Spiritual Connections in Giving
A spiritual connection to Christ:
Paul said he rejoiced in the Lord for the care he received from them. There is a connection between the Lord and giving. When
we give we become as Christ - the One who gave the most precious gift of Himself. Everything we have physically and spiritually
is because of Him. He "emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being
found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Php 2:7-8) Through
Jesus, we learn to empty ourselves and fill ourselves up again with love.
A spiritual connection
to the one in need: The receiver looks beyond the physical help - he/she is encouraged with the love that is displayed
in the gift. The money, food, help, friendship etc. uplifts the broken spirit
A spiritual connection to God
- giving is a spiritual sacrifice offered to God in which He is well pleased.
Giving Comes in Many Forms
Let's count the ways we can give to others:
But 1 love your enemies, 2 do good, and 3
lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to
the unthankful and evil. Therefore 4 be merciful,
just as your Father also is merciful. 5 Judge not, and you
shall not be judged. 6 Condemn not, and you shall not be
condemned. 7 Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 8 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." (Luke 6:35-38)
Give yourself to the Lord.
A genuine care for others will follow.
Peace and happiness will be the outcome.
And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then
to us by the will of God. (2 Corinthians 8:5)
"The Wise Woman's Stone"
A wise woman who was traveling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream.
The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry
traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler
left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a
few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman.
"I've been thinking," he said, "I know how valuable the stone is, but I give
it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled
you to give me the stone."
“You can give without loving, but you cannot love
"Once and Again"
"For even in Thessalonica you sent aid
once and again for my necessities." The Philippians were not "weary
in well doing." There are some people, through no fault of their own, need to be helped several times, or even on-going.
It may or may not be due to financial difficulty, but perhaps their bad health or emotional circumstance is causing ongoing
problems. Rather than it turning into "compassion fatigue," the Philippians understood the need for continual support.
Benefit to giver: "Fruit
abounds to your account." "God shall supply all your needs." The fulfillment of our needs may not be
as we expect it - God knows the real needs of our lives and not one true need will He ultimately leave unsatisfied.
Live, and thou shalt receive. Give thoughts of cheer,
Of courage and success, to friend and
And from a thousand sources, far and near,
Strength will be sent thee in thy hour of danger.
Give words of comfort, of defence, and hope,
To mortals crushed by sorrow and by error.
And though thy feet through
shadowy paths may grope,
Thou shalt not walk in loneliness or terror.
Give of thy gold, though small thy portion
Gold rusts and shrivels in the hand that keeps it.
It grows in one that opens wide and free.
Who sows his
harvest is the one who reaps it.
Give of thy love, nor wait to know the worth
Of what thou lovest; and ask
And wheresoe'er thy pathway leads on earth,
There thou shalt find the lamp of love-light burning.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Glory in Giving
(But, whose glory?)
Read this familiar passage but, this time, pay attention to what I've highlighted. Giving is an
amazing spiritual act, but who should get the glory? Is giving something we should boast in or is it something we should praise
God, in that we have the ability to give and that, through Christ, we learned to give?
"For if there is
first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. For I do
not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply
their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack--that there may be equality. As it is written, "HE WHO GATHERED
MUCH HAD NOTHING LEFT OVER, AND HE WHO GATHERED LITTLE HAD NO LACK." But thanks be to God who puts
the same earnest care for you into the heart of Titus. For he not only accepted the exhortation, but being more diligent,
he went to you of his own accord. And we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches,
and not only that, but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is
administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind, avoiding this: that anyone should
blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us." (2Co 8:12-20)
"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the
Law of Christ."