Giving Seasons

I suppose the “giving seasons” are officially over….like Christmas and Valentine’s Day and I would venture to guess that many people heave a sigh of relief. Like relief from searching for the right gift for the right (or wrong) person. Like anxiousness over budgets and expenses. And many of us say that we are just not going to go all out with giving and and presenting , anymore! Plus, we get myriads of pleas in the mail for missions and soup kitchens and children’s disease funds and Girl Scout Cookies with precious little pumpkins looking innocently into your narrowing eyes, their big eyes pleading with you to please buy their wares. Do we need MORE cookies? Of course not, but who can resist these virtuous little entrepreneurs?

Oh! And there are church projects that need financing; fine ministries that ask for donations. There are charities with speical meaning for us because of a cause or because a loved one or family member is suffering from cancer or heart diease or diabetes, organizations desperate for research monies. So then, how can we utilize our money wisely when there are so many needs and so many voices crying out for aid and assistance, financially?
Well ,the first thing we should do is earnestly seek the Lord concerning our giving. We know the Word of God says that we are to support the church or ministry that is supporting us; the one that shepherds us, disciples us, counsels us and watches and prays over our souls. And the Word of God also says,” not to muzzle the ox that treads out the corn.” What I take that to mean is that the undershepherds of the Lord Jesus Christ who labor over us and are concerned with training us up in the faith should not labor in vain. In the Old Testament, Almighty God made provisions for the priests (Aaronic) and Levis who offered the sacrifices, tended the Lord’s people and ministered in the Tabernacle. God made it very clear that they were to have provisions from the offerings of the people of God. This GODLY principle applies to the Church, today. When we are being fed the Word of God on a regular basis those teachers, ministers, and godly couselors who touch our lives in a personal way, almost daily, deserve treasures from our personal storehouse to help them in building the Kingdom of God.
I do not believe that God would have us scatter seed in any old direction. But Galatians 6:2 says to bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ to complete your obedience to Him. (v.4) But let every person carefully scrutinize and examine and test his own actions (and I add, MOTIVES) and his own works. (v.6) Let him who receives instruction of the WOrd of GOD Share all good things with his teachers, lending to his/her support. God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows, that is what he reaps. So if you sow to the flesh and look out only for carnal things investing and in material things, you will reap from the flesh and that is decay and ruin. But if you sow to the Spirit (that is to the Spiritual life of God’s Kingdom and the things that GOD is doing on the earth during your lifetime) then and only then will a person reap eternal life.
And here is the Scripture that started my thinking on this subject…I guess you could say it is ATTITUDE ABOUT GIVING AND GIVING…
“So, then as occasions and opportunity open up to us, let us continually do good especially to those of the household of Faith, God’s family and God’s KINGDOM. AND BE NOT FAINT, LOSE HEART, AND GROW WEARY IN WELL-DOING. FOR IN DUE SEASON AND AT THE APPOINTED TIME YOU SHALL REAP A GREAT HARVEST.
I believe that as we sow, even as the widow who gave her last mite, we shall indeed reap a harvest of souls if we do not get weary and faint.


15 thoughts on “Giving Seasons”

  1. One scripture I was reminded of when I read your blog MG that related to attitude toward giving is in 2 Corinthians 9:7: “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” I thought the footnote in my Bible helpful. “There is no better indicator of growth in the new life than in the area of giving. The passage deals with the attitude that one should have in giving – it should be cheerful. When giving is cheerful, it will also be generous. The important rule of thumb is not how much is given, but how much is left after the giving. God is not primarily occupied with the amount of the gift, but with the motive that lies behind it. All the money in the world belongs to God. My gift to Him does not make Him any richer; it makes me richer spiritually because of the realization that everything I have is His and that I am giving because I love Him and want to give.” (New King James Open Bible)

  2. “You crown the year with Your bounty and goodness…” (Psalm 65:11, AMP)

    When Jesus is around giving is the gift! There are just so many ways for us to give. Time, talent, skills, things, thoughts, money and joy.

    I am always looking for ways to give and they come to me and then the match for need follows. For example after writing a blog here about the need of health care in our nation Gary saw a “60 Minutes “: report on ” U.S. Health Care Gets Boost From Charity- Remote Area Medical Finds It’s Needed In America To Plug Health Insurance Gap” . He shared this story with me over dinner Monday Evening and I thought “how can we help?’ Then I got an email from my son and daughter-in-law saying her company may be giving away a large number of all inclusive printers, did I have a place to give. Gary and I quickly emailed Remote Area Medical Finds and did they have a need! They would be happy with one for one of their offices, but many! We are in the process of working this out.

    Then I have another love of my life. A widow that lives on a very small income. She loves to go to church, then lunch and a visit to a nursing home to bless those that are shut-in. She needs a little help to pay for gas for her ride and lunch. I love to give in to this and feel such a part of what she is doing. Also it has given me a great friend and I have shared her with my other friends to be a friend with them. This gives us an enlargement as she gives back to me and my friends, love, hugs and prayers as well as great communication and her door is always opened to all of us.

    I have so many projects that I feel such a part of and have made so many good friends by giving. “The Lord has crowned my year with bounty and goodness!” This means I have a heavenly bank account that I can draw from for whatever I may need in life— God has set up a network so that I can access His blessings for my personal needs as well as those He wants me to network with.

    I believe the problem with the “growing weary and faint” comes when others, that are not networking with us and the larger gift, jumps in the middle and tries to cut the bountiful and abundant flow off. This happens when one has angry, resentment, jealousy, envy and just out of control. As you said MG, one should earnestly seek the Lord before they jump in the giving pool.

  3. I read today a little stick ’em note from Jesus and He said, “Look at the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin. Yet even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

    It seems like Jesus is saying if you are stressed, worried, buzzy busy and out of sync with goodness and mercy that you should pick a flower and sit for awhile and focus on how you got out of sync with inner peace and others. Many projects get aborted because the giver got out of sync with God.

    When we face our ‘size of giving’ and begin to enjoy it we will not be under the illusion that the whole hangs on me.

  4. Oh thank you Sara for those “jarring-back-to-reality” words…..”when we face our size of giving and begin to enjoy it, we will not be under the ILLUSION THAT THE WHOLE HANGS ON ME!!
    I remember the story of MARTHA MARTHA. in the Gospel of Luke She was “GIVING” of her service to to the LORD but it was a sort of ‘stressed and worried service’ as you mentioned above. I also wonder if Martha thought that maybe the LORD wasn’t noticing her enough in all that she was doing and so she sort of HELPED GOD, a little.
    I remember a similar incident when my handsome older cousin whom the whole family made a fuss over was at a family gathering. I was just a little girl and he was “older”. He was taking pictures of different members of our family and everyone was giddy and posing, etc. Actually, Nick did not happen to notice me, his little cousin and so I HELPED him by calling out over and over, “Oh Nick, Am I out of the way, ok? I’ll just stand WAAAAAY over here so I wont’t be in the way of the camera. Is this OK, NICK? Am I out of the way, enough? I finally got his attention and similarly as in the Martha, Mary story, when he at last looked my way and said…..”Oh, yeah,, you’re out of the way, enough” or words to that effect.
    Jesus said to Martha, “You are worried and fretful over much “serving” (giving of your services) but Mary has chosen the BETTER PART.”

  5. Sara’s comment above…”There are just so many ways for us to give. Time, talent, skills, things, thoughts, money, and joy.” This, I believe, is exactly what Jesus means in Romans 12: 6-8. “We all have different gifts, each of which came because of the grace God gave us. The person who has the gift of prophecy should use that gift in agreement with the faith. Anyone who has the gift of serving should serve. Anyone who has the gift of teaching should teach. Whoever has the gift of encouraging others should encourage. Whoever has the gift of giving to others should give freely. Anyone who has the gift of being a leader should try hard when he leads. Whoever has the gift of showing mercy to others should do so with joy.” Yes, lets give of ourselves, but remember what Debi quoted from God’s Word……”God loves a cheerful giver”. Also, over in 1Corinthians 13:3 “I may give away everything I have, and I may even give my body as an offering to be burned. But I gain nothing if I do not have love.”

    Lord, help us to be cheerful, willing, loving, and active givers, of the gifts you have blessed us with.
    Thanks MG, for reminding us of the “Giving Seasons”.

  6. To me the “Giving Season” is never over since Jesus Christ gave His life on the Cross for all…His is the Gift that keeps on giving..until He comes to take His bride to be with Him and then the Giving gets even better..And I’m reminded that Christ said that what so ever you do unto these of the lest of these my brethren you’ve done it unto me…so I think for those of us who do not see the giving season be it Christmas or Valentines or what ever the day as being over..Christ’s Words of “You have done it unto Me” will stick in our hearts and the Season of Giving will go on and on and on….dj
    Luke 6;38 says 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 measure it shall be measured to you again…
    Matt 10;8 says Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead cast out demons; freely ye have received, freely give…
    these are some of the teachings we have been hearing each sunday in our Church services and Luke was and is loaded with giving …..Jesus even blessed the loaves and fish and it mulitiplied and a mutitude were fed…Our Heavenly Father is a giver…of good things…oh that we continue to be like Jesus.. the ultimate giver……….dj

  7. DJ, when you reminded us of the giver Jesus was with miracle power of feeding the thousands with a few loaves and fish it makes me wonder how much more can one do to help?

    I am thinking does our power to vote make a difference for the poor, hungry, uninsured, lack of jobs, homes going to the mortgage companies, and any and all other devastating news that we hear each night? Do we spend lots of time listening to promises, believe we really know what a candidate stands for and run to the voting booth and vote and get what we voted for?

    We can give our vote, our hope, our prayers, our words of encouragement and hands of help. Remember, the words of Jesus, He said “I can of my own-self do nothing.” When we join with others and become inclusive and not exclusive we may join with Jesus in His outreach and love to the world. God said I gave my son, Jesus, that all those in the world that will believe Him and become inclusive with Him will not perish but have eternal life. And, as Gary reminded me today the two greatest commands Jesus gave us is ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Luke 10:27 This is inclusive!

  8. Amen Sara amen….Jesus was and is all that the Father is and He said He came not to do His will but the will of Him who sent Him….truely Jesus was and is all of God because He was and is inclusive…Father Son Holy Ghost…..ONE….and He prayed that we would be One with Him….Sara I love the way you said it….INCLUSIVE!…

  9. In the Book of Timothy, Paul admonishes Timothy and those under his care and the Body of Christ in universal, to first of all pray for those in leadership not only in our churches but in our nations and for all administrations who have rule over us so that we might lead a peaceable life in all Godliness and honesty. Perhaps, Sara, we haven’t all prayed
    enough and earnestly enough in the Body of Christ for the leaders of our nation and for those with whom we have to do The mortgage debacle, the OPEC sway over us, the health-care crisis, the losses of jobs may be all in an historical cycle of governmental oversight but the Scriptures say, ‘Blessed is the nation whose GOVERNOR is the Lord.’ And in the Psalms, it says…”The heart of the king, (the leader, the prime minister, the president ) is in the hands of the Lord and He turneth whichever way He wills….” But we must pray for our nation to be controlled by the sovereign RULER of the universe for in Him is our only Salvation.
    Is Jesus saying, “America, America, how often would I have gathered you under my wings as a mother chicken does, and YOU WOULD NOT!”

  10. MG when I read your article I thought of a very close person I have been in fellowship over of the years. She is a lovely person and each year she gives and gives and gives. She gives a little here and a little there. When it comes to giving to those who she receives instruction in the Word of God she it out of money or has very little to give. It seems that she has spread her seed so thin that no one source receives sufficient to make a difference. On thinking of this I wonder if we spread ourselves so thin that we don’t make a difference for Jesus? How sad. Who suffers?

  11. Sara as a teacher I noted your word inclusive. For years I have taught in an inclusive classroom. I’m glad I’m in Jesus’ inclusive classroom. In other words I’m glad I don’t have to be of a certain academic level, I am glad that he excepts me in all my ‘uniqueness’ or individual differences. I’m glad I’m accepted ‘just as I am’ because I said Yes to Jesus and He took me into a classroom that is taught by Him. I’m glad He is willing to work with me to make me the best that I can be in serving Him. Thank you Jesus.

  12. Rena, my music classes are also inclusive. I get to teach ALL the children in all the classes and I bless those teachers who have inclusive instructional classrooms. Those children with special needs are “included” with the rest of their peers and the patience, diligence, special planning and creativity that those teachers demonstrate is phenomenal, in the most part.
    Jesus did say, “suffer the little children to come unto Me,” and He didn’t EXCLUDE any of them. And our special needs children do get special instruction by other specialists but being a part of your peers in a classroom setting is a real boost to these swell kids.

  13. Thank you Rena, I am so glad that the inclusive class of Jesus allows me to learn, participate and be accepted regardless of my limitations. And, to know that the class is full of love and allows me to bloom and be a ‘gem of flower.’

    By the way sounds like your friend like many of us spread ourselves way to thin in our giving of ourselves as well as our resources. I think the root is not wanting to be committed to anybody or anything> What do and others think?

  14. I agree with your thought about the root cause. If we don’t commit then we avoid accountability. We deceive ourselves into thinking we are giving to so many things/people/groups trying to please everybody. In the long run we probably fail to please anybody. It looks like a sick way to bring attention to ourselves.
    Like sowing grass seed. If you sow it all over the lawn but too thin you get a few blades here and there but never a functional lawn. The only good it does is to allow weeds to grow and the soil to erode. What a waste of time and money.
    My mother used to quote this to me when I tried doing too many jobs/things and didn’t do any of them correctly.
    “If a task has once begun.
    Never leave it till it’s done.
    Be the labor great or small.
    Do it well or not at all. “

  15. When I think of the “GIVING SEASON”, I think of the POOR WIDOW.
    Mark 12:41-44 ” 41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. 43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
    This poor widow walked up and gave all she had. She did not go up kicking and screaming. She walked up and gave all. It doesn’t tell us that she walked passed the collection box many times, contemplating whether to give or not to give. The Bible states she walked up to the box and gave all. This had to take a tremedous amount of faith. How was she going to buy food? How was she going to buy clothing? The widow gave without question. She gave as if she knew her needs would be taken care of. She gave by faith. Faith, just knowing things were going to be o.k. She gave with her heart, she gave all she had. What an awesome example for us to follow. Give with faith. The “giving season” didn’t stop with Christmas, it goes on forever. Jesus has also given all. He gave us eternal life. Jesus died so we could recieve this amazing gift. Matt. 10:8 “……. Give as freely as you have recieved!” Jesus paid the ultimate price, so we could have eternal life, freely. Now Matt. to give freely as we recieve. Jesus paid for us, now we must give all of us to him. Giving by Faith.The “giving season” continues…….

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