Jan 19

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“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.“—1 CORINTHIANS 16:2

As Christians, we need to keep ever before us that our giving is to be preferred, plentiful and profitable.
The Bible makes clear that our giving is to be PREFERRED. God has always demanded first place—He logically deserves it. In Exodus 20:1-6, we read, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me…. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image….Thou shalt not bow down thyself before them.” The NT reinstated this law: “Little children, keep yourselves from idols” (1 John 5:21); “Flee from idolatry” (1 Cor. 10:14); “Ye cannot serve two masters…ye cannot serve God and mammon [riches]” (Mat. 6:24). Money, or the material things that money can buy, can become our gods today. Suppose a man purchased a $150 suit for himself and, at the Goodwill, bought a $5 dress for his wife. Decked out in his new suit, and handing her the old worn out dress, “Here honey. I love you. You are first in my life.” Do you think she was fooled? Yet, does not one do the same thing when he surrounds himself with “me first” things, and then gives a token to the Lord on Sunday? Surely we can see, the giving of each one of us is to be preferred.
Our giving is also to be PLENTIFUL. Concerning giving, we are instructed: “See that ye abound in this grace also” (2 Cor. 8:7); “Abound unto every good work” (2 Cor. 9:11). With the account of the widow and the two pennies, Jesus let us know that He takes note of liberal giving—as well as lean giving. God was so pleased with the liberal giving of the poor Macedonians that He recorded their action as an example for all (2 Cor. 8:1-5). Truly, the giving of those who have first given themselves will be plentiful (2 Cor. 8:5).
The Bible also teaches that our giving is PROFITABLE. Within the context of giving we read, “he which soweth bountifully, shall reap bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:6). Proverbs 11:25 states, “the liberal soul shall be made fat.” This does not mean God will give us $100 for every $10 we contribute. Rather, our profit will be in benefits of character, blessedness, inner peace and the thrill of knowing that our contribution furthers the cause of Christ. We must remember, when God instructs us to give, He is not trying to make us poor. Rather, He is trying to make us rich. Yes, our giving is profitable.
As we each evaluate our own contribution, may we be guided by the truth: It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Gary Henson

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