This morning we continue our series entitled, “The Power of Fellowship.” For the last few days we have been looking at Acts 20:35, where the Apostle Paul quoted Jesus. Paul tells us that Jesus said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Another translation reads, “You will have a greater blessing when you give than when you receive.” In yesterday’s message I shared 3 reasons why it is better to give than to receive, within the context of this series. Today I will 3 more.
So what does this mean to you today? Here are a few reasons why there is a special blessing associated with giving.
1. Giving is an act of submission to God’s Lordship over your life.
I like to say that either God is Lord OF all or He is not Lord AT all. If He is our Lord, then it means He is in charge. He is on the throne. We submit to what He says and we comply with His commands. Every act of obedience on our part recognizes that there is a higher authority in our lives, that there is a Lord over us who is entitled to honor and respect. Our Lord is a giving God. His heart is in His giving. He freely gave and He commands us to do the same. He pursued us, even when we did not pursue Him. Now He requires the same of us towards others.
When we give and we go out of our way to BE a blessing to others, we are acknowledging God’s Lordship and we are complying with His ways. This is especially relevant when it comes to money. People get funny when you talk about money. Without question, your money is connected to your heart. If you want to see what you truly value, just look at your checkbook. You cannot tell me that God is your Lord, if I cannot SEE HIM in your spending. You spend money on whatever you value. If you value God, it will be seen in your spending. If God is truly your Lord, then you will invest in His Kingdom and spend money on things that advance His agenda. And as it related to fellowship, when you give towards church activities, ministry projects, Missions funds, and even directly to the poor, it helps foster an attitude of fellowship towards others. Because you naturally want to be a part of what you invest in. So my question for you is: can God be SEEN in your checkbook? Is God’s agenda evident in Your spending? If not, you may have to question whether or not He is truly your LORD.
2. Giving puts God’s heart on display through heart.
The Bible tells us that God is THE giver of every good and perfect gift (James 1:17). We are called to represent Him on this planet. Since He is a giver, we are supposed to be givers. When people look at us they should see a mini-picture of God’s infinitely large heart. The larger our hearts (and the wider our hands), the larger the picture we paint of God’s character. Simply put, the way you spend your time and money should be a reflection of the heart of God. When people look at you, they should see HIM!
3. Giving helps advance God’s Kingdom.
Whether you know it or not, you invest in companies you believe in. You may own stock/shares, or you may simply purchase their products. You may be an Apple person or have a series of Samsung products. You may enjoy the service of Verizon or Comcast at home. Many of us have a steady stream of Amazon boxes showing up on our doorsteps. Whatever the case, you are contributing to the advancement (either by investment or in your spending) of many companies. In a small way, you may have helped a company grow from a garage operation into a global empire. If you believe in the company and their mission, you should be happy about that. But think for a moment about God’s agenda. He has a Kingdom. His desire is for the kingdoms of this word to become part of His Kingdom. He wants to affect (with effects and influence), the systems of this world (education, finance, media, entertainment, technology, etc.) and the people operating within those systems. When we fund the mission of Christ’s church, we are investing in God’s agenda and advancing His Kingdom. When we pay for the salary of a missionary, or help build a Christian school in an area that needs the Gospel, or provide a meal for those you are struggling, we are investing in the spiritual realm. Your financial advisor may not be happy about your giving, but God is. And God can cause you to increase supernaturally, so you are in position to give more.
Simply put, if you prove to God that you can be trusted to be a conduit for Kingdom investment, meaning that money can come TO YOU because it is going to flow THROUGH YOU, then there is no limit to the resources God will place in your hands. But unfortunately I meet people all the time you want God to bless their business or increase their income for selfish reasons alone. If you have a business and you NEVER give anything from your business to advance God’s Kingdom, then God is not part of the financial aspects of your business. What motivation does God have to increase your financial statement? If you are working a job and you are asking God for advancement, because you want more money, but you don’t give any of it away — you are not a tither, you do not give offerings and you do not fund any ministry projects — then what motivation does God have to help promote you? He is not part of your financial vision, so why should you be part of His? But when you determine to invest in God’s Kingdom and advance His agenda, by funding His projects, God knows He can partner with you and you will be amazed at what He does through your finances. If you are willing, He is able!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I declare openly and boldly that You are my Lord. You are the Lord of every aspect of my life. This includes my finances. You are free to bless me financially, because I am partnered with You to advance Your Kingdom agenda on this planet. I am a tither. I give to the ministries and charities You direct me to invest in. I fund Kingdom projects all over the world. I am a conduit of Kingdom finance and my heart is in my giving. Living this way, I will never lack a thing. I have no fear of running OUT. I have faith in running OVER! I declare this by faith! In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!