How To Give (Pt. 1)

Giving is such an essential part of human existence and life in this world. Someone once said: “Giving is essential to self-respect. To be in a situation where you can only receive, [and] not give, is to lack human dignity” (Rabbi Jonathan Sacks).

In giving, one transfers possession of something abstract, or concrete (tangible) to another. Giving is in its purest sense, an expression of love. The purpose of giving is to improve the lives of others.

God’s Word has much to say about giving because of its indispensability and the vital role it plays in human existence.  In this article, I wish to highlight a few God-thoughts on ‘How To Give’. The attitude, disposition, preparation and motives culminating in our eventual release of our substance to others is of great importance to God.

God doesn’t just want us to give. He wants us to ‘give well’. To ‘give well’ is to give with a right attitude, disposition and with pure motives.

 

Conditions for Giving Well

Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a group of people who were eager to help others by their giving. With his words (in 2 Corinthians Ch. 9, vs 1-15), I would highlight the conditions for giving well:

“There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given. Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

 1. Give willingly

This is the definition of generosity. The dictionary definition of generosity is: “The trait of being willing to give your money [or possessions] or time (WordWeb). The attitude of your heart at the time of giving should be willing, that is unforced or uncoerced.

2. Give with readiness and eagerness to promote the cause for which you are giving.

Commendable giving is carried out with an eagerness to help. Paul’s audience were clearly eager to help other believers. Paul states explicitly concerning them: “For I know your eagerness to help…”.

3. Plan your giving in advance.

Planning your giving in advance is a prerequisite for generous giving.

4. Prepare in advance for acts of generosity.

Without preparation to give, giving is prone to be carried out grudgingly. Depending on what you intend to give and the size or monetary value of what you intend to give, you may need to prepare for days, weeks, months or years. This will help you make all the needed arrangements so you won’t be forced or hurried at the last minute.

5. Give generously

a) A generous person gives more of something than is usual or expected.

b) A generous person is friendly, helpful and willing to see blessings come to someone or something.

c) A generous amount of something is much larger than is usual or expected.

6. Give as you have purposed in your heart and mind to give.

“Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion…” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP) 

7. Give cheerfully.

“…God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP) 

8. Give joyously.

“…God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP) 

9. Give promptly.

“…God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP) 

10. Let your heart be in your giving.

“…God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP) 

 

A Word for the Year 2013

I’m celebrating my first anniversary in blogging at WordPress.com and I’m grateful to God for giving me insights to share with the world which I know have been a blessing to many. Even though I have not written as much as your typical blogger, the few blog posts that have been released have truly been insightful, inspiring and life-changing. The reason being, I believe in speaking (or writing) because you have something to say and not finding something to say merely because you want to be heard.

Now to the word for the year 2013. I perceive 2013 to be a year in which we (God’s people) will experience great supernatural favour. Many will enjoy things they did not buy and receive things they did not expect. A lot of things will take place that will be beyond the imagination of those at the receiving end. Many will stand before kings, presidents and nobles not necessarily on account of some extraordinary accomplishments but because God’s favour will magnify even the littlest efforts of His people. I pray for you, that you’ll find favour in all the right places.

In all of this, God will expect His people to grow and exercise their faith like never before. As has been clearly spelt in the Scriptures, it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6). There is a lot in store for God’s people to live happy, prosperous and fulfilled in the year 2013. However, we would have to take a hold of these blessings by faith.

In the first few months of the year, things will be committed to many of God’s people and God will be expecting an attitude of faithfulness in handling these things. As His people learn to be faithful with the little that has been committed to them, God will ensure that they are entrusted with much more (Luke 16:10-12). God will endeavour to give His people many things which they can call their own, but before that, He will expect them to be faithful with that which belongs to others. The starting point of having many good things you can call your own is in the extent to which you are faithful with that which belongs to others (e.g. another man’s business, resources, etc.). 

Finally, as you receive God’s favour, He will be most delighted when you extend this favour to others. In doing this, you will receive even more favour. 

As you exercise your faith, be sure it is guided to become the kind of faith that works by love (Galatians 5:6).

You will own many things but do not become high-minded nor contemptuous of others; neither trust in uncertain riches. Rather, trust in the living God who richly and ceaselessly provides us with all things for our enjoyment (1Timothy 6:17). Stay blessed throughout the year!!  

 

Kept by the Power of God

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again…who are kept by the power of God through faith…” [1Peter 1:3-5 KJV, emphasis added]

This verse of the Bible often reminds me of a beautiful song I used to sing a lot during the early days of being born again. It goes like this:

‘Kept by the power of God,

Kept by the power of God,

Day by day, come what may,

I’m kept by the power of God.

Beautiful song there! What a great confession within the song. The opening verse [from which this song was culled] however, tells us that the means by which we are kept by the power of God is through our faith. Unless the switch of faith is turned on, you will not be kept, protected, preserved and hemmed in by the power of God. You must therefore turn on the switch of your faith by making the right Word-based confessions. This is how you will activate God’s power to keep and protect you.

I remember how a couple of years ago (in the days when I didn’t have a car), I would have to walk home alone in the evening and very often late at night. In a particular space of time, there were several cases assaults and muggings in my neighborhood, on some of these very paths I used to walk on. But I said to myself that I was not going to be mugged, and that my activities outside my neighborhood were not going to come to a halt because of this. I thought to myself, ”I’m going to trust in God’s power to keep and protect me.”

Incidentally, around this time, I had come across and learnt a verse in Psalm 34:7 which says, “The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.” In those days, I confessed this verse daily, trusting in God’s power to keep me; trusting in His messenger angels He had sent to guard and protect me. I confessed this verse until I literally felt and heard angels walking behind me and moving around me. I never got mugged in those days, and I’ve never been mugged up until now.

While we are talking about being kept by God’s power through faith, it is important to note that a person’s faith is released through his WORDS and ACTIONS. In my story above, I expressed my faith through my words (the confession of Psalm 34:7) and my actions (deciding to move about freely in spite of impending danger). And I am not saying faith is released this way because of my experience. I am saying it is so because I learnt it from God’s Word. I would not have known how to respond to such a challenge if I had not learnt this from the Bible.

No matter the extent to which your life is fraught with dangers and perilous circumstances, God’s power can keep and protect you. David’s life is one of the most perilous lives I have studied in the Bible. Yet, David always trusted in God’s power to defend him as he went face to face with hazards, risks and dangers. Let’s look at a few of David’s words which also implicate some of his corresponding actions carried out in faith:

  • “Even if I walk through a valley as dark as the grave, I will not be afraid of any danger, because you are with me. Your rod and staff comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4 ERV)
  • “The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine [Goliath]…” (1Samuel 17:37 KJV)
  • “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.” (Psalm 27:1-3 KJV)
  • “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.” (Psalm 18:2 KJV)

We know that David trusted in God because of his statements and confessions. Your confessions are important because:

i. They are indicators of your dependence on God’s power to protect you.

ii. They activate God’s power on your behalf.

Activate God’s power in your life today! Don’t allow your life to be cut off prematurely because you have a purpose to fulfill in this world!