1. Give to someone who cannot give the same to you in return.
Mark 14:7 “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.”
2. Give secretly.
Matthew 6:1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.”
3. Give anonymously (only in the name of God).
Luke 8:56 “And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.”
4. Give something away you would like to keep for yourself.
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
5. Give cheerfully.
Isaiah 53:10 “Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.”
6. Give a gift that has meaning attached to it.
Matthew 7:11 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
7. Give something away every week.
Romans 2:4 “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”
8. Give to someone you don’t like.
Luke 6:35 “But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil.”
9. Give to the church.
Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,”
10. Give in response to a request.
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.”
Thanks Don for a small reminder of what it means to give, and how we are to do it in a God-honouring way. Leading up to Christmas, I was challenged yesterday in how we are to give. The marks of Christ in our lives must stem from mercy (Rom 12:1). By mercy I mean we receive something we don’t deserve. God’s abundant mercy has been bestowed upon us in the sacrifice of Christ and the resultant free gift of salvation. We will never deserve that incredible gift, which God’s gives it to us freely. It’s something we can never earn but just accept and live a life that is thankful to God and honouring to Him. To present the gift of salvation to others is to embody Christ and be merciful in our dealings with others. To treat them how they don’t deserve. What a challenge! However if we look at how we act, how often are we treated so mercifully as well… very humbling!
Whatever we give MUST all stem from giving praise and worship to God. He must come first. He must be our driving force. To see His truth reign and salvation to those who don’t know Him must be the driving force to our gifts and acts of mercy. Otherwise our perceived acts of generosity and mercy could become a mere social agenda, whereby seeing God’s name glorified and people come into a saving relationship with Him becomes second fiddle. Coming up to Christmas may we not lose sight of who we are to live for, glorify and worship with our lives. May that fuel what we give to others.
Thanks, Stu – but what’s the “however”?