Living the Christian Life – Chapter 11: More Blessed to Give

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries6 Minutes

As you continue in your walk with Christ, you will see that part of the Christian lifestyle includes giving to others from the spiritual gifts and natural talents you have received from God. The apostle Paul declared: “You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35 NLT).

Jesus also taught his disciples:

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back (Luke 6:38 NLT).

 This is called the principle of “seedtime and harvest,” or “sowing and reaping.”

This spiritual sowing and reaping is just as real as natural sowing and reaping. If a farmer takes a seed and plants it in good soil, making sure it receives enough sunlight and water, that seed will sprout and grow into a plant. Then at harvest time, that plant will bring forth abundant fruit filled with hundreds, and possibly even thousands, of seeds.

It’s the same in the spiritual realm. We can plant seeds into God’s kingdom soil in many ways: through our time, our talents, our prayers, and our finances.

The Bible speaks of bringing our “tithes” into the kingdom storehouses, “that there may be food in my house” (Malachi 3:10). The word tithe means ten percent—so to bring your tithe into the storehouse is to give ten percent of your income to God’s work. Just like any organization, a church or ministry requires money in order to do the work that God has called it to do to help people and to share God’s love. One of the important ways that a church or a ministry is funded—as the Bible says, “that there may be food in my house”—is through people giving of their tithes and offerings.

Through this passage in Malachi, God actually gives a challenge to His people regarding their giving:

“Test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows” (Malachi 3:10 NASB).

As we give our tithes and offerings to our local church and to other worthy ministries, God promises that He will pour out a blessing in our lives.

Our decision to give or not to give can be compared to the two great bodies of water spoken of in the Bible and in modern Israel—the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Sea of Galilee receives an ongoing supply of fresh water from the mountains of the Golan Heights, flowing down as the Jordan River. The Jordan River flows into the Sea of Galilee in the north, and then it flows out of that beautiful body of water as it moves south. As a result of this water flowing in and out, the Sea of Galilee is alive with fish and plant life. It provides nourishment for people and animals alike.

The Dead Sea, on the other hand, only receives from the Jordan River in the north, but the water ends at the southern border. In other words, the Dead Sea only receives, but it never gives. As a result, no creature can live in its hyper-salty water. The Dead Sea is truly dead.

This example can be applied to our lives as well. We need to remember that God is the source of everything we have, so He is like the Jordan River flowing into our lives. You can release God’s blessings to others and thrive like the Sea of Galilee, or you can just receive and refuse to give and become barren like the Dead Sea. The choice is yours.

But when we give in God’s economy, he multiplies our gift, bringing abundant fruit into our lives. We don’t give to receive, but instead we give to honor God, to be a blessing to others, and to be a reflection of God’s love. It is like planting an acorn. When that acorn sprouts it becomes a tree—and from that tree, literally thousands, if not millions, of acorns are produced.

So in God’s economy, we don’t just ask “how many acorns are in the forest?” but we can ask in faith, “how many forests are in the acorn?”