The topic of the sermon – Giving.
The speaker had no idea there was a question looming in my heart and mind for several weeks on this very topic. I was not seeking an answer to tithing, for this was a given (no pun intended) for me. My question went deeper, nagging at me often so I had come to church asking God for an answer, desiring to lay my question to rest.
We all would like to think giving comes easily to us. Probably to a degree, it may. Let’s face it, it is easy to give away that which we have outgrown, no longer use, have plenty of, or no longer like. It is with ease we box those items up and bring them to Goodwill or Salvation Army and take our receipt, for tax purposes. We may even give some items to those who are in need whom we are aware.
But can we give when no one else would ever be aware? Perhaps without changing our status on Facebook or Twitter to state our deed? Can we give when there is no tax benefit to be had?
What if we were to change our perspective, giving solely to an audience of one –
The Only One?
The speaker mentioned three ways of giving:
- Giving so as to let go of control. We hold onto control out of fear – fear there may not be enough. The point was made, “When I let go of control, I earnestly cling to the One Who has all the control anyway.”
- Giving until it hurts. Our giving needs to be a sacrifice much like the burnt offerings of the Old Testament – giving as an act of worship.
- Giving to grow in relationship with God. Put God to the test. In Malachi 3:10, God asks for the whole tithe to be brought to the storehouse. And then says this, “See if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have enough room for it.” God blesses us with more of Himself. There is no way we will ever be able to outgive the Giver Himself.
In Luke 12, Jesus tells us about the rich fool who comes to Him with the dilemma of dividing an inheritance. In that story, Jesus gives us this word of advice:
“Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot” (verse 15, MSG).
We are defined solely by the Giver Himself.
May we not store up for ourselves.
May we give and be rich toward God.