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Principles of Giving

14 Aug

Paul is continuing to coach the Corinthian church in the giving of offerings.  It’s good advice for us as well.

There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints.
2 Corinthians 9:1

The first thing we see is that giving is a part of our servanthood.  Jesus said that if you want to be great in God’s kingdom, then you must be the servant of all.  (Mark 10:42-45)

A part of my service to the kingdom is fulfilled as I use my money to help others.  I might not be able to be physically present to help them.  But by giving my finances, I can help to relieve some of their burdens.

For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action.  But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be.
2 Corinthians 9:2-3

What you’ll find is that some believers are quicker to give than others.  Some people take a little longer to reach that decision.  That’s okay, as long as we’re all obedient to the Lord’s prompting.

The fact is, those who are quicker to give are an encouragement to those who need more time to think about it.  When they see the zeal of others, it stirs them to action.  Then, the blessing of service increases.

The word, eagerness, in the above passage is literally forward-passioned.  You are passionate about seeing God’s kingdom advance.  When you give, it’s not simply about the money.  It’s moving in answer to the call of God to advance His work.

For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we — not to say anything about you — would be ashamed of having been so confident.  So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
2 Corinthians 9:4-5

Finally, we must always be prepared to give.  Be open to the Holy Spirit.  Let Him move your heart.

At one point I was stopped at a red light and I saw a panhandler coming towards me.  I felt the Spirit urging me to give. As I fumbled with my seatbelt trying to get to my wallet, eventually the light turned green before I could get the money out.

I felt bad about it.  Now I make sure that I have some money in the compartment between the seats so that if it happens again, I’ll be ready.

We need to be people who want to serve not just with our time, but our money as well.

Question: How prepared are you when the Spirit prompts you to give?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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