Sunday, February 03, 2013

Giving to God

principles of giving

Acts 3:1-8
“Now Peter and John went up together to the temple at the hour of prayer, the ninth hour.   And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms from those who entered the temple; who, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked for alms. And fixing his eyes on him, with John, Peter said, “Look at us.” So he gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.” And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up, and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. So he, leaping up, stood and walked and entered the temple with them — walking, leaping, and praising God.” NKJV

Many of us have had occasions to give somebody something at one time or the other; perhaps during birthdays, weddings, etc.  We give gifts! There are times when it is not easy to choose a gift for someone. There are people you say; “they already have everything; what more can I give them?” There are also sometimes when you know what to give, but you cannot afford it. So you end up in both cases, either not giving anything at all or having the difficulty to finding what you can give.

Both principles – first, giving a gift that is useful and relevant to the recipient, and second, your ability to afford what to give – apply in our relationship with God.

In giving to God, He wants us to give Him
  • what we can afford and 
  • what is useful to Him.

I want us to think of these two principles in giving.

Peter and John entering the temple saw the cripple and realized he had a need, and therefore decided to give to him what they had – what they could afford; the power available in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. To the beggar, it was very relevant, hence he went in with them - walking, leaping and praising God (verse 8). 

God is not in need like the beggar, he has everything. There is only one thing that God does not have. That one thing is what you have – it is yourself. God does not force Himself into any life. It is only the life that is presented to Him that He has. We realize that He gave us our lives in the first place but after that He requires that you present it to Him as a gift. Let us read in Romans 12:1-2: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” 

No other person can make the decision to give of yourself to God but you.

Often our difficulty is that we want to give God things that are not relevant; things which sometimes we cannot afford. We labour, we struggle, we fast and pray, to be able to give to God; but in the end, it is like the gift of Cain – not acceptable. It is you that God wants and not your gift. You can afford to give it to God; will you?

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