“Instruct those who are rich in the present age not to be arrogant or to set their hope on the uncertainty of wealth, but on God, who richly provides us with all things to enjoy. Instruct them to do what is good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and willing to share, storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of what is truly life.”
I’ve written many articles, and given many messages on different subjects over the years. Some topics are very popular and others need to be heard, but are hard to deliver because they are corrective. Other topics have a stigma attached to them that is very unfortunate. The topic of giving is one of those. I actually fell under conviction of the Holy Spirit to do this article because God said, “My people need to know how to operate in all aspects of Kingdom life!” He said, “Teach them the principles of giving. Because many who even have special graces in the area of giving are locked up in it, and I’m unable to bless them in these areas.” Suddenly, I realized I was under a direct commissioning to teach on a point I was at peace to just leave alone. Feeling the burden of having to untangle the mess YouTube video splicers have made of legitimate and balanced teaching on the principles of giving and prosperity. Making some teachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to appear as if they are greedy heretics. While some may certainly be, others are simply obeying scripture to instruct God’s people on the value of giving in the kingdom. Many principles of living and doctrines in the faith are under satanic attack, and we need to stand with a hammer in one hand and sword in the other, now days to protect the integrity of all God has released in the Earth while we build God’s house to finish the age, and move into the fullness of His promises. Of this topic I’ve never written an article on. But, I’ve also grieved over the lack of understanding people have on what the scriptures teach us about giving. Enduring the miss understanding that is spread by those that gripe about the prosperity gospel, who never look into the balanced and valid teaching that is available on principles of prosperity, healing, and deliverance, in Christ. I have seen people leave a church because the pastor preached on giving in just one service. No matter what the topic is delivered from the word of God, there will always be demonic opposition poised to persecute the word. For with the word comes persecution. Mark 4:17
There is no other subject that spikes people’s emotions more than the subject of tithes and offerings. I believe the reason why is because of the stronghold money and belongings have on people’s lives. Greed is one of the seven deadly sins, and has power to completely destroy a person’s life given over to it. Most of the treachery suffered by the church is caused by those who are slaves to the love of money. Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-11 lied to the Holy Ghost over a business deal and dropped dead, at the apostles feet. If they wanted to back out of their pledge they had the power to do it. But, the problem was that they conspired to hold back on their pledge and lied about what they really sold the property for. They lied to the Holy Ghost, Peter said. Greed led to this sin, and it happened in the New Testament! Not the Old Testament, that means we need to have a healthy fear of the Living God in matters such as these. Being honest and obedient. Do all things in faith, for with out faith we cannot please Him! Having faith and obtaining Godly understanding in the area of giving, builds up our faith, and sets us free from the bondage of the love of mammon! 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
Giving that is Spirit led, and prompt, breaks the power of greed off our lives. Having a benevolent spirit manifests in many different ways, and stingy ness of soul does, as well. For example we can be ungiving of our time and person. Unresponsive to invitations to share ourselves with people that are trying to invite us into their lives, stems from the same root that hoarding spirit comes from, the spirits of fear and selfishness.
Some people get all caught up in the tithe debate. Whether or not it is under the law and not required now that we are under grace. What does it matter? Obedience is BETTER than sacrifice! Obey the promptings and leadings of the Holy Spirit and our life of giving will take care of itself! The tithe or 10 percent of our increase is a good guideline to follow on how much we should give, but it doesn’t have to be the limit! Being under grace is freedom, freedom from the love of money makes it easy to commit our finances to the Father, and listen to His voice. However, we may have to unlock this area in our life that is ruled under the power of fear. Trust in the Lord, hear Him and obey, that is all we need to train our selves to do. Lay up treasure in heaven, where there is no loss ever suffered there. Where rust and robbers have no power!
Another Benefit of giving besides the fact that it pleases the Lord, (and He says, to try him in it) “See if I will not open up the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing you cannot contain.” He wants his children to be free in every aspect of their lives! Holding on to what we have, that God says to let go, can become a curse to us! I’m sure that everyone that reads this article is rich in something, you may not think of yourself as what our culture deems as well off. But, most of us that live where there is a stable government, compared to the rest of the world, are exceedingly blessed. Still, in the tumultuous world we live in now there are great contrasts between the rich and the poor. We are rich in Christ and compared to many rich with this world’s goods. So we must be good stewards of it!
How many of us have desired to do ministry for the Lord but rather have found ourselves in long seasons unable to have any time beyond our work and taking care of our family? Nevertheless, Jesus made a way for us to expand our influence in His kingdom by laying out “kingdom principles” that enable us to go into the mission field with out actually being there. Ministry can often be a lonely and hard road because few individuals really understand that we have a responsibility to one another whom we are in close proximity to, in the Body of Christ, as He has set us together as LIVELY STONES. The Father’s House requires each gem to be cut in such a way it “keeps” in place the other stones around it. The CLOSER we are “set” among one another the more we KNOW of each other’s trials, challenges, and kingdom work. The more we are expected by the Father to respond as the Holy Spirit prompts us. Being attentive to one another fulfills the greater understanding of 1 Corinthians 11:29-30 that speaks of having true discernment of Christ’s Body, on this earth. Because in this we realize that laborers among us is “HIM in MOTION” to reach the world!
So when does our responsibility present itself to support others? It is in the KNOWING of a work of God, and with in the capacity of our reach toward it. It is in how that ministry has fed us and impacted our lives. This is where the scripture comes into play that says:
Large portions of the Body Of Christ disregard this passage and promise because they say it’s under the old covenant. Jesus did not do away with the law, He is the fulfillment of it. The fruit! The promise now is in full bloom! Find your store houses, the ones that have provided meat for you, the ones that have LABORED in the word for you, and in deed, on your behalf, and see the power of God’s return in your giving. This will release more that is in God’s storehouse that we draw from, toward us. Do you have a children’s ministry that reaches out to your children, or a youth pastor? Send them an anonymous gift card, give toward that work, or offer to give of your time. This is planting seed that your children will reap the benefits from. Because, obviously it is good ground and you’ve seen fruit come from it. Sow into the ground you want a harvest from! Sow into the ground you’ve seen bring a harvest in seasons past. To get more for the season to come. See that it is God’s work and understand it is as unto Him! Give to the ground that has given you harvest you’ve never labored for, and see an abundance come back to you for it! This is how Jehovah’s kingdom and principles of reciprocity works! This is bringing an offering to the Father when we do it as if we are literally doing it for Him, and He is pleased not because he needs our money or goods, but because it is an act of faith and He gets to give back to us what that particular act of faith has in store for His children! Giving brings joy to our heart, and releases the economy of the Kingdom of God to begin a work to manifest in our natural world. When we over think our giving we often drop the ball. That is why Paul wrote reminder letters for those who pledged in their giving to follow through. We need to let love flow, when love is compelled, ministering to others that labor among us refreshes them, encourages them, and often times relieves them of heavy financial burdens that their work among the Body of Christ often exacts upon them, that they are quietly trusting God in, despite the fact that few are actually obedient in the matter of giving, and ministries often struggle, or are limited, for that reason. When we encounter lack of movement and growth The question we should be asking, is what is my part in this work? What can I give, what can I do for the ministries of the Lord Jesus Christ, in this world? Our thoughts about giving and seeing difficulty that others suffer, reveal our hearts. We should never be the ones that stand back to see if the efforts of others will take, we should always ask the Lord, even before the proverbial band wagon is going, do I have a part in launching this work of the Lord, in this ministry? There are plenty of those that jump on the band wagon when it’s rolling. But we want to hear from God on an apostolic level in the earth, don’t we? Do we want to just maintain what we have? Or, do we want to advance the Kingdom if God, as well? By being a perceptive visionary, in Christ, is a force that takes ground for the Kingdom. When ground has yet to be broken. We need these kind of givers that are apostolic in their giving.
Seeking the Father’s directives in HOW we shall participate, is a must. Not if, but how! Because, we were given the privilege of “KNOWING” about the commission of God, in one’s life by the Father who let us in on HIS doings in the earth. It’s not a coincidence we are privy to HIS happenings taking place in those laboring among us in the gospel. God wants us involved to add us into the company of laborers so we can do our part, whatever that PART may be, the scripture says that when we do that we will not lose our reward! Being a co-laborer can be hospitality, opening your home for the Lord’s workers to minister in the area, or sleep over while in town. Prayer for them, sharing your time with them, to help in a work. Giving words of encouragement; our time, or monetary giving, or other kinds of giving of what we have a lot of! The Lord knows, and He will drop a burden or thought in our spirits on what our part is! However, people often dismiss those urgings that come from the Holy Spirit to give. We have to build our faith up in that kind of hearing, just like everything else. The more we understand about God’s economy, and how His kingdom works, the more we give of everything we have an abundance in. We also know it’s safe to sow seed out of our need, when it comes to the kingdom of God. I remember a time when we didn’t have a lot of cash flow, but we had an abundance in a nice comfortable house and extra car. So we gave that. We had people that were on the road traveling for ministry, and family church members, and their connections, staying at our home, with an extra car to drive if they needed it. That was a long time ago. God’s blessing for that is here on earth and in heaven as well. He always gives back. Whatever kind of giving we have in our ability to do we must be diligent to accomplish what ever that is. Because like everything else the enemy will resist that too. It’s all about intent, to decide to be a willing and obedient servant of the Lord. We can get into the habit of being dismissive of the promptings that come to our heart and mind, and end up not responding to the Holy Spirit, because we think it’s not that important, but in some instances our apathy can be just as disruptive as a pastor not showing up to preach when he’s suppose to. When it’s prayer then pray, fervently. When it’s promoting awareness of the work, we do that. When we sow seeds we thoughtfully, and strategically, do so. Watching over our sowing with prayer that the enemy will not rob us of the fruit of our efforts, but developing a determination to see to it that these missions we embark upon become accomplished. Joyfully, trusting God that one may sow and another may water- but God gives the increase, and we get to be a part of it. If we are finding that our endeavors are not coming together as we supposed that they would, it may be time for us to step back and look at where we may be neglecting the needs of others in the body of Christ. I believe there is truth in the prosperity gospel, but the mistake many have made (besides twisting the truth for gain) is ignoring the teaching of our eternal reward that comes by being a co-laborer with Christ. As much as we need to be open to the Holy Spirit about giving, we need to be aware of the promise of God in that area of ministry as well, so we can do it by faith. Some of this has been as simple as forwarding a link or message, or a prayer request, or sending out invitations to others to join in what God is doing. In the digital world we live in now, we can go into the uttermost parts of the world, simply by posting a biblical teaching or message, that some one unreached can find. The best practice is that if it blesses you than share it! We never know how fruitful a small act of giving can become. I personally know a story of a young man who seemed no different than the rest when sharing Christ with him. Yet, he went on to win tens of thousands of young people to the Lord, years later. The potential of every seed is limitless and one small act of obedience (remember the fish and loaves) can have an impact on the lives of generations to come, that you get to be a part of when you sow. It may be a word, a prayer, or five minutes of your time. It could literally be a tank full of gas for someone that goes out to minister, to be at the right place at the right time. The fact of the matter is we may never see how our giving has helped. We’ve just got to understand if we want to be a part of anything big, it usually begins with us being mindful of small contributions. It really is God’s way of crowd funding when His people understand Kingdom giving. The results of our obedience reveal themselves when we enter into HIS Joy, as good and faithful servants of the Lord.