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Thoughts from the Bible 05-24-17

Blessings in giving

 

I’ve often wondered what it would be like to “time-travel” back to the very early days of the existence of the Lord’s church, soon after the Day of Pentecost. It might do us all a lot of good to live for a day in Jerusalem in the setting of Acts, Chapter Four. Acts 4:32-35 (KJV) “³² And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. ³³ And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. ³⁴ Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, ³⁵ And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.”

From these verses it appears the early Christians had a healthy attitude regarding their earthly possessions. Apparently they understood that what they had really belonged to God in the first place (Acts 4:32b). Thus they viewed what they were blessed to possess from the perspective of a stewardship. When we begin to see ourselves as stewards (caretakers) of that which really belongs to God, we too can put selfishness behind us and truly grow in the grace of giving. We are here to be good stewards of what God already owns. 1 Timothy 6:7, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.”

It’s the will of the Lord that we be a “giving” people. The Apostle Paul is quoted in Acts 20:35, “I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Christians aren’t just commanded to give in order to reach goals or to meet a budget. In Second Corinthians, Chapters 8 and 9 Paul gives us Heaven’s perspective on giving out of a willing spirit and a cheerful heart. It’s considered to be a “grace,” and a means of proving “the sincerity of your love” (2 Cor. 8:6-8).

When Christians develop this grace, budgets will in fact be met. More importantly, the needy will be cared for. The Gospel will be preached throughout the world. God will be glorified. Christians will begin to see that it is indeed “More blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). God’s shovel is so much bigger than ours. No matter how much we give, God exceeds our gifts with blessings from Heaven. Read carefully 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NKJV) “⁶ But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. ⁷ So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. ⁸And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”

 


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