It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving. Giving is a part of God’s plan to make the Christian like Himself. Jesus says in 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.” Someone once said, “It’s not what you’d do with your millions, if millions were your lot; it’s what you’d do with that dollar that you got.”
We are told to be a cheerful giver – 2Cor 9:7. Too often the giver is ‘cheerful’ only because they got away with giving as little as possible. We forget that everything we have came from God and belongs ultimately to Him. We call things ‘ours’ and ‘His’ – 1 Tim 6:7-8. Giving is sometimes called a sacrifice – but how does our ‘sacrifice’ compare to Christ’s?
There are five principles that the rabbis taught about giving:
1) Giving is not to be refused. When a need is seen, one must willingly give to that need. Covetousness is the same as idolatry – Col 3:5
2) Giving must benefit the one to whom it is given. In other words, give what is needed. This is what Jesus taught in Matt 7:9-11.
3) Giving is to be done privately. The world may ask “how much”, but Jesus only asks “why it was given”. Matt 6:2-4
4) The manner of giving must fit the receiver. If one gave to someone who refused to use their own resources first, the gift could be reclaimed from the person’s estate. Giving is never to encourage or support laziness or shiftlessness. On the other hand, if the person was too proud to ask for help, the giver was to go and offer the help themselves.
5) Giving is both a privilege and an obligation, for in reality, all giving is giving to God. Eph 6:7-8
It has been said – give strength, give thought, give deeds, give wealth, give love, and most importantly give yourself. The one who does not give cannot find the life Christ died for us to attain. Matt 10:39 – Remember what the Lord has given to us. He gave exactly what we needed, when we needed it – Rom 5:6-8. Have you accepted His gift and obeyed His commands? John 14:15