Jesus has made all sons of God free of the traditions that kept us bound, ignorant of the things our Father in heaven already made available to us; the lies and false doctrine that caused us to walk in darkness. As we follow Him we walk in Light, anchored by the Word, that the TRUTH may make us free, to enjoy all the benefits of son-ship Jn.8:32 – even those accessible by our giving:
* God instructed Abraham to give Isaac as a burnt offering. Without hesitation, he embarked on the journey. Though a ram was later provided for the sacrifice, Abraham’s obedience elicited an oath from the mouth of God and a confirmation of His covenant Gen.22:2-18.
Saul was ardent in persecuting the church Acts.8:3. His encounter with Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus to take more Christians captive changed his life. His new mandate was to give himself to carrying the name of Jesus to Gentiles, kings and Israel. Though this mission involved much suffering for the sake of the name Jesus Acts.9:15-16, Paul gave His life to it. His reward? Much of New Testament revelation of Jesus Christ and, undoubtedly, eternal life and God’s honour Jn.12:25-26.
Giving in obedience to God’s prompting, though sometimes a sacrifice, is always beneficial.
* The early Church lived in communal manner; gifts were given for this purpose. Ananias and his wife Sapphira, wanting to partake of this, sold their possession but ‘kept back part of the proceeds’. Their dishonesty cost them their lives. Peter’s judgment: ‘You have not lied to men but to God’ Acts.5:1-10.
Paul counsels: servants need serve ‘with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart,’ ‘… doing service, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord’ Eph.6:5-8.
Giving of service to men, even where it is not seen, is unto God. It is not for eye-service, else our reward is from the men who applaud, not God Mt.6:1-4.
* The kings of Moab, Ammon and Mt. Seir came against Israel even though in obedience to Godly injunction, Israel had not destroyed them when they came out of Egypt. As the people sang to the Lord and praised ‘the beauty of holiness, the Lord caused Ammon and Moab to utterly destroy Mt. Seir, then destroy each other! Not one of the camp of the enemy escaped. Israel spent three days gathering spoils of á war they never engaged 2Chron.20:1-25.
In spite of being in ‘the inner prison’, with their feet fastened ‘in the stocks’, Paul and Silas gave God a worthy praise ; prayed and sang hymns to Him. A sudden earthquake shook the foundations of the prison, caused the doors to open and all chains to be loosed Acts.16:24-26.
When we give God worship, thanksgiving, glory and praise, we triumph over the enemy.
* When David became king of Judah and Israel, he desired to be generous to anyone from the house of King Saul, for Jonathan’s sake. He sought out Mephibosheth, now paralysed and being cared for by servants of his father. The prince was given all his grandfather’s land and invited to eat continually at the king’s table 2Sam.9:1-13.
Giving to meet the need of others – even when they do not ask – makes God indebted to us. God owes no man; He pays in manifold. We need be generous, not send away empty-handed anyone whose need we can meet. Paul counsels: ‘as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith’ Eph.6:10. To give to brethren is to uphold the Body of Christ. Would anyone ignore an ailing part of his body, a foot, hand or neck? We ‘must support the weak’, for ‘it is more blessed to give than to receive’ Acts.20:35.
Giving is a Kingdom mandate, never done purely for reward, but by sons, in obedience to our merciful Father who is kind even to the unthankful Lk.6:35-36. Knowledge of this truth should discourage giving motivated by presuming God to be an Investment Bank!