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Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Have You Learnt The Secret of Giving?

Exodus 34:20b (NIV)
No-one is to appear before me empty-handed.

Exodus 35:4-9, 21, 29 (NIV)
Moses said to the whole Israelites community, “This is what the Lord has commanded: From what you have, take an offering for the Lord. Everyone who is willing is to bring to the Lord an offering of gold, silver and bronze, blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skin dyed red and hides of sea cows; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrance incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. 

And everyone who was willing and whose heart moved him came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the Tent of Meeting, for all its services, and for the sacred garments.

All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do. 

Exodus 36:3-7 (NIV)
They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. So all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.”
Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work. 

I am not sure the people of God in our generation understand well enough the secret behind giving unto the Lord. When we go through the passages above we will notice some things that I will like to highlight. 1) The offering requested by the Lord was a freewill offering, it was not one of the compulsive prescribed offering under the law; 2) The offering was only made by those whose heart moved them to and who were willing, and so there was no cajoling of any kind. An instruction was made and people responded willingly. 3) The people gave continuously until they were eventually restrained from giving.
One question I will want us to ponder on in these passages is: “Why is it that the people never stopped giving even after all that was needed for the construction work had been adequately provided for until Moses restrained them from giving more?” I suppose these people knows more about the secret of giving that we need to discover.

Malachi 2:10
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”

One of the secret of giving is found in the passage above. You can never give unto God without receiving back in multiple fold of what you have given. Some may argue that this passage only applies to tithing and not freewill offering as in the case in the book of Exodus, so we will take a look at another Bible passage.  

Proverbs 3:9-10
Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

The secret of giving lies in your ability to honour God with what you have. Giving to God is a tangible reflection of what you feel in your heart for God. The weight of your offering is directly proportion to who God is to you. The widow in the book of Luke 21:1-4 gave all she had to live on because that was how much God meant to her. If you say to love the Lord, then show it by what you have to give up in reflection of that love.
When you honour the Lord with your wealth, you are making an investment with God that must surely yield returns because God never owes. That is the secret the children of Israel in the book of Exodus knew that moved them to keep giving. They were making their investment in God that was sure to yield returns to them in multiple folds of what they had given.
Luke 6:38 says “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” This is the secret of giving, and when you give to the Lord this principle will surely not fail over your seed. You can never trade with the Lord and loose, the Lord will personally watch over your investment to ensure it yields returns to you in a good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over manner.
When you are tired of living in lack, then learn to make your investment with God. The widow of Zarephath made such an investment and she and her household were well fed and taken care of all through the drought period. Don't wait till you have a big seed to sow, saw the little that you have. The widow in the book of Luke gave all she had to live on even though it was small and so did the widow of Zarephath. The children of Israel didn’t stop giving and they never lacked. Learn the secret of giving today, sow your seed of love in God today, when you cast your bread upon the waters, after many days it will return to you.

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