God gave His Only Begotten Son, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). How much do you give in comparison to this?

Christ gave up heaven, “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).  He gave up heaven. He gave up fellowship with God. “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (John 17:5). What do we give to Him?

How much do you give? Does it matter? Are we commanded to give? “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find, knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). “I have shewed you all thing, 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” (Acts 20:35). In Galatians 2 we find these words, “Only they would that we should remember the poor; the same which I also was forward to do” (Galatians 2:10). How can the poor be remember unless someone gives. That someone does include everyone. Also, “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).  There are many things that one can learn from this passage. One of which is that giving is an “every one of you” duty to God. It is not for a select few. If it were for a select few, which few would it be? Surely it would be you and not me. Also notice, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” ( 2 Corinthians 9:7-8). Let us notice just a few things from this passage: 1) we are to give as we have purposed in our hearts. Some must not count the blessings of God very often for they do not consider this in their giving upon the first day of the week. 2) As we give we will receive. You know that if we do not sow very much seed in the garden we will not make a very big crop. The same is true in our giving! How much then do you give? 3) Notice that every man is to be doing the giving. The word in the Greek which is translated “every man” means “each” which would mean “each individual.” 4) God loves a cheerful giver. A cheerful giver is one who has counted their blessings and wants to restore what he can back to God. He is glad for his gifts from God and he wants to show God of his gladness.

What do we base our giving upon? Is it what is left over after the bills are paid? If that is the way to figure how much one gives, what percentage is that of your salary? If the house payment has to be paid first, then the electric bill, water bill and the garbage bill it that time to start figuring out how much to give to the Lord? But what about transportation, we do need to drive! Then we must have a car payment, and then we will have fuel, insurance, tires, and oil. Then is it time to figure how much to give to the Lord? Well a body does need nourishment. So we have the groceries in the house to eat! Flour, salt, pepper ketchup, mustered and mayonnaise that must be figured in, so are we now ready to figure out how much to give the Lord? What is the percentage of what we have left before we figure for the Lord? Yet we do need clothes to wear. The Lord has told us to be modest in our dress, and if we do dress immodestly the preacher will let us know that we need to spend a little money for clothes, so we must buy clothes to wear to church, work and then shoes must be for every occasion. You know we need work shoes, walking shoes, hunting boats and yes we must have dress shoes for every outfit in the closet! You know we can’t go hunting in just anything we must have camouflage that is the latest kind and verity and it can’t be faded. Is it time to figure how much to give to the Lord yet?

We must have recreation and vacation. You know that if we have those things surely cost will be involved. You know we must have the rifle and shotgun. We must have the fishing boat and all that goes with that. The motor and trolling motor, batteries, gas, and oil, rods and reels; we must have insurance on all these things also.  We must have the four-wheeler because our knees will hurt if we walk much. You know that deer stand is way out there and it will take so long to walk there so we must have this also. Are we now ready to see if we might we able to give to the Lord yet? There is more so let us wait a minute before we start figuring out how much we might want to give to God. Let’s see one day I would like to retire and that will take some saving or investments. Oh and let us think about all the doctors, dentist, and eye glasses we have to buy. You know and the hearing is not what it used to be so let’s put a hearing aide in the budget. Are we ready yet to figure out how much we might want to give to the Lord yet? Have we thought of every bill, no, what if the roof needs to be replace, or what if the air conditioner goes out? We will need money set aside for that too. You know the kids and the grandkids will need money to go to college, so we need to set some aside for that too. Are we ready yet to think about how much we might want to give to God yet? We have gone through the budget and you know we might be able to give one dollar a week to God. You know He has blessed us so much. But you know I need to stop by McDonalds in the morning for that biscuit before work so I might need to hang on to that dollar, let’s see if there is any change in my pocket. But you know the kids might want a snack or something, well that pretty much takes care of what we have made, and you know there is not one cent left over for me to give to the church. Is this the way we figure how much we give to the church? How important is the church to you? There is nothing left in your budget for the church. If every one figured this way then no one who give, but then what about the commands of God to give. Is that for you or for someone else? The command to give is for all. That does mean you too. Consider the following also.

The church needs to do more for the young people. I wonder why the church does not do this and have this for the young people? You know they also need to paint the building down there and that carpet is just about worn out. I wonder what study books we will be using in the Bible class next quarter. Why can’t the church do more things? You know there is that family over there and they need so much, why can’t the church help those people out? Brother so and so is rich why can’t he just unload some of that money to the church and we can do so much.

What if God did that for us? Just gave what was left over? God gave the very best for us. We ought to do the same for Him. Consider also under the Old Testament; when did God get his portion? Was it not the first fruits? When does the government get their part out of your check? Yet we don’t want to put God first in our budget. Maybe our giving is an indication of the heart. Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither noth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where you treasure is, there will you heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).  Did God give the very best? He did, what should we do?

Love, Keith

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