124: The Gift of Giving

Ultimately the greatest gift that God gives is eternal life in peace with God and man.
Passionate faithfulness to God is the greatest gift, above all other gifts; that we can give to God  our Father in heaven.  It is the gift of the deep and abiding agape love  of a son who looks up to his Father and loves him above all others and above all else.
What father or mother among us can resist such love from their child? 
Our Father in heaven loves us; and when we return that love by following his Word, and going even further, working with all our will and strength to please him with all our beings; we bring great joy to our Father in heaven. 
The greatest gift that we can give others is the knowledge of salvation, the knowledge of godliness and the knowledge of the way to eternal life in peace with God and man.
All physical things shall perish but eternal life at peace with God and man is forever.
We give first by receiving, for we cannot give anything unless we have it to give. 
We receive the important eternal spiritual things of God by ASKING in FAITH, seeking in dedicated study, and a diligent application of what we learn; which marries knowledge to experience resulting in wisdom.
By doing these things we set a shining example of godliness and we can diligently teach our children to live by EVERY WORD of God.  
Being well versed and experienced in the scriptures, we should always be ready to give an answer to others, being well able to instruct them in  the way to salvation.
Even the poorest person can receive and share spiritual things, and set a godly example which is a priceless gift to God and man. 
What the Bible teaches about the gift of giving
Gifts of the Spirit as Paul lists in Romans 12. 
Romans 12:6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
12:7 Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
12:8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
The next gift after teaching and exhortation is the gift of “giving”: “he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity.” 
As converted believers we have the indwelling of God’s Holy Spirit which empowers us to do the works of God and to exemplify His character traits. If God’s Spirit is flowing in and through us it will imbue us with the power to reflect the qualities and the kind of works that both God the Father and His Son Jesus have.  “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you….” (Acts 1:8)
God gives the gift of the Holy Spirit to God’s children and they in turn are to use those gifts to benefit the body of Christ and humanity.
Both God the Father and His Son Jesus are abundantly generous and liberal in their giving to mankind. They made each of us and gave us physical life and Jesus gave His life by dying for humanity that whosoever humbles himself through sincere repentance and accepts the atonement for their sins through the sacrifice of Christ and remains faithful to Him forever, will in the future be given eternal life as a son or daughter in God’s family.
The Father gave His only begotten Son, and the Son gave His life that mankind might be given the opportunity to be made in their image so that mere men and women could be molded to take on God’s divine nature, to grow to have a mind like theirs, to be resurrected in a spiritual body, to be given an eternal inheritance along with eternal life and a place in their Kingdom, and the honor of being called a son of the Most High God. They give us so many fabulous gifts if we will only remain faithful to them and to all their ways.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 2:14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
The reason for our calling is for the purpose of following in Christ’s footsteps for He is our example. We are to live as He lived and walk as He waked in all that we do and we are to reflect the kind of qualities that He possessed.
1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
God’s Spirit infuses His divine power into the life of a believer and this power has many outlets; one of the outlets of power is in giving. The gift of giving is one of the aspects of God’s Spirit flowing through us and reflects God’s love.
God has a lot to say about giving in Scripture, but if we were to look up all of the verses pertaining to giving, the vast majority are references to what God has given to mankind and to His Ekklesia.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
We know how boldly Jesus gave Himself for us, not only in His death but in how He lived His life, setting a standard and showing us the model of how we should live our lives. He is our example of how we are to forgive and we are to forgive others even as He has forgiven us. He is our perfect example of how to love and we are to love others even as He has loved us. And He is the perfect example, our standard that we look to in giving of ourselves to God and to others. Jesus poured out His power in doing good and kind deeds for others when He was here on earth as a man, and finally He gave Himself as a ransom for those who repent of their sins and commit to sin no more.
As we read in Romans 12, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is the gift of giving. Paul tells us that “he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity” (Romans 12:8) We are to give with simplicity as the verse says which means that we are to give with a sincere heart, willingly with no strings attached and without hypocrisy.
The Greek word for the spiritual gift of giving is metadidomi (Strong’s # 3330)  It simply means “to impart” or “to give.”  However, this word is followed by another descriptive word, “simplicity” which is the Greek word haplotes which when added to “giving” means to let our giving be generous and without pretense.   When metadidomi is put together with haplotes they define for us the kind of giving believers are to give.  
The Greek word for simplicity is haplotés (Strong’s #572) and means singleness, simplicity, sincerity, mental honesty; the virtue of one who is free from pretense and dissimulation, with purity, graciousness. (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance)
In Romans 12 Paul tells us that we are to practice the spiritual gift of giving with simplicity. Which means we should not have conditions attached that go with our giving, nor should we expect anything in return for the gift.  Believers who give are to give unconditionally and without pretense.
Very often people in their giving are ostentatious (showy); they want to be seen of men and to being given recognition for the fact that they give. Jesus admonishes us that when we give, we should not be as the religious leaders that Jesus called hypocrites who loved to sound a trumpet when they gave; but to give in secret and let our giving be between God only and ourselves.
Matthew 6:2 Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. 6:3 But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 6:4 That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.
God tells us several things concerning our giving, and how we are to give. First, we are to give willingly from our hearts.
2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
When God told Moses that He wanted him and the children of Israel to make a Tabernacle for Him, God gave Moses the pattern and the specific details of how it was to be constructed and furnished.
The Tabernacle and the various instruments and furnishings that were to be fashioned were to be made of fine material, silver and gold. And it was going to take a lot of silver, a lot of gold, and a lot of beautiful expensive fabric to construct what God wanted them to make. Moses sent out the call for the people to bring their offerings to supply for the needs of the Tabernacle, but God made it clear that He only wanted those offerings if they were given willingly and from the people’s heart.
Exodus 25:1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 25:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering. 25:3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass, 25:4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats’ hair, 25:5 And rams’ skins dyed red, and badgers’ [rams skins dyed blue] skins, and shittim [acacia]  wood, 25:6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense, 25:7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate. 25:8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.
This serves as an allegory for today; the building of the spiritual Temple of God requires that people give offerings to do the work, to supply the means to preach and teach and to arrange for and pay the expenses for Sabbath services and Feast sites. God does not want anybody to give who is not giving willingly or giving from their heart. He wants givers that give because they believe from the heart that they have a part of what He is doing here on earth and to give out of love for God, for His people and ultimately for all mankind.
Whatever we give to God we should always give willingly and from a desire in our heart to give. God does not want those who give grudgingly or because they feel obligated to give, but because they have a heart to give, just as the Father and the Son have a heart to give to us. As physical parents, we want our children to give to us because they love us and want to please us and because they want to show their gratitude; we do not want them to give out of resentment or grudgingly for we know that it is not good for them to give in that way.
In Exodus 36 we read that the people kept bringing their offerings until there was more than enough to do the work. Moses had to put out the order to stop bringing any more offerings, for the amount of gold and silver and the rest of the supplies needed to make the the Tabernacle was sufficient, indeed more than enough to do all the work.
Exodus 36:3 And they received of Moses all the offering, which the children of Israel had brought for the work of the service of the sanctuary, to make it withal. And they brought yet unto him free offerings every morning. 36:4 And all the wise men, that wrought all the work of the sanctuary, came every man from his work which they made; 36:5 And they spake unto Moses, saying, The people bring much more than enough for the service of the work, which the Lord commanded to make. 36:6 And Moses gave commandment, and they caused it to be proclaimed throughout the camp, saying, Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary. So the people were restrained from bringing. 36:7 For the stuff they had was sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.
This account shows that at that time in the history of God’s people, the children of Israel were full of zeal for the building of the Tabernacle and they gave abundantly and willingly out of generous hearts. The Tabernacle did not lack for anything and all of the people shared in the construction and in the fashioning of the instruments and furnishings. Some were called to work directly on the construction like “Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded”. (Exodus 36:1) And others gave of their possessions that made it possible for these men to do the work.
God’s Spirit endows some believers with an extravagant gift of giving, or the ability to help which is a form of giving, mixed with eagerness to serve to fill the many gaps of ministry and to meet the needs of the Ekklesia as it fulfills the Work of God and the furtherance of the Gospel.  All believers must have the gift of giving but there are those to whom God gives an extra measure of the gift of giving within the Ekklesia.  
Some are called to serve in leadership positions while others serve quietly outside of the spotlight behind the scenes by giving unceremoniously. The gift of giving and helping is the willingness and ability to give aid and assistance in helping the needy and the desire to help with doing God’s Work.
Those who are able to give financially, quietly fund the things that need to be done and this in turn helps others who have other gifts and allows these others to use their gifts to the fullest.  Just like in the time of Moses, God gifted Bezaleel and Aholiab to do the work, and the other wise hearted men, in whom the Lord put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the Lord had commanded.
Others were able to give in their offerings and made it possible for men like Bezaleel and Aholiab to do the work God had given them to do. This keeps the operation of God’s Work running smoothly and efficiently making use of all of the gifts that are dispersed among the members of the congregation or the group. The result is the continued edification and sooth operation of the Ekklesia as a whole body and also in fulfilling the need to preach and do outreach work to the unconverted and the world at large.
God through Malachi says that it is good and proper for God’s people to give tithes and offerings of their means to supply the needs of God’s Work. God gives certain promises that He will then rebuke the devourer (destroyer) on their behalf and that they will be blessed so that others will see and say that they are a delightsome land (or people). Perhaps not at this time, but at a later time when the others are called they will remember that the people of God were faithful to Him and now can see how they are blessed for so doing.
Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
1 Peter 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.  
Very often religious leaders encourage their people to give above and beyond what they can really afford by putting pressure on them to send in more than what the Bible actually defines as tithes and offerings. We have heard of leaders who tell their followers to go into debt to give to their headquarters so that these leaders can build lavish buildings and live luxuriously. This is not right and this is not what God wants for His people. For one thing, God says that the borrower is a slave to the lender and we are not to go into debt to be able to give not knowing how we will pay it back in the future. (See Proverbs 22:7) 
This is not the proper spirit of giving and when we give, we need to diligently investigate as to how God’s tithes are being managed, if it is really to do the work of getting the Gospel out to the world and to teach or if it is being spent on frivolous things. Is it truly being used to help the poor in the Ekklesia who need our help? Are the teachings in accordance with the whole Word of God; or are the teachings about following men and obeying them above what God says, with leaders that teach their own brand of traditions rather than the teachings that are clearly given by God in the Bible? 
It is good and right to tithe and support those who are good stewards of those tithes and offerings and who use them to rightly teach the Word of God and who admonish God’s people to wholeheartedly obey the whole Word of God.
It is a sin for the leaders of any congregation or any group to try to put pressure on the people to give beyond their means, or to give out of a sense of obligation with threats that they are not doing their part or that they are somehow negligent (or not good Christians) for not giving huge offerings.
There is nothing wrong with huge offerings if one can afford to give them and has met all of his other obligations, and if it is given because of a desire to support the work that a group or a man may be doing and because the giver is moved to providing much needed resources to enable the work to get done. That truly is part of what the spiritual gift of giving is about.
If the people give out of obligation and resentment because they are made to feel obligated by their leaders, and they are made to neglect their families and obligations of life, God will not bless that kind of giving. The blessing comes when people obey all of God’s Word which includes paying our bills and properly caring for our families which is also giving.  It comes when the people give willingly from their hearts; and then they will be truly blessed.
Malachi 3:10 Prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
2 Corinthians 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9:9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 9:10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) 9:11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
We must understand also that the blessings that come from giving may not necessarily be monetary or in the physical things of this world, but rather are more likely to be spiritual blessings, in the spiritual things of God. Things that are priceless and that will last for all eternity, like being given more faith, more knowledge and deeper understanding, more opportunities to serve in even greater capacity, exceeding joy in our calling, etc.
When we give from our heart, we give to others because we love God and we want to be a part of what He is doing through His Ekklesia; or perhaps we want to make a positive difference in the lives of those who are in need.
Sometimes we feel so grateful to God for the things that He has done in our lives, that we want to give back and we want to please Him like a loving son that comes to realize how much his parents truly did sacrifice for him, to provide for him and to be able to offer him opportunities to excel in his life.  The son or daughter out of gratefulness, just wants to give back to their parents, to honor them by being responsible adults and living their lives as to not disappointing their parents in any way. 
When others have loved us and have served us in so many ways, we want to serve them in return, either directly or by helping others who may need help just as we were helped and were given the things we needed. In this way we show that our parents’ efforts to serve us are not being taken for granted. 
No one gives to us and serves us as much as our heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ and when we give to their servants, who are also our brethren, we are really giving to God.
Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
God looks at the heart, just as Jesus did when He praised the generosity of the poor widow who gave a small amount out of her poverty compared to the huge offerings that the rich gave out of their surplus.
Mark 12:41 And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. 12:42 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 12:43 And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 12:44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.
As Jesus was watching with His disciples the people who were putting their money in the treasury, He observed a poor widow lady dropping in something as small as perhaps a penny. He then observed the wealthy people who came with all their pomp and circumstance, putting in their large gifts. He turned to His disciples and declared to them that it is not the amount that is given but rather it is the heart that is behind the giving and the sacrifice of that person to be able to give that amount.
Those who have the spiritual gift of giving, do not really think of their giving as a sacrifice for they are most of all grateful that they are able to give.  The giving may or may not be our finances and our tithes, but it could also include our time, our talents, hospitality; giving of ourselves so that others may benefit. We look at the life of the apostle Paul and we see that he was willing to give of his whole life for the benefit of giving the Gospel message to as many as he could, and then to teach those who responded to that message.
Paul knew that he had been given so very much by God who called him in spite of his persecution of God’s people. He was aware of God’s great mercy and the fact that God had granted him much forgiveness and then appointed him as His apostle to go out and preach to others the message of forgiveness and the Gospel message of the way to salvation. Paul said of himself and the tremendous gift of mercy that he had been given:
Ephesians 3:7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ; 3:9 And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:
I sincerely believe that Paul gave so much because he never forgot what kind of a person he had been and that God reached down and saved him from his ignorance and lavished upon him His grace and mercy.
Jesus said in Matthew 10 that we are to freely give just as we have freely been given to. “Freely ye have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8).
In Psalm 54:61 the writer said, “I will freely sacrifice unto Thee. I will praise Thy name, O Lord, for it is good”. 
Previously in Psalm 51, David talked about the joy that would be his as a result of being forgiven. He desired to teach others and give to them what he himself had been given, perhaps out of his deep appreciation of what he had received from God.
Psalm 51:12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 51:13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
In Luke 12 Jesus talked about the principle of those who are given much, that much is required of them.
Luke 12:48 …For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
What exactly does the phrase mean “to whom much is given, much will be required”? There is a modern saying that has been become a type of idiom which says: “With great power comes great responsibility.
The principle that Jesus spells out by stating “to whom much is given, much will be required” refers to the fact that the called of God are held responsible for what they have been given. If they have blessed with talents, spiritual knowledge, time, and spiritual gifts, it is expected that they use those things well to benefit others and to glorify God. Jesus stated this to His disciples just after He had told them a parable about preparing for and being ready for His return.
Luke 12:35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 12:36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 12:37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 12:38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. 12:40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
Peter then asked if the parable was for just them or for everyone. Jesus replied to his question with another parable in which He explains what is meant to be a “faithful and wise steward” as one who provides good food consistently and when needed to God’s other servants. When his lord (or master) returns and finds the faithful steward managing all of the master’s resources well, his master will reward him by making him ruler over all that the master has.

God has entrusted His servants with so many things and He requires that they manage those things wisely and unselfishly to benefit others and to further the work of proclaiming to the world of His plan of salvation. We are wise faithful servants if we teach others of what they can have, just as we have been taught those same things by others and have been given the hope of what God has in store for those who choose to believe in Him and to obey Him. 

Luke 12:41 Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? 12:43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. 12:44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
Jesus continued the parable with the comparison of one who is not being faithful with what he has been given and how he will be judged for his unfaithfulness.
Luke 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 12:47 And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes.
The unfaithful and glutinous servant mishandles his master’s resources to satisfy his own greed, and he oppresses those whom the master has put in his care. Jesus warns that that servant will receive his just punishment. Jesus then sums up the point of the parable with this statement about how that much is required of those who have been given much.  Jesus is not referring to just those who possess a lot of money and the physical goods of this world as to those who have “been given much”. God has given His called out ones so much in the way of spiritual gifts and an abundance of His spiritual riches.
Luke 12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Please see the the Parable of the Talents that teaches about stewardship as well in Matthew 25:14-30.)
Everything that we have has been given to us by God and we have no cause to boast or take pride in those things but rather to use them to glorify Him.
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?
And as God’s children we have been given an overflowing abundance of God’s grace, wisdom, prudence, the mystery of His will (the knowledge of Him and His Plan), a personal relationship with Him and so much more. Here are just a few of the things that He has poured out to His faithful children:
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 1:5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 1:8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
1:9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself; 1:10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Ephesians 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
God the Father has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit which is worth more than all the riches in the world. 
John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
From all of this huge abundance of the riches that God gives to us, we are to use what we have been given to serve others as faithful stewards of God.
1 Peter 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
It behooves us then to seek as much of God’s wisdom, knowledge, understanding, of His will, and the gifts of the Spirit as we possibly can while we have our being in this present evil world. Just as the previous parable shows, God’s children are responsible to know their Lord’s will, for He gives them ample opportunity to grow in the knowledge of what He requires of us. God clearly tells us of His will throughout His whole Word.
God has given to all of His called out sons and daughters much in the way of resources; such things as our time, jobs, finances, education, gifts and talents such as organizational skills or perhaps computer skills or musical ability and/or the ability to teach, give sermons or to give encouragement.  
We should ask God for wisdom on how to use these resources and ask Him for the opportunities to exercise these skills and gifts to benefit others. We can pray that He would help us to more fully commit ourselves to utilizing what we have been given according to His will so that He may be glorified. To use our talents and our spiritual gifts in service to others is a way that we give and a way that shows responsible stewardship. 
God created us for good works of all kinds and it is His desire that we use what we have been given to prepare ourselves and others for His Kingdom and to bring Him glory. That is the very purpose of our existence. If God has truly called us, let us make the best use of that calling and do the will of our Father. The more we do His will and give of ourselves, the more we will be rewarded, perhaps not so much in this life with wealth and physical things, but in the life to come we will be spiritually rewarded with the spiritual riches for the things we have done for God.
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Matthew 19:28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 19:29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 19:30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.
We are to be living sacrifices as Paul admonishes us in Romans 12:1-5 and to give by presenting our bodies, our hands and feet, in service to bring honor to God by our gifts to Him and for what we have given for His cause.
Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 1:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 1:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 1:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 1:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
As we observe the people of the world trying to get as much as they possibly can from others and who take advantage of them so as to fill up their coffers and to enrich themselves, we see only misery and unhappiness. Someday we will live in a world that is the very opposite where everyone will be giving to the benefit of their neighbors and in so doing, the whole world will be enriched and will have abundance and peace. 
A life that is giving to God and to others is the only way to real peace and contentment. When we give to others and we give our lives in service to God and others, we reflect the character of our heavenly Father who is the giver of all good things (James 1:17) and who gives us everything we need to fulfill His will.
Matthew 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Just as God gives to us out of abundant love for us, so, too, our giving must be motivated by love. Whether we are giving to God or giving to someone in need, it must be motivated by agape love just as Paul points out in the Love Chapter.
1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 13:2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
If we give all that we have to those who are in need but it is not from a heart that loves, but rather gives out of obligation or grudgingly or perhaps to build ourselves up in the sight of others, it is a worthless kind of giving.
When we give to our brethren God counts it as giving to Him and when we give to others it is like lending to God for He will give back to us with interest.
Proverbs 19:17 He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
Luke 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee. 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Deuteronomy 15:7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: 15:8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. 15:9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. 15:10 Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. 15:11 For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.
God blesses those who give out of the love
The principle of giving is shown in the following verses. If we want a bountiful crop we will not be sparse with the seed that we plant. If we sow our seeds sparingly, we will reap sparingly. But if we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully. This is God’s marvelous law of giving, the more we give, the more we will have in abundance. This is a spiritual law that we may not recognize or understand at first but it is like the law of gravity that is invisible as well.  The law of giving works if we have faith and we give of what we have; it is part of God’s unseen economy that is the opposite of how most men and women in the world operate. The more we are given back, the more we have to give even more.
2 Corinthians 9:6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Proverbs 11:25 The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
If we give to others sparingly, then we will receive back sparingly. If we give in abundance, we will receive back in abundance. The measure that we use to mete out to God and to others will determine how the treasures of heaven will be measured back to us.
Paul asks this question in Romans 11:35 “Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?” He concludes with this promise, “11:36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.”
When we give to God and share with  our needy brethren, God will see to it that we will be recompensed in ways that He deems best, which may not be in this life but may be treasures stored up for us in heaven.
If we feel that we lack in the gift of giving, we can always ask God for more of a generous and giving spirit and He will answer that heartfelt prayer.
Like any loving father, God will give us good gifts if we ask and seek for them and the gift of giving is a very good gift.  To want to give is a matter of a person purposing in his own heart what he wants to do to bring into effect the law of how it will be in God’s Kingdom, for everyone will be givers then and not takers. 
Giving the way God wants us to give should never be the result of outside pressure, nor should it be by constraint or force, but it is by the love of God shed abroad in our hearts, for giving is a form of God’s love. 
When we love someone we naturally want their needs to be met, we want to see them taken care of and to aspire to be all that they were meant to be. When we love others as God loves others, we want them to be given a chance to come to know God and His plan for their lives and to repent and to be given eternal life. 
That kind of love is a gift from God and the more we respond to that gift the more God will give of His divine love and we, too, will want to give as we have chance.
God promises that the more we give to others, the more of His spiritual gifts will be given back to us, measured out, pressed down, and running over. 
It is a blessing to be able to give, it is a blessing to be a part of what God is doing here on earth, and it is a blessing to witness the things that God is accomplishing in spreading the Gospel of preaching and teaching as we are doing what we can to be used as His instruments in carrying out that work.
As we give with cheerful hearts we will know the great joy of seeing God’s work completed when all is done and finished. That may be quite a ways off but we will experience a glimpse of that completion, a vision of it being done as we give of ourselves to help make it happen. Of course it is God who will complete His work but He gives His dear children the opportunity to be counted as being a part of His team that helps Him and this in turn teaches them and trains them to be more like their heavenly Father. Even that is a gift and is part of the reward that we will receive if we give generously from the heart while we are in this present lifetime.
Giving to God With Our Praise and With Our Worship
In summary, how do we give to an invisible God? Especially to the Maker of heaven and earth who owns the whole world and can create anything He wants by fiat.
Psalm 50:10 For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. 50:11 I know all the fowls of the mountains: and the wild beasts of the field are mine. 50:12 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. 50:13 Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? 50:14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
God says that He is pleased when we do as to what He requires of us and that is to live a life of mercy and faithfulness walking humbly in all of His ways. 
Micah 6:7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
The thing we can give to God is a life of serving Him in holiness and righteousness and in doing good to others. When we give to others in need we are actually giving to Him. This is what pleases Him.
Hebrews 13:16 But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
And we are also to give God our thanksgiving for all that He is and all that He does. We give to God when we give Him our praises! That too is a sacrifice that we can offer to Him on a daily basis.
Hebrews 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
Psalm 92:1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:
Psalm 136:3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 104:33 I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
We give to God with our worship to Him and to Him alone and by giving to Him our faithfulness and loyalty.
Psalm 29:2 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Our prayer is that God will help all of His Ekklesia to have a heart for giving to those who are in need, that He will pour out His spirit of giving as we face the coming years ahead, that we may give of ourselves to help and to pray for all those who are hurting and to encourage those who are faltering or those who are weak; and to be empowered to give to the whole world the most priceless gift of all, which is the Gospel message which teaches the knowledge of the WAY that leads to salvation and eternal life. 


Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?  25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?  25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Let us endeavor to be gifts that God will give to all of humanity someday when we are brought up in the resurrection and are made kings and priests; not just to rule over others but to truly be givers of all the good things that God has to offer, including the gift of the knowledge of Him and of all of His ways and by helping them to walk in those ways. May we be a people that brings glory to God by having hearts that desire to give so that others may come to know Him and be saved. This, too, will be about giving to God and to humanity and then experiencing the reward, the joy, and the blessing of having a part and a share in God’s work here on earth and in the future when we will be giving to those placed in our care in God’s kingdom. 

James Malm and Constance Belanger

Note-  Constance submitted the original rough draft of this article in 2015, which I then completed for posting. 


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