Friday, November 29, 2013

Balancing Giving and Receiving





Giving To GOD

“Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first fruits of all your increase”-
Proverbs 3:9

God does not ‘need’ our money to get His work done.  He is sovereign and could do it without our help.  Yet He has arranged it so that His work often depends on our generosity.

At least two things happen when we give.  First, when we give with the right attitude, God reminds us that what we have isn't really ours. He gave us everything we have, and it actually belongs to Him.  King David prayed, “All things come from You, and of Your own we have given You” (I Chronicles 29:14).  We need to learn that truth.

Second, when we give, we help meet the needs of others whom God also loves.  By giving to others we testify to God’s love for them, and we point them to the greatest gift of all—God’s gift of His Son for our salvation.

Someone has said that our lives should resemble channels, not reservoirs.  A reservoir stores water; a channel distributes it.  God wants us to be channel of blessing to others,  Are you? –
Billy Graham

Everything we own and everything we have comes from God. So, when we give, we simply offer him a very small portion of all the abundance he has already given to us. Giving is an expression of our thankfulness and praise to God. It comes from a heart of worship that recognizes that everything we give already belongs to him.

Background

God instructed Old Testament believers to give a tithe, or a tenth, because this 10% represented the first, or most important portion of all that they had. The New Testament does not suggest a certain percentage for giving, but simply says for each to give "in keeping with his income."

Believers should give according to their income.

1 Corinthians 16:2

On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. (NIV)
Note that the offering was set aside on the first day of the week. When we are willing to offer the first portion of our wealth back to him, then God knows he has our hearts. He knows—and we also know—that we are submitted completely in trust and obedience to our Lord and Savior.

We are blessed when we give.

Acts 20:35

... remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'(NIV)

God wants us to give because he knows how blessed we will be as we give generously to him and to others. Giving is a kingdom principle—it brings more blessing to the giver than to the recipient.

When we give freely to God, we receive freely from God.

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)

Proverbs 11:24

One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. (NIV)

God promises that we will be blessed over and above what we give and also according to the measure that we use to give. But, if we hold back from giving with a stingy heart, we hinder God from blessing our lives.

If you're not currently giving to the Lord, I challenge you to start by making a commitment. Give something faithfully and regularly. I'm certain God will honor and bless your commitment. If a tenth seems too overwhelming, consider making it a goal. Giving may feel like a huge sacrifice at first, but I'm confident you'll eventually discover its rewards.

God wants believers to be free from the love of money, which the Bible says in 1 Timothy 6:10 is "a root of all kinds of evil." Giving honors the Lord and allows his work to go forward. It also helps build our faith. We may experience times of financial hardship when we can't give as much, but the Lord still wants us to trust Him in times of lack. He, not our paycheck, is our provider. He will meet our daily needs.

John Morton in his article "Balancing Giving and Receiving" sums it up. In order for us to fully understand the meaning of human existence and live in this world, we must have the ability to receive and to give whatever is available from the supply in the world. Which is more important? Which comes first -- the receiving or the giving?

Actually, they're one and the same. We can't have giving without receiving. We can't have receiving without giving. Giving and receiving coexist. They're polarities on the same continuum. One requires the other in order for either to occur.

My view is that the supply for giving and receiving comes from the same divine source. Both are essential and natural. Although giving and receiving can occur simultaneously, they tend to happen in one way and then the other way like a tide that naturally flows and out with variations for the current conditions. Often they occur in cycles. The dynamic of giving and receiving is what's important so there will be a change of flow from giving to receiving and visa versa

In the Bible it says, "He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully" (2 Corinthians 9:6). It is also written in the Bible, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you" (Matthew 6:33). I consider these references as a promise to us all and direction on how to create and manifest into the world. I find it wise to consider that life provides infinite opportunities to better know and understand just how our infinite source has already created the blessings of all in this world. I encourage all of us to embrace each new experience and all the conditions before us as opportunities to contribute to wealth, wisdom and a better life experience for each and everyone of us. We are called upon to participate fully in creating a better world for ourself and everyone. Our infinite source of supply is also an infinite source of wisdom that can solve whatever conditions are before us so health, wealth and happiness can be increased for all.

Blessings,

Raj Kosaraju

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