands, and bank accounts, and pantries, etc., God always provides. When we are obedient, God blesses us and takes care of us.  When was the last time you gave something and had to trust God to fill in the gap left? 

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