Giving and Serving
As we come to giving I have observed for over 60years that the subject of giving has been an issue that has divided church people. I believe that there are three basic types of people who give, firstly, those who believe because they have a free – will they only give what they feel like. Secondly, there are those people who know what the bible teaches but give begrudgingly (I was one of those people for many years). Thirdly those who understand that God is the source of their provision, not themselves, and it is with joy give as they acknowledge God’s provision in their life. I do not want to comment on the three types of people but look at a few scriptures that encourage us to give God’s way. Some people say that tithing is part of the law so they do not have to tithe. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 NLT“Don’t misunderstand why I have come, I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the Prophets, No, I came to fulfil them”. This means the way that I live as a Christian will not contradict the principles of the law of Moses. Proverbs 3:9 says: “Honour the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of your increase”. Proverbs 11:24-25 says: “There is one who scatters, yet increases more, and there is one who withholds more than which is right, but leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself”. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says: “But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. Luke 6:38 says: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Finally Paul says in Acts 20:35b “And remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive”. Before I talk about serving there is one very important question that should be addressed – How often should we attend church? Unfortunately, this is a question that should never come to our minds. When you are in love you want to spend as much time as you can with the person you love. The same goes for being in church so that we can honour the one that we love, there should not be things that cannot be rearranged so that we miss out on being with the person we love so much and enjoying being with other people who encourage us. As we come to serving we must recognize that we do not serve to please the Lord but because He is in us. Ephesians 2:8-9 Says “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast”. Matthew 20:28 says: “Just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give His life a ransom for many”. Psalm 100:2 says “Serve the Lord with gladness, come before His presence with singing”. We read in Acts6: 1-7 when the early church chose people to serve they chose people full of the Holy Spirit, this highlights the spiritual aspect of serving. Colossians 3:23-24 says: “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ”. It is such a blessing to serve one another and help the church function for the benefit of others.