Grace and peace be unto you.
The journey continues…
“You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake” (Deuteronomy 15:10).
The story is told that the widow of Zarephath gave Elijah a meal from the flour and oil that she had left. In return, God multiplied the flour and oil and they lasted a long time (1 Kings 17:7-16). The apostle Paul informed the Philippians that he received the gifts from Epaphroditus which they had sent. He further said that they were sacrifices pleasing to the Lord and he would meet their spiritual and temporal needs, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4: 18-19).
God is pleased when we give to his servants because we are contributing to the sharing of the gospel. The good news about his love is spreading across the globe and he is being glorified. As a result, he shows his appreciation by rewarding us. The reward may include increased finances, good health, favor with men, miracles, or more wisdom. Scripture says, Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
Some time ago, I saw a picture of a child in poverty and was reminded that poor people need our help. According to the World Bank, about 9.2% of the world, or 689 million people, live in extreme poverty. These people are alive because of the assistance they receive from various organizations around the world. Do you know that God has commanded us to give to the poor? The Bible says, “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore, I command you, You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land” (Deuteronomy 15:11). Thus, you and I have a responsibility to contribute continually to the needs of the poor, “If you love me, keep my commands (John 14:15).
When we give, we must do so with wisdom (James 1:5). Some believers have become disheartened with the idea of giving to the Lord due to unpleasant experiences. For example, they were told to give sacrificially and the Lord would meet a specific need. They obeyed and the need was not met. However, in everything that we do, we must ask the Holy Spirit to guide us, and prepare our heart and mind for the outcome (Psalm 37:5). The Lord keeps his promises, therefore he will reward us every time we give, but it may not be what we anticipate. For instance, he might give us good health rather than increased finances because that is what we need to accomplish our purpose.
God has given us the resources and desire to share with others. When we give, we testify about his lovingkindness. I pray that we will follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and give accordingly.