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Tag Archives: grace of giving

Giving Results in Thanksgiving

I’ve been posting about the outcome of a lifestyle of giving.  What’s the result of walking regularly in the grace of giving?

We’ve seen how God increases the seed and the harvest of those who sow into His kingdom.  Now Paul continues this thought.

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9:11

I know there are many who get upset when you talk about God’s abundant financial blessings on the lives of giving Christians.  But, I have to be true to what the Bible says.

This verse literally says that in everything you will be made wealthy.  Of course, in context, he’s talking about sowers.  But this is a verse that you cannot deny or explain away.  It says what it says.

There’s more to it than just getting wealthy.  According to the above verse, there’s a point that this wealth is taking you to.  The purpose of this blessing is to bring you to generosity in all things.

God doesn’t want to bring you a financial blessing just you can sit on a fat bank account.  He wants you to do something with it – be generous with others.

Then, there’s an even further result.  As you bless others, thanksgiving will go up to God.

So there’s a test you can take.  If you have wealth, is it the source of thanksgiving to the Lord?  If not, then you’re not using your finances correctly.

Paul goes on to elaborate on this.

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.  Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.  And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you.  Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
2 Corinthians 9:12-15

I really need to tell you what Paul means when he says it’s the service that you perform.  He uses very detailed Greek words.  He is actually saying that this is a liturgy of servanthood.

Giving generously is actually a spiritual exercise.  It’s a part of the mature Christian walk with Christ.

The apostle tells us that it’s the proof of your obedience to God.  It shows that your confession of Christ as Lord is not just lip service.

It becomes obvious to all who see you that God is bestowing upon you this grace of giving.  It’s not from your own abilities or actions.  It’s His power working through you.

Thanksgiving to God will be multiplied as others begin to follow your example of giving.  This is truly a great gift to walk in.

Question: How have you experienced God’s blessings?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on August 26, 2020 in God's Provision, Ministry, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Heart of Giving

We’re continuing to study Paul’s exhortations concerning the grace of giving.  In my last post, we saw the principle of sowing and reaping.  Now we’ll move on to the next truth.

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7

This is another verse I’ve heard people use for their own agendas.  They explain to me that they can decide to give whatever they want…or nothing at all.  Is that what it’s really saying?

First of all, in the original text, the only place the word give appears is at the end of the verse – the word giver.  It’s also important to note that the beginning of this verse is not so easy to translate.

The Greek word translated as decided is only used this once in the entire New Testament.  I realize that all the major translations use words such as decided, purposed, and determined.  But in actuality, this word is pregnant with meaning.

It’s more than a simple decision.  It means to prioritize what you’re deciding to bring forth from your storehouse.  I understand why that phrase is hard to place into this verse and still have it be readable in English.

I think what Paul is trying to get across is that each person should bring forth what is the priority of their heart.  That puts a whole different spin on it.  That’s because what comes out of our heart is in direct relationship to what we’ve put into it.

In telling His disciples about how to recognize people by their fruit, Jesus said the following…

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart.  For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.
Luke 6:45

In the context of this verse, Jesus is relating this to how someone speaks.  But I believe, based on how the Lord worded the principle, that this could be applied to any area of life.  It fits right in with what Paul was saying to the Corinthian church.

That’s why the apostle tells us that our giving should not come from grief or distress.  We’re not buying a blessing from God to relieve our problems.  I’m not giving because someone made me feel guilty.

I give because of what’s planted in my heart.  I continually put God’s Word into it.  Then, the Holy Spirit has something to work with when it’s time to give.  I hear from the Lord and I give from the overflow of what’s in my heart.

That’s the best way to be a cheerful giver.  This means that you feel good about what you give.  In that way, you will both be a blessing, and be blessed by this grace of giving.

Question: how you seek God when it’s time to give an offering?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2020 in Faith, Ministry, Spiritual Walk, Word of God

 

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Sowing and Reaping

As we continue through the book of 2 Corinthians, Paul gives us more principles concerning the grace of giving.  He will now deal with some truths that have a greater application than simply your money.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
2 Corinthians 9:6

Here we have the principle of sowing and reaping.  It’s taught a lot in the body of Christ.  We mostly hear it before offering time.

In the context of Paul’s letter, he’s definitely applying it to money.  But we have to realize that it has a much greater range than that.

I think that one of our problems is that much of our teaching centers around the English reading of this verse.  Most of what I’ve heard can be boiled down to “if you plant a lot, you’ll reap a lot.”

However, that’s not what I get when I read it in the original Greek.  The word for sparingly means to keep back, avoiding excess.  It also means to be cautious and wary.

Contrast that with the word for generously.  It means to have a blessing attitude.  It implies that you give in such a way that it’s a blessing to the one who receives it.

This verse on sowing and reaping is more about your attitude in giving.  It has nothing to do with the amount you give.  Jesus brought this truth to light when He saw a widow put a penny into the offering.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.  They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:43-44

The word Jesus used for more, means more in amount.  Effectively, what the Lord said was that this widow planted more seed then the others who put in more money.  It was her attitude that made the difference.

That’s because it’s all about obedience.  I never want anybody to give simply because there’s a need.  I want you to pray and then give what the Lord prompts you to give.

It’s all about what the Lord wants you to invest in His kingdom.  When He urges me to give, how could I ever be cautious about it?  Why would I try and hold something back?

I want the blessing of God in my life.  I want to see a return on what I invest in God’s work.  Granted, it’s not always in the form of money, but it’s always good.

Some might complain about my attitude.  They say that I shouldn’t give expecting a blessing in return.

The fact is that I would give in obedience to the Holy Spirit’s leading whether He blessed me or not.  But, because the Lord tells us that we’ll reap, I’ll look for His hand at work in my life.  Then, when I see the harvest of what I sowed, I’ll give God all the thanks and the praise.

Question: How have you experienced sowing and reaping in your spiritual journey?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2020 in Faith, God's Provision, Spiritual Walk

 

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The Grace of Giving

We’re continuing our study through the book of Second Corinthians.  The Apostle Paul will now begin a new subject.

And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches.
2 Corinthians 8:1

I realize that many ministers consider the giving of offerings a taboo subject.  They’re afraid to offend and then lose some of their supporters.

I believe that understanding the Biblical way of giving is important for us as believers.  We need to know how God views it.

Some people get all upset when preachers talk about offerings.  Tithing, prosperity, and God’s provision are controversial in some places.

However, the fact that Paul devoted two whole chapters in his letter explaining this issue tells me that it’s a much-needed teaching in the body of Christ.

Even the way Paul approaches the subject lets us know the importance.  He tells us that he wants to explain the grace God is giving to the churches.  Yes, you heard correctly, giving is a grace that God bestows upon us.

That sounds good to me.  Because where there’s grace, there are miracles.  Giving is a way in which you can allow the Holy Spirit to work through you.  That’s exactly what happened in Macedonia.

Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.
2 Corinthians 8:2

Do you really hear what Paul is saying?  Under normal circumstances these words don’t belong in the same sentence.  Especially since they’re describing the same group of people.

Paul says that they were experiencing a huge trial of pressure.  Yet, at the same time, they had an over-abundance of joy.  I know people who don’t have more than enough joy during non-stressful times.

Paul goes on to say that they were in the depths of poverty.  But in spite of that, they showed a super-abundance of wealthy liberality in their giving.

To me, the above two paragraphs are the definition of miraculous.  There is absolutely no way that Paul’s statements could be true apart from the intervention of an all-powerful God.

That’s the grace of giving at work.  I don’t know about you, but I want to experience this in my life.

Over the next series of posts, we’ll be looking at the principles that the apostle talks about.  So if you don’t already subscribe to this blog, you may want to so you won’t miss an installment.

Question: What is your present view on Christian giving?

© 2020 Nick Zaccardi

 

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