But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:18
So often in sermons the grace of giving is primarily concerned with giving of oneís physical wealth. The bible has a number of instances where money is the primary form of giving and it may be because money is the method of exchanging goods and services. My wife reminds me that whatís yours is my own and what is mine is me own. Quoting her seems to sum up the selfish but worldly concept of what I earned belongs to me.
The grace of giving may be more than letting go of physical things and placing your trust in your creator. What we may not understand is giving your spiritual possessions is what Christianity is all about. Jesus Christ was such an example.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
Jesus Christ was the greatest gift God had but he gave Jesus to mankind so that anyone who believes on him would not perish. When time has reached the end of the age Jesus will rescue us from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10) of God. How can Jesus save us from the wrath of God, by coming to the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ?
Jesus did not come to become the ruler of mankind but came to become a servant of God by serving the needs of mankind. God wanted Justice but it also required his life for your life as payment for all wrongdoing. Jesus came to exchange his sinless life as payment as a ransom to purchase our lives from the slavery of sin.
But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot Exodus 21:23-24
Jesus who was God gave of himself and did not consider equality with God something to be possessed, (Philippians 2:6). Jesus gave absolute reverence and devotion to his heavenly Father and testified in this manner.
For I did not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say." John 12:49-50
The grace of giving begins with loving God with your entire being. Withholding anything expresses the degree of love you have for God. Grace does not begin from the wallet as for most of his life Jesus gave what he had.
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9
God also said;
man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Deuteronomy 8:3
What it means that our life is not dependent on what the earth produces to feed and sustain our life. Higher education may cause you to have what the earth produces but every word that is spoken by the mouth of God is life and death. Seeking God with all your heart is beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7) but the majority of mankind rejects and ignores the salvation plan of God. (Hosea 4:6) another grace of giving is the giving of your time to know the living God.
Is it possible that giving of our life and wealth means that we have the grace to give as God did? For the most part God has given us a wealth within your changed character and attitude towards life. Giving what God has given us is always something we always have and can be easily replenished. Jesus said this;
"He replied, 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away. Luke 19:26
Paul wrote you reap what you sow and every Christian has the seed of the gospel to sow. Sharing the gospel with the unsaved is the known will of God for we know he does not want anyone to perish. Sharing our knowledge of the gospel message leads people to God and a relationship that will never end.
God forgave our sins giving us clemency for our past life in slavery. We are a slave to the person we obey and we were ignorant of whom we served. God gave us a pardon imputing righteousness because we placed our faith in Him. At the same time believing without proof is giving the benefit of doubt by making a choice to rely on and trust in the person where truth originates.
True forgiveness brings an end to all wrongdoing and where wrongdoing doesnít exist there is peace. At the same time it takes compassion to break down the barriers that bad behavior creates. Letís not forget that we have been there and done the same things to others and we have been forgiven by the God who we must give an account to.
The bible speaks of being kind to one another and it takes an effort to show kindness. Kindness like compassion is concerned with the wellbeing of others working with the desire to make life better. In the same way agape love is not selfish but an act of charity or benevolence that leaves those you associate better off than when you first met them.
We are to honor one another above ourselves means that we have to deny what we want to do serve the needs of our fellow man. Giving is the epitome and personification of our Lord and Savior. The reality of giving is that we can only give what has been given to us and all things come from God even the desire to give.
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