March 19, 2023
Dr. Paul Cannings
Obeying God in the area of giving is difficult for some people because their budget is already strained. As a result, giving to God is not the focus, it is more of how I can be blessed by God. Biblically this only creates greater need, more stress and expectations from God that most times do not produce the results we desire. “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.” (Luke 6:38; NIV)
The believers in Macedonia were beyond poverty, but because they came to the realization of what God did for them they decided to give out of their poverty and God blessed them for their obedience rather than their sacrifice. “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.”
(2 Corinthians 8:2-4; NIV) The same mindset is seen in the widow of Mark 12:41-44. This is because giving is about obedience which always requires faith and trust in God. The depth of our obedience is identified by what we had to sacrifice to give. This kind of obedience exposes the level of our faith. The Macedonians and the widow chose to obey the Word of God and by doing so, they demonstrated their willingness to trust God.
A church member was expecting $300,000 in a will from a family member. The member said to the pastor, “If I get the $300,000 I will give one-third to the church.” The pastor said, “How will you give one-third of this amount when you can’t give one-tenth of what you now earn?” It’s not what we would do if we had more money—it’s what we are doing with what we have now! (from Heartwarming Bible Illustrations Copyright © 1998 by AMG International, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:10-11; NIV)