Today, it is my privilege to share with you on a most precious topic, which is giving financially to support the work of the Kingdom of Heaven and the furtherance of the Holy Gospel. I pray that the Holy Spirit will use the word of God in this message in your life to bring you to a place of truth and liberty in the area of giving.
A Sure Foundation
I thought it necessary to first establish a sure foundation because I have beheld many misconceptions in the area of giving that keep God’s people in bondage and from giving freely.
First, Jesus declares in His precious word in Mathew 22:38 – 40 “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
We therefore understand that all teaching or service to God must be built or hung on the foundation of love. Let’s now lay this foundation in the area of giving.
Truly, all that we have that is good, God has given us (James 1:17). Why has God given us so much, it is simply because He loves us, in fact Jesus declares that God so love the world that He gave!
Why does God give? It is because He loves!
How and why does God expect His people to give financially?
It is because we love and believe in Him as our source. Any service to God that is not rooted in faith that works by love is not acceptable to God or is simply dead religion and is surely a waste of time, energy and money in God’s eyes. The only response to love can be love. As you believe in the love of God, or as your faith works as the love of God is revealed to you, you will naturally respond in love and obedience to God. Faith always is made manifest by works of love. Let’s make it simple. We love Him because He first loved us. A Christian life is a life of love responding to love.
Many people serve God not because they love Him but because they want to go to Heaven and are afraid of Hell, in their heart they still love sin, but the threats of Hell and the rewards of Heaven are enough to inspire them to live good.
So fear and reward governs their Christian experience. Is this true Christianity? Is this love? Is this loving God with all your heart? Certainly not!
Their dedication and commitment has nothing to do with love, in fact it is all about selfishness, and it is all about what is in it for me. They have yet to see their sin and rebellion and truly repent from their hearts. Their service to God certainly has nothing to do with relationship with God, for if a rock could carry them to Heaven and meet their selfish needs they would gladly serve the rock. This is false Christianity!
The same way many people give not because they love God but because they want to be blessed and are afraid of being cursed. They are not free to love but are trapped by fear and reward in fulfilling what they believe is their religious duty. Is this true Christian giving? Is this what we can expect from the Gospel? Is this teaching applicable to all areas of Christian life? Then what a miserable and selfish people we would be.
How do Christians get such foolish perceptions of Christianity?
They have been taught! By us preachers and truly God is calling us to repent so that the house of God would be thoroughly furnished and His people would be free to give. Thanks be to God that we have not so learned Christ!
God in His wisdom has given us freely what we don’t deserve. Our precious salvation is a gift, we cannot work for it. It does not come by living good. Truly the first sin ever committed by Eve was unbelief in the love of God; Eve doubted God’s love and believed that God was holding back from her.
Now if unbelief in God’s love caused all these problems that we experience today; what will correct it? The answer is simple – belief or faith in God’s love. That is why the Bible beautifully declares, that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Do you see how belief in God’s love makes us right again with God?
So what does all this have to do with money – we are getting there, we are still laying a sure foundation.
As we have seen, God in His wisdom has given us salvation as a gift so that we can be free from selfishness and free to love. We are going to Heaven, not because we have lived a good life but simply because God loves us and we believe in His love. What then is our motive for living good? If living good has nothing to do with us going to Heaven, our motive is simply because we love God.
So our Precious Father wins the heart and love of every true believer by using the law to reveal the evil of sin and to bring us to a place of grace and truth. We fall in love with God and this amazing perfect love bring us to a place where we are free from fear and we can have confidence and boldness on the day of judgment.
Truly perfect love will cast out all fear from your life.
Suppose a King has two servants, one who was afraid of Him but wanted his rewards and the other who truly loved Him, which one do you think would be the better servant. Would you prefer someone who loves you to serve you or someone who fears you and wants something from you? What if the King’s life was threatened, that selfish servant will run for his life but the one who loves will lay down his life for his King.
It is no wonder today that many Christians have not truly laid down their lives in the service of their Lord, having been deceived by their own selfishness. What made the Apostle Paul say that he wished he was accursed from Christ for his brethren – did he truly mean that? He was saying that he wished that he was lost that the Jews might be saved! That is an amazing statement and demonstrates true Christianity; I rejoice and am amazed by Paul’s statement. Thanks be to God, who by His wisdom uses trials and persecutions to prove our love and His true servants. Truly a crucified life is a mark of every true believer for only then is selfishness shown to be evil.
Please allow me to continue to illustrate this misconception that many of us sincerely have as believers. Suppose in a Kingdom, there were several men and women, some were noble, some were sincere, some were murderers, adulterers and some were indeed the worst sinners imaginable. There was in that Kingdom, a noble king, truly worthy of praise. This king had a desire for his subjects to give to meet the financial requirements of His immense Kingdom. So one day the King decided to hold a gun to each of his subjects’ heads and command them to give. To the King’s joy everyone gave, in fact it was the greatest amount He had ever collected. Why did the subjects give or serve the King? Was it because they love Him? The answer is certainly NO, they gave because they were afraid for their very lives; they gave to save their skin!
I weep to know that many believers are not free to give but give in bondage with no true joy or cheer.
Many believers give not because they love God but because they are afraid of being cursed. It is like a gun being held to their heads and they are compelled to give by fear. With a gun held to their head, they are told to be cheerful givers!
Let us suppose that same King instead of using a gun, made a great appeal to his subjects to give. The king shared with them the need for money to support the Kingdom and then after making a hearty appeal He said to them “Give”. Then the King would truly see which servants really love Him and His Kingdom, for truly it is only in a place of liberty and freedom that we can see what is in our hearts. The threat being removed, the King would know which servants wanted to give and the servants who did not care to give, even in the light of His great appeal and he would conclude that selfishness governed the hearts of His servants who did not give.
We can conclude that the Spirit of God through conviction, repentance and love transforms a believer to fulfill the word of God freely.
Truly the Holy Spirit can only work in a place of liberty for where there is fear there is no room for trueness of character but where the Spirit of God is there is liberty.
Oh, how we miss the simplicity of Christ, by the teaching and traditions of men today.
As a person, do you like someone to give you something to receive something back from you? Would you call that person a true friend? Or would you say that they are really selfish and have not given because they care for you but because they wanted something in return? Doesn’t our Lord teach us to give expecting nothing in return? Many times we as believers give to receive but is that what our Lord teaches us? Or does he teach us, as freely as you have received, give?
There is a difference, when you gave your life to Christ, you received eternal life, so you did give to receive but you gave to receive what was already given. God had already given His Son for you and when you gave your life to Him, you received what was already given for you.
It is an accusation on the character of God that we believe that when we give to God, He then gives to us; we believe that we are moving God to love us or to act by our giving. Do you understand, we love Him, because He first loved us? He did it first and we respond in faith. God will move by our faith in His word and His love. As Christians, we give because we believe that God has already given, we gave not in works but in faith which works. We don’t give to be blessed but give because we are blessed. I pray that by the Holy Spirit you may understand this precious revelation.
Let us suppose that I said to you that the roof was going to open and a truck was about to fall on your head this very moment – You didn’t believe me – how do I know? You are still there. I saw by your actions that you had no faith in my words. Suppose you believe my words, you would immediately jump out of the way.
Do you see how faith works? You show your faith by your works. Suppose you said that you believed “that the Lord is your Shepherd and that you shall not want” – and then God says to you give but you refuse to give because you said you have bills to pay and if you give you will be in want. I would say that you do not have faith in God as your source. Do you see how we give in faith, we give because we believe, not because we are trying to make something happen! I will expand on this teaching later.
Do you remember Abraham?
Melchizedek blessed him and Abraham give a tithe of all. Melchizedek blessed first and then Abraham gave. We don’t give to be blessed, we give because we are blessed, we give because God has already loved us, we give in faith. We have already been blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. Having confidence in God, seeing His love and His provision, we give in faith knowing that He has already loved us and has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
Please be patient with me as we establish this all important foundation from which we will then build the principle of tithing, offerings, and sowing and reaping. As you lay the proper foundation, you will come to a place where not one seed is wasted but all shall bring forth fruit and no one would be able to take away the joy of giving and you will give more than you have ever given in your life, freely and with joy.
For truly a false servant can never out-give or out love a true servant of the Most High.
Many of the teachings today on giving, lack proper foundation and then result in accusations against the character of God and certainly do not represent Christ, the Kingdom or the Gospel that we have received.
Let us now look at a precious scripture that will give you great joy and rest and may disturb many of you who have been trapped in the religion and traditions of men. Matthew 6:26 “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
Many believers think that if they don’t sow or reap that they will go broke, be devoured and become vagrants and sad to say that much of the teaching we receive today implies that. That is not so – God loves you, if I can say it a thousand times – God loves you. Oh would you believe it, I know you have heard doctrines to the contrary but I tell you again that God loves you. You are his child and he will take care of you, you need only believe. Have you ever seen a group of birds fly down to the ground with seeds in their mouth and begin to plant with their beaks and fly around waiting for the harvest? What a strange sight!
What faith these birds have in God, they wake up and believe that God will meet their needs.
These birds have no bank account but their trust is in the living God, and God does not fail them. Doesn’t God love you more than a bird? Won’t God feed you? Would the birds be fed and His Children starve?
My Father will never see the righteous forsaken or His children begging bread!
Please promise me that you would never allow someone to make you less than a bird. Please promise me that you will have more faith than a bird. What rest we have in His love, what freedom, what joy, no bondage, no entanglement, free to fly in faith. Someone who misses the point would say that this message is against sowing and reaping, that is not the case, please be patient and allow God to remove every false teaching and foundation from your life that you may have a foundation of faith that works by love. Read Matthew 6:26 and you would see what the Lord is clearly saying, the Lord is not teaching against sowing and reaping but He is bringing us to a place of rest, faith, peace, confidence and joy in the Lord. The Lord is laying a sure foundation.
Image 1 Credit: Shutterstock/Photographee.eu
Image 2 Credit: Shutterstock/Pressmaster
Image 3 Credit: Shutterstock/Suzanne Tucker
Image 4 Credit: Shutterstock/Rob Marmion