Giving; October 13, 2018

2 Corinthians 8:12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

This is an important principle that often gets overlooked, even though Jesus expressed it very clearly Himself. (Luke 12:1-4) God never asks of us anything that He hasn’t already provided, if we have the faith to realize it. Sometimes we have to step out in faith before that provision is visible to us and to those around us, but in God’s economy, it’s already provided. The devil loves to dump guilt trips on us. After all, “Satan” means, “the accuser.” However, his specialty is in accusing us of things that aren’t true. Recently the whole matter of unsubstantiated accusations has been much in the news, but we aren’t to assume that accusations are false when first heard. They are always to be submitted to God in full humility, asking the Holy Spirit to show us anything of which we need to repent, and doing so immediately for anything He shows us. That said, we’re back to the reality that false accusations that seem real are the devil’s specialty. When it comes to giving, which is the subject in this verse, we are inundated with pleas for money from all sides. We are certainly to be generous, however much or little we have in our bank account, and our tithe is to go to the local congregation where we are fed spiritually, but everything beyond that is to be submitted to God for His directions on how much to give to whom. We are to be faithful stewards, knowing that everything we have is simply in our care, rather than belonging to us in an absolute sense. Accordingly, we are to use everything – money, abilities, time, whatever – as the Owner desires, to accomplish His will for His glory.

I have been a consistent tither for about 48 years now, and I seek to live all of my life in obedience to the Lord, but as a pastor, this is an issue involving each person in this church. By God’s mercy we don’t have any wealthy people, so each person knows their offerings make a difference, I think. One of our most faithful givers has one of the most limited incomes! I am to encourage the believers in “the grace of giving,” as Paul puts it in verse seven, but I am not to make anyone feel put down because they don’t have the resources to give a lot. I would be delighted to have a good group of solid wage-earners in the church, but since that isn’t our current situation, I am to trust the Lord and rejoice!

Father, thank You for the privilege of participating in the flow of Your provision. I do pray that each person in this church would understand and delight in that joy, for the blessing of everyone involved and for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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