Written by Nicasius Kamani

Series: GIVING TO THE WORK OF CHRIST

Topic:                    GIVING—THE INDESCRIBABLE GIFT

Main Text:          2 CORINTHIANS 9:6—15

Introduction

As Christians it is important to revisit the scriptures and hear from God on what he says regarding this matter of Giving to the Work of Christ. As we will learn, giving is such an indescribable privilege!

In the past, disciples within the East African congregation have used different approaches to meet their obligations of supporting the work of the kingdom of God. We make contributions on a weekly or monthly basis in order to give a tenth of our income and we call this The Regular Contribution. We also make another contribution meant to support our other East African congregations and we call thisThe Missions Contribution. To meet the Missions Contribution goals some people give on a regular basis spread over a period of 12 months; others make a one-time or multiple installment. The amount given works to about 20 times what would be our weekly contribution (or five times what would be our monthly contribution).

I would like to clarify that besides these two forms of contributions to the work of Christ, as disciples, we also end up giving in other forms and/or situations to meet various other needs. These include: 1) Development Support—a contribution to help the church undertake various development projects; 2) Benevolent Support—a contribution that goes to help the less fortunate among us; 3) Outreach Support—a support that goes to help other people in various difficult circumstances outside the kingdom of God and is managed within the family groups or bible talk groups; 4) Other Emergency Support—which takes care of emergency situations and circumstances as we come across them in our daily life touching on our friends and relatives.

An Overview of Our Current Position

Currently 60% of our annual budget is met through our own local contributions. The 40% shortfall comes from external sources, and mainly from the support received from several US congregations. And even with this support, the church is still not able to meet its current annual expenditure goals. It is our aim that the church will be self-sustaining in the near future. But this goal will not be realized until every disciple takes it upon themselves to give faithfully to the work of Christ.

There are several reasons that contribute to this budgetary shortfall. These include the following:

i)        There are several disciples who haven’t known that we need to give back to God in tithes to support the work of His kingdom. If you are one of them, kindly talk to your bible talk leader.

ii)       There are also many of us who know that we need to give, but aren’t able to give regularly. The main cause of irregular giving is a lack of proper planning. Planning is a godly act. Our Father expects us to diligently plan our finances to reap maximum gains.

iii)     There are several of us with different misconceptions regarding giving to the work of the Lord. These misconceptions can easily affect the attitudes of our hearts towards giving. This has made many fail to give to God as he requires of us.

God has graciously created a system that is meant to first benefit every one of us individually, and at the same time sustain His church as it strives to conquer the counterfeit works of Satan. This will only happen when we embrace three things as outlined below:

1) The Heart of Giving

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9: 6—9)

God uses a real life principle that we observe every day in farming. He mentions that a farmer reaps a harvest that is commensurate to the quantities that he sowed to the ground. He concludes by mentioning that the acceptable heart of giving is one that is cheerful. We ought to strive to avoid a heart that is reluctant to give, or one that gives under compulsion. We become cheerful givers when we deeply understand the extent to which our giving, however little, contributes toward the work of advancing the gospel of Christ. Brothers and sisters understand this: every little bit of it counts!

2) The Immediate Blessings of Giving

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.” (2 Corinthians 9: 9—10)

As soon as our hearts are in the right state of giving—having the cheerfulness that impresses God—God prescribes a blessing as seen in verse 9 above. He promises that his grace would abound (or thrive and flourish) in us at all times, having all that we need in order that we may abound (or thrive and flourish) in every good work. I simply see some ripe fruits that are ready to be harvested. This promise, if true in us, basically covers everything that anyone would require in life and from God. What else could best describe God’s blessing better than this scripture? Such a person is fully sustained by the Almighty God. This is the spiritual state that we all ought to desire and pursue.

God gives us a hint of where He has hidden his gifts—He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor. And so, to harvest these gifts, we have to go out there, where they are scattered. There are countless people who are spiritually poor and our giving to the work of Christ, give us a legitimate opportunity to touch their lives in a very special way. Similarly, we always get an opportunity to touch the lives of those who are materially poor whenever we give to the benevolent kitty. It is all these seemingly unnoticed acts of giving that enable us to harvest God’s gifts that are scattered out to the poor! Don’t miss out on this privilege that is available to God’s children.

3) The Eternal Blessings of Giving

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9: 10—11)

This is one of those passages that simply blow my mind. In it is hidden the secret of how God sustains those who sow their seeds cheerfully. He does that by doing three things:

i)        He supplies the seeds to the sower so that we may have enough of seeds to sow. Contrary to what you and I may be thinking right now, all the seeds come from God. Our intelligence, our rich backgrounds, our hard work, and our good jobs cannot supply seeds apart from God. And the purpose of these seeds is one: to sow them so that they may in days to come yield a harvest according to the wishes and plan of God.

These seeds, in other scriptures, refer to the portion that we are supposed to ‘return back’ to God in tithes and offerings—as provided under our Regular and Missions Contributions.

Remember that high quality seeds yield a very high crop to a farmer, which can even be a thousand orten thousand fold. Low quality seeds yield low harvest and in many instances, the crop will not yield any harvest as it is likely not to withstand the limitations and excesses of harsh weather conditions. In the eyes of God, a good seed is one that is sowed cheerfully—it is a cheerful giver! This cheerful attitude can only arise when we have a healthy view of where our tithes and other contributions go to. Then our seed will produce a thousand or ten thousand fold worth of harvest—most of which is stored by our heavenly Dad in our eternal mansions.

ii)       He also supplies the bread for food. This is the component that is meant for our own enjoyment and sustenance. It is also supplied by God Almighty—it is not the work and diligence of our hands as we love imagining. In a physical sense, God sustains his children in ways that are way beyond our understanding. If we were allowed the liberty to sustain our lives as God does it, we would be dead in a very short while. God supplies the bread for food!

iii)     He enlarges the harvest of our righteousness. This is the ultimate goal of God: to make sure that this whole exercise culminates in us reaping a huge harvest of righteousness. He transforms the perishable stuff that passes through our hands (called money on earth) to yield an imperishable stuff (called righteousness in heaven). He transforms it into something that has eternal importance. After the devastating weather conditions have come and gone, the harvest of righteousness still remains, credited to our accounts. After we’ve been here and long gone to be in heaven, the harvest of righteousness still remains with us beyond the yonder. And after the thieves and moths have had their fill, the harvest of righteousness still remains.

iv)     In order that all glory and honor and praise be His. God does enlarge our harvest of righteousness so that every part of his creation may resonate as it gives thanks to Him. As it is written, ‘You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.’

And so I ask: How have you been sowing your seeds? Cheerfully or grudgingly? Have you granted permission to the One who supplies your seeds and bread for food control over your seeds—and specifically the tithe? Or have you been consuming your seeds and turning them to be bread for food? (Many Christians have done this—they have used their tithes for personal gratification—to their loss). No wonder their store of seeds has diminished and their harvest of righteousness remained dim? And assuredly, God has not received much glory from the works of their hands!

 

CHALLENGE TO ALL OF US

1)      If you have not been giving your Regular Contribution and the Missions Contribution, I urge you to start doing so. Ensure that every member of your bible talk enjoys this privilege that God has extended to all of us. It’s a pity to let this indescribable gift (Verse 15) pass you and your friends.

2)      If your giving has been irregular, I encourage you to plan in a better way so that you either make your contributions on a monthly or weekly basis. Other ways will most likely make you default in payment. (There are numerous needs competing for the limited resources that we earn!)

3)      If you have harbored various misconceptions towards giving, and perhaps you have entertained evil thoughts regarding the usage of God’s money, I also encourage you to understand that the benefits (or gifts) of giving are usually credited to your account—not someone else’s. And it is also fair and fitting to mention that God can run his kingdom without our grudgingly-given contributions. But again, He would rather that we harvested from His bounties of righteousness.

4)      Let us all make a vow to God, that we will never rob Him of his seeds. And all glory and honor be to His name and that of Jesus, our Lord and Saviour. Amen!

CategoryInspirations
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