GIVE IT UP                                                                                                                                    Andy Hollifield 11-28-18

2 Corinthians 9:7  Every man as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Acts 20:35  “…Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

Check out these words and how many times they are used in scripture: give-880, given-498, giving-29, gave-465, gavest-34, givest-12, and giver-2.  God put a lot of emphasis on giving in the bible.  To give, means to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation; bestow.  There are a lot of different ways to go on this subject but I kind of want to look mostly at one word; giver.  It is used the least of any of the other words on the subject but that makes it no less important.
“God loveth a cheerful giver.”  How many times have you heard that quoted?  The key part of that verse is the part we skip over the most.  “As he purposeth in his heart.”  Paul and Jesus emphasized the fact that it is not the abundance you give, but rather the purpose in your heart.  In Luke 21 he uses a poor widow, not just as an example but also as a standard.  Luke 21:3-4  “And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all:  For all these have of their abundance cast into the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.”  You have heard it said, “Give till it hurts.”  I don’t believe that is entirely scriptural.  If your giving is purposed in your heart, it won’t hurt. In Mark 14, Jesus gives the standard again using the woman anointing his feet.  When folks began to ridicule her for giving too much and they considered it a waste, Jesus told them to “Let her alone.”  He went on to say, “She hath done what she could.”  That is what Jesus expects out of us is to do what we can.  I’m not talking as much about tithing as I am offerings.  The offering is what you give from your heart.  In Exodus 35 for the construction of the Tabernacle, it says “And they came, every one whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering…”  In Exodus 36:6, the bible says that Moses had to restrain the people from bringing.  Verse seven says the stuff they had was enough and too much.  They were giving their time and talents, as well as financial giving.

It is amazing what can be accomplished when God’s people purpose in their heart to give unto him.  I have a supporting church that paid their mortgage off years early because they purposed in their heart to give.  Then, rather than hoard money, they began giving more to missions.  God has also blessed that and they have added several missionaries over the years and support them faithfully.  All the while, after purposing in their heart to give, God has blessed them spiritually not only in their personal walk with him and their services, but also in souls being saved.  They were faithful and giving and had spiritual services before but from the outside looking in, you can see how God has blessed them abundantly with his Spirit.

Abraham was called on to give up his most prized possession; his son.  When he didn’t hold anything back from the Lord, God didn’t hold anything back from him but blessed more abundantly than before.  In Luke 10 when Jesus sent out the seventy two by two with nothing, they didn’t come again rejoicing because of God’s provision but because  of their spiritual growth with the devils being subject unto them.

Jesus preached a lot about taking care of the poor and he expects us to do it.  In order to do it, someone has to be giving.  That is the purpose behind “Giving Tuesday.”  I know that all the causes may not be deserving of the fruits of our labor, but if you seek God’s counsel in giving, you will never go wrong.  We all just need to do what we can and ask God to bless our efforts.  Regardless of what we have to offer him, nothing is too great or too small.  He don’t need our money but he does need our obedience.  It would be a good time to start looking around for what the Lord would have us to do.  God has given us everything we have anyway, so why don’t we do like Hannah when Samuel was born.  God blessed her with him and she dedicated him back to the Lord.  We owe the Lord our all because of John 3:16; “For God so loved the world, that he gave…”  End of story.  God gave heaven’s lamb for our sins, and still gives blessing every day.  If he gave us his best; shouldn’t we give our best for him.  Just “Give It Up” to God.  Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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