Last week I began a new series on Creative Giving and covered Part 1 of “Why do we give?” In this series I really want to challenge you to think differently about giving. Everything we have accumulated over the course of our lives can be used strategically for a positive impact now and after we’re gone.
THE WHY, PART 2…
Jesus said it is more blessed to give than receive. The Bible clearly states that everything on this earth belongs to God, see Psalm 24:1. It is God that gives us the ability to make wealth, see Deuteronomy 8:18.
Last week I started with some thought provoking questions such as: Why are we here, Do you want to be thought of as a giver or a taker, Why is the Dead Sea dead?
That last question about the Dead Sea has so much to do with why we give. The Dead Sea is dead because all it ever does is “take in” water without giving any out, failing to refresh and rejuvenate itself. This week, my wife and I are in the mountains of Colorado for our annual summer trip where we always do a lot of hiking. Just yesterday when we came upon a large pond. All the life giving water that had flowed into it had nowhere to go so it had become stagnant, murky, with no fish and it smelled awful!
Today just the opposite happened as we came upon another pond where the water was crystal clear and fish were thriving. Why? Because the water that flowed into this pond was also flowing out of it to supply a beautiful stream with the water it needed. What a great example God gave us in nature. Our lives can be much the same way. If all we ever do is “take in” without giving, we become spiritually dead like the Dead Sea or the stagnant pond. But when we allow God’s blessings to flow through us into others, we become like a beautiful pond that allows the water to flow through it into a beautiful stream.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
Comes from God, belongs to God, honors God, and is always used and distributed wisely. Managing wealth Biblically means providing for those that God has entrusted to us, such as supporting the church, spreading the gospel, sending out and supporting missionaries, providing for God’s family, feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, sheltering the homeless, healing the sick, educating the helpless, protecting the innocent and providing for widows.
It is hard to be selfish when you’re giving for the right reasons.
“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”
Next week we will start to discuss “The How” to give beyond just the cash in your bank account