The Heart of a Giver
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Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.—Luke 6:381
Biblical stewardship provides help for the less fortunate. The Bible states, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”2
Giving does not end with tithing. God asks that the giving heart be extended to those who need it most—widows, orphans, and the poor. As a Christian, one must reach out to those in need, sharing the blessings one has received from God. Even after understanding that money does not satisfy, a Christian may find it difficult to let go of more money by giving to those in need. However, the Bible promises, “A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.”3 The generous person—the one with the heart of a giver—finds blessings in giving.—From www.allaboutgod.com4
Understanding God’s generous nature as the owner of all things guides us in our attitude toward giving. As the children of such a generous Father, we should want to follow His example. Knowing that we are stewards of God’s possessions and that He wants us to be generous with what He has put into our care should help us develop the attitude of cheerful and generous giving, both when giving to the Lord through our tithes and offerings as well as when giving to others.
When we give of our finances to the Lord and others, we give honor to God. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.5
When the apostle Paul wrote about the gifts the Philippians had given toward the Lord’s work, he likened the giving to an act of worship. He called the gifts a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.6 He was comparing the gifts given to God’s work by the believers in Philippi to the sacrifices burnt in the Temple as worship to God.7 The book of Hebrews speaks of sharing what you have as a sacrifice that is pleasing to God. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.8
Giving is an act of worshipping God.—Peter Amsterdam
Jesus promised a hundredfold to those who give all. One hundred times as much back “now, in this life, and in the world to come eternal life.”9 It may not all be in dollars and cents; it may be in fruitfulness of service or in protection or in safekeeping from accidents or sicknesses. God can save you money in more ways than one, and you can’t count His blessings in purely financial terms.
So remember the little widow’s mite.10 You can even cast in all your living and still not hurt, because God will bless you for it. If your motive is right and your intentions are good and pure, God will bless you for giving and honor and prosper you for it. He’ll always more than repay.
“Whatever you spend,” He says, “I will repay.”11 That’s what the Lord said in the wonderful story about the Good Samaritan and the poor man who got beat up along the road by thieves. The Good Samaritan picked him up and took him to the inn and told the innkeeper, “Whatever you spend, I will repay you.” The Good Samaritan is like the Lord, and the innkeeper is like His steward, like you or me. Whatever we spend to rescue people and their souls, He will more than repay.—David Brandt Berg
Give what you have. To someone, it may be better than you dare to think.—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Blaise Pascal was an influential French scientist who lived in the 1600s. He completed important works on mathematics and experimental physics. Pascal was also a devoted Christian. He wrote books on grace and the life of Christ, as well as other Christian works.
Through all this Pascal realized that his faith, though intensely personal, could not be merely individualistic.
His love for God drove him to love for the poor. “I love poverty,” he said, “because he (Christ) loved it. I like wealth because it gives a means to assist the needy.” Increasingly Pascal deprived himself so that he could give more. He sold his coach and horses, his fine furniture and silverware and even his library in order to give to the poor. When he received an advance of 1,000 francs for his bus [a horse-drawn carriage that could carry several passengers],12 he sent the money to the poor in Blois, who had suffered from a bitter winter. He then signed over his interest in the company to the hospitals of Paris and Clermont.
When Pascal died at the age of 39 on August 19, 1662, his funeral was attended by family, friends, scientific colleagues, worldly companions, converts, writers, and the back of the church was filled with the poor, each and every person there someone Pascal had helped during his life.—Charles Hummel13
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.—Author unknown
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
—Attributed to John Wesley
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.—2 Corinthians 9:714
Published on Anchor July 2018. Read by Simon Peterson. Music by John Listen.
2 James 1:27 NIV.
3 Proverbs 22:9.
5 Proverbs 3:9 ESV.
6 Philippians 4:18.
7 Donald S. Whitney, Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life (Colorado Springs: Navpress, 1991), 142.
8 Hebrews 13:16.
9 Mark 10:29–30.
10 Luke 21:1–4.
11 Luke 10:35.
13 http://storiesforpreaching.com/pascal-and-the-poor. Source: reported in Charles Hummel, The Galileo Connection (IVP, 1986).