Are you a giver? Are you the kind of person who loves to give to others? I love to give. I love to give to others whether it’s a birthday present to a friend or family member or clothing to the needy families in Africa. I find when I am blessing others, I get blessed in return.
When I traveled to Ghana this past fall, we collected all kinds of things to take to the people there. We took tooth brushes, clothing, toiletries and cash (which was the most exciting to give away). We would evaluate the needs in the villages we visited and give as we felt led by the Lord. It was a wonderful experience. We always said “The Lord told us to bring this to you” because we wanted them to know whatever we gave wasn’t ours or from us. It came from God and it was His to give.
As believers we grasp that concept in the mission field, especially when we are giving away something we don’t perceive as ours, but what happens at home? What happens when we’re asked or even commanded by God to give what we perceive to be ours?
In Deuteronomy 15:12-18 we read about the Israelites freeing slaves. God commands them to give liberally as they release the slave. In verse 14 He states “Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you.” If you keep reading, Deuteronomy 16 tells of the celebration of the Passover. The Israelites gathered to celebrate and brought offerings to the Lord. They were commanded not to appear before the Lord empty-handed. Verse 17 says “Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the LORD your God has blessed you.” God loves a cheerful giver [2 Corinthians 9:7]. He never wants us to give out of obligation, but out of desire to serve Him and others.
In Acts 2:45 we read about how the people in the church took care of each other. If someone was in need, they gave, even if they had to sell their own things to provide the money.
We are all tremendously blessed by God in this country. Even those who live on little here are rich compared to the rest of the world. As the church body, we are called to take care of others. Throughout Scripture we’re called to care for the widows and the orphans. We’re told to love our neighbors as ourselves [Galatians 5:14].
So how are we doing in the area of giving? When we see a need, do we open our wallets and freely give or do we wait until we take care of our needs and wants then give out of what is left over?
Matthew 10:8 tells us we’ve received freely and freely we are to give. You may say, “Susan, I’m on a fixed income or I can’t pay my bills now.” I understand hard times; however, we can all be creative. If you don’t have money to give to others, then give of your time when it’s needed or take inventory of your house. If you’re like me, you have far more than you need. Follow the lead of the Acts 2 church and sell some of what you have on eBay or at a yard sale to generate income to help others. I promise, whatever you give away you’ll receive it back and more in blessings. You simply can’t out give God. If we could ever come to a place of realizing it isn’t ours anyway, we’ll give more freely. Everything we have belongs to God, EVERYTHING. He has instructed us to be givers. The people of God are called to be people with open hands and open hearts. Are you there yet? If not, why not start moving that direction today?