Heart Attitude For Giving

Jesus was at the temple teaching his disciples. He observed the following and made a lesson for all of us out of what He knew and what He saw.

Luke 21:1-4 As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Jesus knows our hearts and our motives when we give. He pointed out the rich who look good and give a lot into the temple coffers. Then Jesus pointed to a poor widow who put in a very small amount. On the surface it would seem the rich were doing a better job of giving generously to God’s work, but Jesus knows the circumstances of this widow’s heart and resources. She gave out of her poverty putting all she had towards God’s work. The lesson for us is: we need to give out of our hearts sacrificially not what is convenient or what makes us look good. Those that give out of their wealth give gifts that are used by God, but what concerns God most is our heart attitude and willingness to give sacrificially to see His Word go forth.

Where do you need to examine your own giving methods and reasons? Is God at the heart of your giving? Do you give cheerfully or begrudgingly? Are you giving God the ‘first fruits’ or the left overs? We need to look carefully at our hearts as we give as it does not matter whether we are giving a large amount or a small. God knows our hearts so we need to be honest and open to His leading. Because Christ died on the cross and rose from the dead, I can give with an open heart motivated by His love and seeking to honor Him with my gifts. Let Jesus be the keeper of your heart and let His Holy Spirit shape and define your motives for giving to Him. Let your ‘put in’ with your monies be a true reflection of your love for Him.


The Circle of Generosity

Have you ever thought that your gifts of love, food, blankets, or money bring back thanks  to God?  The New Testament believers in Corinth were asked to give donations to their suffering fellow believers in Jerusalem.  Paul was headed to Jerusalem and would carry the offerings to them.  Paul explains the benefits of giving to them in 2 Corinthians 9:11-15.   

“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving—the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.”    Paul first tells them 2 good things will come from their generosity.  Their needs will be met and then they will thank God for providing for them. 

Paul then continues, As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you. 15 Thank God for this gift  too wonderful for words!”   Your giving and their thanks will bring glory to God and show your obedience to Christ.  Then they will pray for you and give thanks for you and your giving.

Paul is showing us that giving generously to provide for others brings glory to God, and thank-filled prayers for ourselves.  Giving comes back to you in thanks.  Thanks is something that cannot be measured or quantified but received with grace and turned back to God brings Him glory and you good.

ciclre of praiseYour giving causes needs to be met and the receiver to be thankful = glorifies God.

Their thankfulness caused by your giving shows how much you love Jesus =glorifies God.

Their thankfulness spurs them to pray for you = glorifies God.

Consider your own generosity at this time of Thanksgiving.  Do you know someone who is in need that you can help?  Remember your generosity brings glory to God and will result in good for you too.  At the very least, it makes you feel good to help others and pleases God by your actions, but knowing our Good God, it will achieve so much more!