SPIRIT OF GIVING 17/11/2018

By admin at 2018-11-15 • 0 collector • 48 pageviews

Spirit of Giving

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

                                                        (2 Corinthians 9:7, KJV).


Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 24:10-25


Objective: to learn how to give of ourselves as Jesus gave of Himself for us.


 Introduction: In Malachi 3:7-10, God said He wanted to bless Israel, but He couldn't because they weren't doing the right things. They received much from God, but their lack of tithes and offerings revealed their ingratitude. It's a mistake to think God just wanted their money. Why would He need it? No, God was concerned about the kind of people they were becoming. Instead of givers, they had become takers. This wasn't God's good will for them or us.

God wanted the Israelites to make the right choices so He could reward them. He told them to bring their tithes, followed by a promise: “Test me in this . . . see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (v. 10, NIV). Our God is a giving God, and each time we choose to give, He blesses us in return. The warmth we feel when giving of our selves is the gift of His presence in us. We can’t out-give our giving God.

In our Scripture Reading, King David learned a hard lesson about taking and giving. When he sinned for numbering Israel, God punished the nation, and seventy thousand died, the angel stretched out his hand to destroy Jerusalem, but the Lord had mercy and stayed His hand. The place where the angel stood was on the threshing floor of a man named Araunah. It was located on Mount Moriah, the same hill where God stayed the hand of Abraham when he was about to slay His son Isaac (Genesis 22). Both men, David and Abraham, understood the sacrificial holiness of God and the great price of His mercy.

David wanted to express his gratitude to God by building an altar on the site where the angel stood. When he offered to purchase the land, Araunah offered to give it to him. David refused, saying he would not give the Lord a gift that cost him nothing, so he paid full price for the land. David understood the importance of personal sacrifice. When we value what God has given us, we want to give Him something of value in return. That's how we become givers.

Later, Solomon built the temple at this very location (2 Chronicles 3:1). Sacrifices would be offered here daily, monthly, and yearly, symbolizing the grace of God and final sacrifice to come in the gift of Jesus’ life for us.

As songwriter William R. Newell wrote in “At Calvary,” we can spend years “in vanity and pride, / Caring not our Lord was crucified.”

 Ingratitude. But hopefully one day, for each of us, we will see ourselves as we are: in desperate need of God’s grace. This is how we value the high price Jesus paid for us.

I don’t want to be like the Israelites in Malachi’s day. I want to give, not take. And I want to give more than money. Jesus gave His life for me. When I value His gift, I realize David's compelling desire to give something-thing of meaningful value in return. But what can I possibly give to Jesus that He doesn't already have? Me! If I don’t give myself to Jesus, He will lose me forever. In gratitude for His giving His life to me, I can give my life to Him! With joy and love, I can say, “Jesus, I give You me.” That's the spirit of giving. That's His Spirit living in me.


Questions for Study and Discussion


1 How does the heart of the Father and the Son inform our under-standing of the spirit of giving? Find the key word in John 3:16 and Ephesians 5:2.

  

2 Why is the motive of the heart so important in giving? 2 Corinthians 9:7.


3 What was God’s concern in Malachi 3:7-10? Why was Israel missing out on His blessing?


4 How does David's numbering of Israel, and the aftermath, speak to the issue of being a taker or a giver? How did David do both? 2 Samuel 24:10-25.


5 What is significant about the place where David sacrificed? 2 Samuel 24:24; Genesis 22:2; 2 Chronicles 3:1. What does this teach us about giving? How does it relate to the gift of Jesus? Hebrews 9:23-28.


Conclusion: Jesus said, “lt is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35). No person has modeled that truth more than Jesus himself, demonstrating the giving nature at the heart of God. The more we choose to give of ourselves, the more we participate in God’s giving nature and enjoy His presence in us. Possessions don't satisfy, but God’s presence does. With the joy of His Spirit in us, we are complete and free to give of ourselves just as He does.


Apply This Week Do a personal inventory of all the gifts and resources, both material and spiritual, that God has given you. Ask Him to direct you in sharing them with others in His spirit of giving.    


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