As a community we can and should be pleased. When a need is identified, we come together, rise to the occasion and overcome. When I think about this, it makes our lesson this week all the more understandable, after all we are a part of this community. This week’s lesson dealt with the topic of giving, not from the vantage point that we need to give more, but rather in commendation for how giving we have been. A study of scriptures shows several themes having prominence, with giving high on the list. With that being said let’s look some principles found in scripture to guide us with regard to giving.
First, let us first give of ourselves. Jesus calls for those who would follow Him to deny themselves (Luke 9:23), to seek the good of others. This is how Paul describes the Macedonian churches when speaking of them to the church at Corinth. Paul said, “…but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.” (2 Cor 8:5) We are also called to give of our means, a means that are blessings of God (Deut 16:17). God has never asked more of us than we have or what we can do, and we would do very well, indeed, if we could only understand this (Lev 5:7). This can only happen when we appreciate how giving God really is. Every good and perfect gift is from Him (James 1:17) and when He gives, it is with a generosity beyond ours (James 1:5). We cannot even compare to God in His giving, as declared by Jesus in Matthew chapter 7, verses 9-11. This becomes a stronger message when we remember that God gave His only begotten Son (John 3:16). This is how Paul wrote it to the church at Rome (8:32), “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?”
Let us continue to embrace the giving nature of God within us, and the Lord’s work will always be foremost in our live and accomplished in a world that needs to hear the message of His sacrifice, His love and His saving grace.
Copyright © 2009, Nolan P. Rutter