Gift of Giving

“Finish what you started and don’t let your good intentions grow stale. You’ve got what it takes to finish your project, your program, your contributions…for you do it in the spirit of what you can do and and can give and not according to what you cannot. Let your heart regulate your hand”
This marvelous passage from 2Corinthians 8 is a wonderful encourager and pedagogue on Christian giving. One part of the chapter that really made me take note; “and God Who provides seed for the sower….that means He even gives us the seed to plant..and from it produces bread for our eating, as a result of the seed He’s provided for us to plant.. WILL INCREASE THE FRUITS OF YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS which are manifested and identified by others as YOUR active goodness, kindness and charity.”

It is exciting to know that God will increase us and the fruits of our righteousness and make them abound when we give, when we plead for the privilege of helping the poor; helping out someone in distress, others in need, those who are ill and need encouragement; the lonely souls; the unlovely; the forgotten ones.
Then He goes on to say that ‘this charitable,eager giving also overflows into many cries of thanksgiving and glorifying God for your loyalty and obedience to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they will yearn and pray for you because of the surpassing abundance of God’s grace, mercy, favor and spiritual blessing that show forth through you because of your charity and generosity in Christ Jesus.’
How gracious is our Lord God Who, for our sakes, will bless us when we are prompt to distribute, contribute, donate, present and provide for others when we are so moved by the Spirit of the living God. He does it by INCREASING OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS!! That old adage is true. You cannot out give God. His promises concerning the giver are exciting and worthy to be pursued.
The Lord God loves a cheerful giver because it reminds Him of His Son.
So “Let your heart regulate your hand.” (Message)

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9 thoughts on “Gift of Giving

  1. My understanding of INCREASE OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS is that since our righteousness comes from and through Jesus Christ and His finished work on the Cross He is able to make all blessings abound to us….because really, it’s HIS to begin with. Righteousness means honor, virtue, being proper, moral uprightness, faithfulness….and much more. All these things are really the Fruit of the Spirit. I believe that as we give according to the Word of God He enables us by His Spirit to grow these virtues.
    We do all things by faith, of course, and not by works of our own imaginations, but inspired by the Spirit. 2COR. 9 says that “God is able to make all grace, favor and earthly blessing come to us in abundance so that we may ALWAYS and at ALL TIMES, under ALL CIRCUMSTANCES be self-sufficient and furnished for every good work and charitable donation.
    And this part is stunning: as the benevolent person(s) scatters his/her contributions to others, giving to the poor (which Jesus LOVES), then their DEEDS of kindness, justice, goodness will go on FOREVER and EVER and endure FOREVER. I believe that means they will be recognized in HEAVEN and Jesus will be glorified in eternity, forever, by them. WOW!
    It makes one want to look for the opportunities, provided by the Holy Spirit, to give, give, give. Sounds a lot like Christ Church Int’l to me!!
    One caveat. 1 Cor. 13 warns us…that when we give, we must do it with a heart of love…love of Christ and love for our neighbor, the one we are contributing to. If we just give to get, then we have our reward, already. But when we give with LOVE, to obtain a heavenly reward, to please the Lord then it will be recognized in Heaven and we will obtain spiritual favor.

  2. This reminds me of a portion of a song which I have played over and over by the Gaither Vocal Bank – ‘Little is much when God is in it’.

    If we all would just give what God has given us to give.
    I’ve heard Bill Gaither say that he thought we might be surprised when we get to heaven who will be honored. He held up a pin with 708 on it. It was the plant that his father worked at every day that enabled him to provide for his family. Bill Gaither was therefor able to go on to be who he is today as a result of his father’s diligence. We thank God for those who took’ little is much when God is it’ and the blessing poured out.

  3. I would like to suggest that one read Chapter eight of II Corinthians in it’s entirety before jumping on the giving.

    MG writes in her comment above, “It makes one want to look for the opportunities, provided by the Holy Spirit, to give, give, give.” Don’t agree with this at all. I think it would make one want to get order in their lives and not scatter their heart and soul and giving to the wind. Finish the things you have started. Don’t forget about them and jump to something else. That includes serving, loving and caring. When I read Chapter 8 of II Corinthians I get church order. Of course MG did say provided by the Holy Spirit. I believe the Holy Spirit would do all things in order.

  4. Like suggested above “provided by the Holy Spirit” If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us in our giving so that we will not be scatter seeding.

  5. As I read Chapter 8 of II Corinthians, as Sara suggested, verse 14, 15 stood out in particular: “At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.”
    To me this said that when giving is operating by the direction of the Holy Spirit in correct order in the local church there is no lack…all needs are met.

    “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
    and one who waters will himself be watered.” Proverbs 11:25

  6. “Finish what you started……” This is a constant struggle for many. We get started on something and something else jumps up, turning our focus to it. Before you know it we have ten projects started but not completed. This brings stress and frustration and a sense of incompleteness and maybe even a sense of failure. This clutters the mind. I believe it’s all about setting priorties and not taking on too much. We must be careful to complete one project before starting another. Take one step at a time. Keep it simple. We often try to make things more complicated than they really are. MG thanks for the encouraging reminder that we have what it takes to finish what we start.

  7. “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20

    Paul said in 1 Cor. 4:24, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.”

    II Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

  8. I think you are right chickenfarmer that ‘We must be careful to complete one project before starting another.’ We can work very long and hard on something and lose it in the last hour because we failed to tie up loose ends, bring closure or just grew weary or couldn’t bear up under it and gave up. The prize might have been around the next turn if we had just kept going and stayed focused.
    It costs to finish.
    Jesus taught us that in Luke 14:28-30. “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’
    I recently saw photos of and heard an encouraging account of someone who experienced the painful cost of finishing a race. Sara’s son, Jon, while running in the Marine Corps marathon, experienced a painful knee injury. He could have quit rather than experience pain in every step he took. But he decided that wasn’t an option. He paid the cost and crossed over that finish line.
    I believe that is the kind of overcoming determination that God wants to see in us.

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