Giving is one of the greatest joys for a Christian or even for any human really! It truly is ‘more blessed to give than to receive.’
There are so many factors involved in giving to God: faith in the Word, joy, attitude of our hearts, stewardship, vision, diligence, love, obedience and quite a few more!
I had always been aware that I should give to God and that the tithe (10% of our income) was not the ceiling to reach in my giving but the floor from which to stand on, and from there to give even more.
Sadly millions of Christians have not reached even this floor of giving, perhaps if we all had, a lot more of this world would practically be Christian by now. Funding would be available exponentially for the funding of the Gospel. The Word of God would flow freely and massively across the nations.
Habakkuk 2:14 -- For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.
Throughout our missionary life, even though we were sometimes ‘poor’, we still tithed as the tithe is a percentage, so you can always give 10% of your income to the Lord’s kingdom.
Above the tithe there is something else called ‘offerings’ which are well over and above and which the Word of God also encourages us to give. This is part of my story. Sometimes the Lord just loves to surprise you.
Sometimes like the widow in the New Testament we can even ‘cast (throw) in all our living and money’ and God will give us back.
Acts 20:35 -- I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Mark 12:41 -- And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast mo ney into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.
Mark 12:43 -- And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:
This came a live to me when I was visiting my mother in the UK in the winter of 1991-92. Two years before the Berlin wall in Germany had fallen and now the old Soviet empire had also splintered. Due to this, thousands of missionaries and Christians were rushing into the old soviet areas and into Russia itself to take advantage of this unique opportunity to pass out tracts, Bibles (for a limited time only!) and preach to the people who had only known communism for decades, in a new initiative.
In light of this, a Christian organization that we contributed to also appealed for funds to print millions of pamphlets, New Testaments etc, to be passed out across Russia. Sensing, like many others, this was a golden opportunity not to be missed I decided to go to the bank and give whatever my family had left in the account for this worthwhile project for the Lord. I told my mother I was off to the shops, as my mother didn’t necessarily approve too much of missions unfortunately. I didn’t want to tell her I was about to give all our money to strangers in Russia of all places! So she had no idea of my intentions.
We agreed to meet later in the centre of the town where she lived. I found there was £250 in my account. I emptied it and transferred it to the account provided for the Russian initiative. I felt so good. It was literally all the money my family and I had left at the time. (Wow! we were poor sometimes you may think!)
I knew this giving was the Lord’s idea as His peace came on me in a big way. I walked around the town joyfully biding a bit of time before I met mother. Oh! There she came, walking quickly across the town square with her stick. She seemed to be almost running! I was concerned she shouldn’t be walking that fast at her age. She beamed at me, and grabbed my hand; I could feel a large wad of money being stuffed from her hand into mine.
‘You know’ she said cheerily, ‘I was just thinking after you went out, that its been a long time since I gave you any money, so I just went to the bank and here, I want you to hve this little bit of money, I know its not much, but please take it for you all, and make sure you spend it on yourself.’
‘Are you sure, mum’, I said. ‘I’m fine really’.
‘No I want you to have it. There.’
So that was the testimony in brief. Not wanting to be rude I didn’t flash out the wad of money and count it right there in front of my mother, but later (at the first opportunity) I did.
Yes, you guessed it right already, it was 250 pounds.
2 Corinthians 9:6 -- But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
2 Corinthians 9:7 -- Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:8 -- And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
2 Corinthians 9:9 -- (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.
2 Corinthians 9:10 -- Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
2 Corinthians 9:11 -- Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.