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Revelation 13 to 15
So many Christians struggle with giving.
Even though Jesus was really clear about the power that was in giving, we often hang on to what is ours.
Luke 6:38 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." NIV
Prov 11:24 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. NIV
Poverty is clearly the outcome of keeping everything for ourselves. Giving isn't all about money - but money is part of it. In the early church they didn't struggle with putting 'something in the offering' and they didn't even fight over whether they should tithe – because they often gave it all. They certainly gave until it hurt!
Acts 4:34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need. NIV
God gave all He had so that He might win a people for himself – the church.
The problem we have in the church with giving is not whether the tithe should be gross or net, but our attitude about holding anything back for ourselves.
If we truly believed the scripture that says "give and it will be given to you", we would be like Barnabas in Acts 4 and give it all away. So often we like the status that money gives us – new clothes - a new car – a bigger house – a foreign holiday.
In God's eyes we are doing the work He called us to when we give all. He set us an example and we should follow it.
If we love God and also one another, we will give won't we?
It is time that we shoved our silly arguments about how much we should give and started enjoying the ministry of giving.
2 Cor 8:7 But just as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us-see that you also excel in this grace of giving . NIV
Rom 12:6 If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. 7 If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching , let him teach; 8 if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. NIV
It is time we woke up and thought "who can I bless today?" and did something about it by giving of our substance that they might be blessed.