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Intentional Growth 3: When You Give

  • Intentional Growth 3: When You Give from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    During His sermon on the mount in Matthew chapter 6, Jesus mentioned three things His disciples would do: when you pray, when you give, and when you fast. This April, we plan to do a corporate Daniel-type fast, and to prepare us, I am covering some of the basics. Last week we covered "When you pray." This week will be, "When you give." Lord willing, next week will be, "When you fast."

    I can honestly tell you that you will never have financial peace until you learn to be a cheerful giver whom God can use to bless others. Oh, you might have money, but you won't have His peace in your life. One thing is a fact, God has no shortage of funds. He doesn't actually need your money. Yet, He does not want money to become an idol in your life, and how He addresses that is by making you give some of it away. That said, you can choose to support His work and help feed His teachers. When you give, He multiplies it and gives it back with interest. That is kingdom-giving in a nutshell.

    Giving is just one area of our life, but anything not surrendered to God will become a stumbling block in due course. Our habits, our attitudes, our sex life, our finances, He wants all of us. If You continue on with God, He will eventually put His finger on things that you wish that He would leave alone. Jesus said there is a reward that comes when we give properly:

    (Matthew 6:1–4 NASB)  "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. "So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. "But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

    When we bless others, our Heavenly Father will reward us. Our giving never goes unnoticed. That is a promise. Our lack of giving does not go unnoticed either. Have you ever felt like there were holes in your pockets? Consider what the Lord told the people who neglected His house:

    (Haggai 1:5–10 NKJV)  Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider your ways! "You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes." Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified," says the LORD. "You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?" says the LORD of hosts. "Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.

    Their money was gone with the wind. Many people today live under a financial curse and wonder why every time they get a little ahead, something comes along to take it away. When it looks like they may finally have a little extra money, the car breaks down, a water pipe breaks, the washing machine quits, the rent goes up, a flat tire, there is never enough. God takes our giving seriously, and we should as well.

    (Malachi 3:8–11 NASB)  "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings. "You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. "Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes," says the LORD of hosts.

    Tithing means giving the first 10% of all our income and giving God anything less brings a curse upon our household. When we tithe, God promises to rebuke the devourer and pour out an overflowing blessing. There are many places in scripture where God tests people, but this is the only verse where God invites us to test Him.

    If we can't afford to give, it merely means that we are making Him our last priority instead of first. Everyone can give something. Even the widow that only had two small coins was able to offer them. Saying you cannot afford to give is agreeing with a lie from satan, and he will keep you locked in a poverty prison as long as you believe that. You can agree with him, or you can agree with the word of God.

    We have tithed when we could not afford it and witnessed God bring in money from many different sources to meet our needs. For a while, our pay was actually the smallest part of our income. Several times, I have opened my Bible and found a $100 bill inside it. That will make you want to read your Bible more often. I've gone upfront to put my tithe in the basket at church and found an envelope with $250 in cash inside it lying on my chair when I returned. I once gave $40 in an offering, and within a month, someone gave me $4,000, a 100-fold return.

    Yet, let us say that you don't believe in tithing, or for that matter, the Old Testament either, and that everything that I have spoken until now is garbage. That will still not exempt you from giving. If you are a Christian, then you should at least believe in the words of Jesus. He said to give, and when you do, you will receive it back multiplied. It is basically an act of trust. By giving your money away, you trust God to give it back, just as when you deposit money in a bank and expect them to give it back when you need it. You are trusting the bank to return it to you. The thing is, God will still be here when the bank is long gone. Jesus said:

    (Luke 6:38 NKJV)  Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.

    Jesus sometimes sat in the temple and watched as the people brought their gifts:

    (Mark 12:41–44 NASB)  And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on."

    Again, we see the percentage come into play. In the eyes of God, the poor widow gave more than all the others because she gave a more significant portion of what she had. I encourage you to give mathematically. Not a tip, but a calculated percentage. It removes the emotion from the decision. The Apostle Paul tells us that God loves a cheerful giver and that we reap what we sow. Basically, if we are stingy towards God, He will be stingy towards us:

    (2 Corinthians 9:6–8 NASB)  Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;

    There is so much more I could say, but this is already getting long. I have a teaching on giving already on the website if you wish to learn more. During the month of April, I encourage you to try intentional praying, giving, and, if possible, fasting. It will be a month of intentional growth.

    You can pray this with me if you like:

    Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that You help me better understand Your word and give me the grace to obey it. All that I have came from You, and I pray that You give me the wisdom to manage it. Please protect, provide, and guide me today. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen!


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18 comments
  • 1
Yvette York
Yvette York

Father please guide me and show me all things you want me to do to live a spiritual life Amen Good Morning Everyone 

Mar 8
  • 1
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann

Father show me what you want me to clean out of my life I want to know more everyday please help me AbbA Father my heart is hurting and it's desperete in Jesus' name I pray Amen

Mar 8
  • 1
Brenda F
Brenda F

Amen!!

Mar 8
  • 1
Keyana Mallory
Keyana Mallory

Amen! Glory hallelujah!

Mar 8
  • 1
Kay Collinsworth
Kay Collinsworth

Amen

Mar 8
  • 1
Schalk  de Beer
Schalk de Beer

Yes, amen Lord 

Mar 8
  • 1
Patricia Walker
Patricia Walker

Amen. Heavenly Father I thank you for blessing me. Teach me what You want me to do, in this I pray. Amen

Mar 8
  • 1
Marisa Jackson
Marisa Jackson

Amen!!

Mar 8
  • 1
Dave and Sue Earlywine
Dave and Sue Earlywine

Amen 

Mar 8
  • 1
Wanda Pennington
Wanda Pennington

Amen 

Mar 8
  • 1
Cathy Webb
Cathy Webb

Thank you, Lord, for the ways You inform and lead me. I pray that You help me better understand Your word and give me the grace to obey it. AMEN

Mar 8
  • 1
Lynn Brown
Lynn Brown

Thank You Father for always providing for me! Guide me to Your will. Amen.

Mar 8
Comment deleted
  • 1
Susan Petho
Susan Petho

Amen!

Mar 8
  • 1
Jose Simo
Jose Simo

Heavenly Father thank You for all Your blessings and care to me a sinner, I need to learn more of Your kindness of providing me ways of how to improve my life. Help me Lord to help others as You have helped me, in Jesus Christ name I pray, Amen. Lord hear my prayers, I need You, Amen.

Awesome devotional to follow, thank you Pastor and Sylvia. God bless you both, Amen. 

Mar 8
  • 1
Pranoti  Kumar
Pranoti Kumar

Amen

Mar 9
  • 1
Wesley Paulus
Wesley Paulus

Amen!

Mar 9
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Amen and Amen !!! 

You have blessed us oh Lord again and again, the greatest blessing or greatest gift of all ages is Your forgiveness and Your sacrfice, when You brought salvation unto us!!! How can we do no less than to give to you financially and otherwise, using our talents for Your purpose reaching out to others becoming Your hands and feet as the Holy Spirit leads us!!!  I want Your peace oh Lord - not the peace that this world offers!

Mar 10