The importance of giving
Giving is a major responsibility we are asked to undertake to help us mature into full adult sonship. In giving we are following Jesus’ example, who gave all that He had so we might enter into full fellowship with God (Philippians 2:5-10). Adopt a lifestyle of giving and you will find greater levels of maturity coming to you (Luke 14:33; 18:18-22). Through our wilderness journey God taught us these simple guidelines for giving so we could understand what is important to Him.
Please remember that money is only all a small but important part of what you possess. Even if you have little or no money, you will still have possessions, life experience, skills and spiritual truth all of which can be offered to others as a sacrifice to God (Romans 12:1-2). God looks at all that you have and what you give and judges accordingly. Keep this in mind, as well as these simple guidelines, to help guide you as you learn to give as God does.
Guidelines for giving
Paying your taxes will help teach you how to be responsible as a member of the society you live in.
Psalm 37:21, Matthew 18:23-34.
Indebtedness is a form of slavery that can and will keep you from financial and spiritual freedom. Paying your debts will help teach you how to be responsible with the money that you have and remove the bondage of financial slavery from your neck. Maturing in this area will help you understand one of the many ways satan tries to enslave people (Proverbs 22:7).
1 Timothy 5:8.
Taking responsibility for the welfare of your family is essential for spiritual growth and maturity. If you are faithful in this area God can and will entrust you with caring for His sheep.
Luke 21:1-4, Acts 3:6, Malachi 1:13-14, Luke 16:12.
Giving out of what you have and not what don’t have will keep you from debt and the enslavement that comes with debt.
Using wisdom when giving will mature you in relying on God’s direction and strengthen your confidence in Him. As you learn and mature your giving will become pure and God can and will reward you with greater responsibility.
Talk to Jesus first about where He wants you to give (1 Corinthians 2:4-5, Colossians 2:2-4).
Emotional manipulation and persuasive arguments (both subtle and overt) are often used by fundraising organizations especially in religion but they are also practiced by individuals. These tactics, however, are witchcraft because they seek to violate and override the free will of the individual. By learning to wait on Jesus for direction in your giving, your trust in Him will grow and mature and you will have learned to exercise your free will by saying ‘No’ to the witchcraft used by others. Be especially careful and watchful for the spirit of poverty in a person or organization. The spirit of poverty feels it never has enough whether the person is rich or poor. It will suck your resources dry without a second thought so be very wise in where you give and follow the leading of God. Learn to recognize the telltale signs and code words of the spirit of poverty and avoid it.
Giving to the widow, the orphan, the stranger (Deuteronomy 10:17-19; 24:17-22; 27:19, Psalm 146:9, Zechariah 7:9-10, Malachi 3:5, Hebrews 13:2) and the Levite (Numbers 18:25-32) directly will mature you in your relationships with others. By taking responsibility for your giving and by giving directly to people you will mature in humility and how to show love (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) without an intermediary. This will also require you to grow in the exercise of your free will and having to face others that are different from you. Also in giving directly to people you will be blessed directly through many ways as you may never know what spiritual return you will receive. If you give to organizations and organized religion you may not be blessed as these may have unholy altars (Exodus 20:25, Leviticus 10:10, Isaiah 57:6, Hebrews 5:13-14), however the organic church can collectively give to others if the church is in full agreement as to where the resources should be given. The blessing of God will come to the whole church is cases like these.
Matthew 6:1-21, Luke 14:12-14.
When a person gives in such a way as others can see them and praise them for their giving they have received their reward in full and God will not add to it. This denies the person who gives the full blessing that God desires to give them. By giving in secret, anonymously with only God watching, God alone is your reward and He is then free to give you what He wants. This action undermines fear and builds faith as you learn to trust in God for the continued blessing that comes from a life of giving. Abraham’s fears in dealing with the king of Sodom in Genesis 14:18-15:1, King Amaziah’s fear over money in 2 Chronicles 25:9 and Hebrews 13:5 illustrate that God can easily provide for us what we need.
1 Chronicles 29:9, Psalm 112:9, Proverbs 11:24-25, Luke 14:33. 2 Corinthians 8:9, 9:6 .
Fear is a major opponent to the life of faith in God and overcoming that fear is the main reason we want to mature in giving. When we give freely and generously we are facing and overcoming our fear of lack and building faith in our God that He will provide for our every need. The more generous you become the more you are becoming like Jesus. Keep in mind that generosity also needs to be tied to wisdom and love so that you mature in giving and are not used by unscrupulous people and those with the spirit of poverty.
Exodus 36:3-6. 2 Corinthians 9:7.
Being a cheerful giver and not giving in a begrudging manner deals with our inner attitude towards our possessions. To mature in giving means that our possessions no longer possess us but God begins to possess us. When you can give cheerfully, with gladness, the process of letting go of your possessions internally has begun and will mature over time.
In Leviticus 3:16-17 God allowed the people to celebrate with their offerings (Nehemiah 8:8-12). The feast is to be a rest from giving where God gives back to you what you have already offered.
Giving all the time can be a burden as Jesus said, ‘The poor you will have with you always…’ (Matthew 26:11). God ordained a special time where our gifts were to be spent on ourselves as a gift from God directly to us. As you mature and are responsible in your giving this periodic rest from giving will help you learn to mature in receiving as well.
We hope that as you mature in your relationship with God He will guide you in your giving. These guidelines for giving are not comprehensive and only to guide. As you follow Jesus He will give you specific directions where to give. May Jesus create in you a generous heart much like His own.
Homer and Wanda