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Thursday, October 11 2018

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION: In last week’s study, we looked at First fruits; the origin of this practice in the old testament and its application in the new testament for present day believers. We learnt that the First fruit offering is a recognition of God as our source. It illustrates giving to God from a grateful heart, and it sets a pattern of giving back to Him the first (and the best) of what He has given us. Finally, we acknowledged that not being under the Old Testament Law, the Christian is under no further obligation than to give cheerfully and liberally as we see in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7. In Today’s study, we shall be considering an interesting twist to giving . . . Receive and Give.

GOD’S ULTIMATE EXPECTATION

The reality here is that it is a cycle of giving. God is a just God, so He will not ask you to give what you don’t have. So, He gives us; as we see in 2 Cor.9:10-11a (NLT)

“10 For God, who gives seed to the farmer to plant, and later on good crops to harvest and eat, will give you more and more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you can give away more and more fruit from your harvest. 11 Yes, God will give you much so that you can give away much, and when we take your gifts to those who need them they will break out into thanksgiving and praise to God for your help.”

Emphasis on Verse 11a - God will give you much so that you can give away much!

In Genesis 12:2; when God was assuring Abraham of the blessings ahead of him, He spelt out the purpose when He said: "I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. The CEV says: “I will bless you and make your descendants into a great nation. You will become famous and be a blessing to others.”

In other words, the reason you are receiving from me is so that you will give to others!

THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING

One of the most interesting passages in the Old Testament describes how the Israelites who had been carried captive into Babylon finally were allowed to return home to Jerusalem. They gathered together inside the walls, Ezra the priest read to them from the Law of Moses, and the Levites explained it to them.

Let's read the account in Nehemiah chapter 8.

So they read from the Book of the Law of God, explaining it and giving insight, so that the people could understand what was being read. 9Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and scribe, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to all of them, “This day is holy to the LORD your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people were weeping as they heard the words of the Law. 10Then Nehemiah told them, “Go and eat what is rich, drink what is sweet, and send out portions to those who have nothing prepared, since today is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength. And the Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, since today is holy. Do not grieve.” 12Then all the people began to eat and drink, to send out portions, and to rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that had been made known to them.

Notice what happened. After the people heard the Word of God, Nehemiah told them to celebrate with joy. They ate. They drank. They shared with those who had nothing. Because they understood the words that have been made known to them!

In the New Testament, Jesus shared this same understanding with His disciples in Matt. 10:8 "... freely ye have received, freely give".

This is the biblical pattern. This is what Christianity is all about. You receive, and then you give. We are channels/conduits of God’s blessings to the world!

We receive because we need to give. We don’t give because we want to receive!

THE BENEFITS

Once we have received, God expects us to give to others. And once we do, Luke 6:38 becomes real to us

“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."

There are many other promises of the benefits of giving that also become real to us, but we should give cheerfully and generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6 LB says:

“But remember this—if you give little, you will get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will get only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much.  Everyone must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don’t force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes.

Proverbs 11:24 (NIV) says:

“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

CONCLUSION

Giving money is a great way of showing our love to God and seeing how He uses us to bless others. This also helps in enhancing our relationship with Him because, it teaches us to find our security in God and to rely on Him for all our needs. As we give, our attitude is transformed. Rather than asking, “How much of my money should I give to God?” we ask, “How much of God’s money should I keep for myself?”

We must give with a glad and generous heart because the very act of letting go of money does something within us. It destroys the demon greed and allows generosity to grow.

“God does not prosper us for the purpose of raising our standard of living. 

He prospers us so that we can raise our standard of giving- Harold Herring

Parts of this study was culled from “The Midas Touch” by Kenneth E. Hagin

Posted by: Isekhua Evborokhai AT 01:20 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
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