With what measure do we give?
1 Chronicles 29:7 - And gave for the service of the house of God of gold five thousand talents and ten thousand drams, and of silver ten thousand talents, and of brass eighteen thousand talents, and one hundred thousand talents of iron.
Continuing with yesterday's message, today the Lord wants to highlight the basis of our giving.
Yesterday I wrote that tithing is the first step towards learning to give, we as Christians are called to learn to give beyond tithe. Many people think the extra goes as offering so categorizing their giving as tithes and offerings. Firstly offerings are not the givings we give. If we look up scriptures offerings were sacrificial offerings which people brought to the table of the Lord. These sacrificial offerings were symbolic representations of spiritual things. Givings were never categorized as offerings.
When we give we have the habit of first seeing our needs and then what is extra we give from that. So when we receive we first set aside our needs and then look at the needs of others.
Firstly let me put is clear God has not called all of us to give everything we have. Jesus did not ask Zacchaeus to give away everything but He did that to the rich young man. The Lord gives us to meet our needs; then the question comes how much do we give and by what measure?
In the Gospels we see all the miracles which Jesus did, each and every one of them recorded was unique, each one is for us to learn something new from. There was only one miracle which Jesus repeated and that was the multiplications on loaves of bread and fishes to feed the people who followed Him. Since this matter was very, very important to us, that is the only reason why it was performed twice. Both the times Jesus alone did not do the miracle, but demonstrated it first to His disciples. They then showed it to the people near how; who in turn showed it to the others. Each and every one performed the miracle of multiplication of bread.
I have before also explained what happened the working of this miracle and am again doing it again because it is very important we understand how this miracle was performed, so that we know how to do our giving.
The Bible states Jesus took the bread gave thanks, broke it and gave to the disciples; they in turn did the same and gave it to people. It also states how they were seated. Around Jesus were the disciples and around the disciples were the people. The numbers of the people in both occasions were in thousands so the size of this circle was very large with the Lord in the center.
People do not understand these scriptures and then come up with vague explanations to it. Some 'wise men' state the bread was very, very big so all got a piece of it and the miracle was in that small piece satisfied each one. They ignore the fact that the Bible states a small boy was carrying these breads. Can they image a boy roaming with giant breads! Secondly they also ignore the fact that the crumbs themselves filled twelve baskets. If the crumbs filled twelve baskets can one image the size of those giant breads!!! Maybe those baskets were toy baskets!
Understand when Jesus gave thanks, broke the bread into two halves and gave the disciples each did not receive a half but received a full. The disciples themselves broke and gave the people each received a full bread. The people also did the same they gave thanks broke the bread and gave one half unto the nearest person. After doing this the person giving still had a whole bread and person receiving also got whole bread. It is this reason each one was satisfied and had something to leave at the end after their stomach was filled.
The Lord requires us to also follow the same in our givings. We need to look at the requirement or purpose we are giving towards and give accordingly; we all do not need to give everything we have. We need to first thank God for what we have received and give part of our receiving's as our givings. We will then realize what part we have will satisfy all our needs and what we give also will satisfy the needs of that person.
Where we fail is firstly we do not really thank God for what we receive. Let us ask ourselves how many of us are satisfied with what we earn? We fight between our wants or the needs that do not get fulfilled because we do not give. The only way out is first thank God for all we receive, second overcome the desires of the flesh, thirdly learn to give by trusting God.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, You asked us to tithe so that we learn to give and to grow in faith and also learn to overcome our flesh. You do all things with purpose and help us remember the purpose of our giving so that we receive far greater things which are in store for us in Heaven...
This prayer we make in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
2 And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.
3 And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.
4 And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said to him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at your house.
6 And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.
7 And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.
8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said to the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.
9 And Jesus said to him, This day is salvation come to this house, as much as he also is a son of Abraham.
20 The young man said to him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said to him, If you will be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
23 Then said Jesus to his disciples, Truly I say to you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.
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