Giving Back to God
There are all kinds of people in this world, but there are two words that sum up pretty much every single person: Givers and Takers. I think if we put enough though about everything we did and everything we have, we could all be grouped into these two categories. All of us at some point in time have been on the receiving and giving end of something. Most of us love to take. We enjoy being takers. Some of us embrace the gift of giving and sharing but someone has to do it otherwise the rest of us that love to receive and take are just going to walk away empty handed and how awful would that be that our world would just come crashing down. The point is that there are always going to be those people whose constant desire is to take, take and take more and those whose selflessness, love and constant care are evident through their giving. There is a time to take and a time to give. The point of this article is to stress the importance of giving and specifically about giving back to God, who is the ultimate example of giving and from whom we receive all things. Allow me to share with you five things about giving, five things that can help to encourage us and strengthen us about being givers:
1. Giving is An Act of Worship
Worship may be described as an expression of awe, devotion, and love — from man, the creature, to his Creator. One aspect of this reverential disposition can entail the presentation of gifts. First, though, this point must be made: Almighty God, being entirely self-sufficient, requires no gift from frail humanity to sustain him in any way. He is not “served by men’s hands, as though He needed anything” (Acts 17:25). His desire is that we, in free-will, choose to give back to Him with a spirit of generosity and love even as He has given us all things. We must also note that the presentation of gifts to God is considered by Him as worship. Take for example the OT sacrificial system or when the wise men brought gifts to Jesus when He was born (Matt. 2:11-12). These biblical examples demonstrate to us that giving to God, whether it is commanded or even voluntary is considered an act of worship to Him.
2. Giving Reflects the Kind of Heart We Have
One of the most important characteristics of our giving is the kind of heart we have in giving. I don’t know what’s in your heart right now, and I don’t know what you’re thinking. But our actions speak great truths about what’s really inside of us (Matt. 15:11) and that includes giving. In 2 Cor. 9:7, Paul discusses the right attitude of giving. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”We shouldn’t feel compelled to give as if though God is “robbing” us of our wages our holding a grudge against the church because they are extorting money out of us. No! The moment we start thinking that way is the moment our giving fails to fall in line with true, whole worship to God and your heart is anywhere but in the right place. The Lord estimates giving by our motive and our means. This is a great encouragement to those who have few material possessions, but a great desire to give to Him. What matters in God’s sight is not what a person has but the devotion which causes one to give even at great personal cost.
3. Giving Demonstrates our Priorities
Giving requires much thought. God doesn't want your giving to be hasty, thoughtless or impulsive. He wants you to think about what you are giving. He wants you to think about Him! And He must be your number one!
The way people spend their time and money reveals what is really important to them. It's one thing to claim we love God, but the Bible says our giving "tests the sincerity of our love"(2 Corinthians 8:8). The Macedonians were perfect examples of Christians who had their priorities in check (2 Cor. 8:1-5).
4. Giving Expresses Gratitude to God
Look at it this way: Giving is an opportunity to thank God and express our deepest gratitude for all that He has done for us. We will never be able to repay Him, for we owe him an unpayable debt. But for what He has done, for all that He has done, at the very least, we can thank Him. Giving is taking advantage of God giving us an opportunity to thank Him.
Even in all His mercy and love and grace He never stops giving. Do we have the same spirit as our Lord? So, receive that opportunity He has given you and thank Him. Express your gratitude. Show Him how much He means to you and how much everything you have means to you. And realize that without God we would not exist and we would be nothing.
5. Giving is done for a Noble Cause
Your giving is the reason poor people on the other side of this world that can’t afford a bible have one. Your giving is the reason preachers are able to go out and proclaim the gospel to the lost and encourage those that are weak. Your giving goes to much needed efforts in God’s Kingdom and to much needed brethren in the Kingdom.
The work of the Lord, benevolence (help for needy saints) and the edification of the saints are noble causes that your giving produces. Somewhere across the world, there may be family that has come to know God because of what we give. Some congregation a couple states away from here may have some visitors because of your efforts in supporting a preacher to bring those visitors to a service (1 Cor. 9:14). Whatever the reason may be, I hope you have seen that giving is vital to God and it is essential to our relationship with Him. May we always seek to be givers like our Lord.