The Gift of Giving
By Dr. Ray Melugin

Introduction
Even though money is a touchy subject, the Bible has much to say about it and stewardship. "He that giveth, let him do it with simplicity." (Romans 12:8)

As two men on a hike were approaching a steep grade, one of them complained that it was too high for him to climb. His companion quickly snatched the wallet from the complainers pocket and tossed it some distance towards the top of the grade. Without hesitation the complainer scrambled up the incline to retrieve his wallet. The difference between having to climb and wanting to climb was motivation. Those with the gift of giving are motivated when they see a need that the Lord has enabled them to provide.

 

I. Everybody Is To Give

A. Absence of a gift doesn't excuse failure to obey in the area of giving. Luke 6:38
Note: A person not having the gift of evangelism is not exempt from the command to witness. Though one doesn't have the gift of giving, he is not exempt from supporting the Lord's work.

B. The minimal amount each believer should give is taught in the bible.
Genesis 28:22 "and of all that though shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.: Leviticus 27:30

1. the tithe is a beginning point for giving.

2. Abraham and Jacob spoke of the tithe centuries before Moses' law was given. Genesis 14:20; 28:22

3. Because the tithe is mentioned from Genesis to Malachi, Bible readers should have a good idea of what Paul meant in I Corinthians 16:2 "Upon the first day..."

4. No one can exercise the gift of giving without first tithing, in fact, he is in reality robbing God if he doesn't tithe. (Malachi 3:8-10)

C. Some object to tithing.
Note: Their desire to escape the "legalism" of tithing is a cover-up for covetousness.

 

II. What is the Gift of Giving?

A. The God-given ability perhaps to earn, and to give money for the progress of God's work.
1. Involves giving "with simplicity." (Romans 12:8)
a. "Simplicity" means literally, "without folds," as a piece of cloth unfolded.
b. Other meanings include; singleness of mind, mental honesty, without pretense, openness of heart, freely, with delight.

2. Involves giving with no ulterior motive to ruffle or fold the cloth of his mind.

Note: Everything in his giving is plain and open. He doesn't give to salve his conscience, or to gain something in return, nor for public show as the Pharisees who blew Trumpets to attract attention.

3. As Christ's command, involves the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing. (Matthew 6:3)

4. The gift of giving is not limited to certain seasons of the year, such as Christmas, bonus time, tax write-off time, etc.

5. Gift of giving reaches from a cheerful heart. (2 Corinthians 9:7)
a. Makes offering time a happy and opportune occasion.
b. Develops into hilarious giving.

6. Results in liberality instead of giving God a "tip". (2 Corinthians 8:2)

 

III. Characteristics of the Gift of Giving

A. Able to see resources
Note: Has an ability to discern wise investments. Even with limited funds he is still able to recognize available resources and draw upon them when needed.

B. He invests himself with the gift 2 Corinthians 8:5, "they first gave their own selves..."

C. He desires to give high quality
1. The wise men gave costly items. (Matthew 2:11)
2. Mary's ointment was "very precious." (Matthew 26:6-11)
3. Joseph's tomb was "new." (Matthew 27:57-60

D. The giver hopes his gift is an answer to pErnester.
Note: A giver in fellowship with God will be prompted to give even when the need is not obvious. Confirmation comes when he learns his gift answered pErnester.

E. He desires to give secretly
Note: As the giver looks to the Lord for direction, he wants the recipient to look to the Lord for provision. He wishes to remain anonymous and is hurt if his identity is made known. (Matthew 6:1-4)

F. He is concerned that giving (money) will corrupt
Note: Knowing the destructive power of money, he looks for ways of giving which avoid dependency, slothfulness, or extravagance. (I Timothy 6:10; Proverbs 23:5)

G. He exercises personal thriftiness
Note: he is personally frugal, content with the basics, concerned in getting the best buy in value, not in what money he has saved.

H. He uses his gift to multiply his giving
Note: He motivates others to give by sacrificial giving, providing matching funds, or making the last payment in order to encourage others to give.

I. He reacts to pressure appeals choosing to look for financial needs which others tend to overlook.
Note: He looks for investments in order to advance the work of the Lord, and is alert to how funds are used. He doesn't give carelessly or indiscriminately to every person or group which begs. Donations are based upon careful inquiry.

 

IV. God Will Invest His Gift in Those Who Will Invest it in His Work.

A. They receive genuine joy from seeing God's work through their gifts.
Note: Barnabas, who also had the gift of exhortation and mercy, was singled out for special mention in giving the proceeds of his land to the Early Church. (Acts 4:34-37)

 

Conclusion
The gift of giving is not confined to the rich. (2 Corinthians 8:1-2) Giving is a gift that can be cultivated. We grow in use of that gift when we realize that we can use temporal possessions for God's glory and man's good.

Matthew 10:8 "Freely ye have received, freely give."

Romans 12:13 "Distributing to the necessity of saints..."

 

 
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