One man gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV84
He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD,
and he will reward him for what he has done.
Proverbs 19:17 NIV84
A generous man will himself be blessed,
for he shares his food with the poor.
Proverbs 22:09 NIV84
He who oppresses the poor
shows contempt for their Maker,
but whoever is kind to the needy
Proverbs 14:31 NIV84
Seek first his kingdom (Jesus is the King)
and his righteousness (Jesus gives us His righteousness),
and all these things (food, clothing and shelter)
will be added unto you as well.
“Then the righteous will answer Him, saying,
‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You?
Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’
And the King will answer and say to them,
‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren,
you did it to Me.’
Matthew 25:37-40 NKJV
When I don’t give freely for the benefit of others one of the reasons is that I fear I won’t have enough for myself. I used to force myself to give and when I did give I would find no joy in it at all. But the above verses point to another way. What would happen to my giving – and to me – if I didn’t have to worry about running out of money (resources)? What would happen if, when God told me to give more than I thought I could afford, I trusted God to miraculously provide what I needed ? God, who wrote the above verses, and who cannot lie, said that if I am generous I will: gain even more, prosper, be refreshed, be rewarded, be blessed, and honor God.
But being generous takes guts. I have to rely on the unseen. My only guarantee that my finances will work out is that God’s Word promises God will come through for me when I obey Him. I have to put Him to the test. But when I do put Him to the test, He comes through and I experience His joy.
Satan doesn’t like this, and always throws doubt into my mind, trying to get me to believe the lie that God doesn’t fulfill His promises. Satan says, “It’s a coincidence.” “That would have happened anyway.” “People will think you’re crazy if you tell them, ‘God did it miraculously.'” But if you give God the credit due Him, He will provide you a list of proofs. My more recent list includes: When neither my wife nor I had a job and we decided to continue giving to the ministries we usually give to, at the same level as we always had – we always had enough to pay the bills each month. We tithe, and without me looking for it, I received an email from out of nowhere advertising the job of my dreams. I was hired for the job of my dreams while doing a double tithing challenge. I needed hearing aids to do my new job and God provided them for me though the sacrificial giving of others.
The biggest benefit of giving isn’t in the pocketbook but in the soul. I enjoy giving now (except for the times I don’t have the guts to trust God). And I don’t give to get rich. I’ve specifically asked God not to make me rich and not to make me poor, but to give me what I need for today and tomorrow.
“Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die:
Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.
Proverbs 30:7-9 NIV84
When I held onto what I had with a tight fist I didn’t have enough. When I opened my hand to help others, God refilled my open hand to give again and again. God wants to do good through you, won’t you trust Him enough to let Him?