Let me begin by sharing a memorable experience. On a very beautiful Sunday afternoon, I left for a Youth event and left (actually forgot) my purse in my mom’s bag. I got a free ride to the venue, so I hadn’t noticed. Not until it was time to give offering and I began a thorough search in my bag, nothing! I was lucky enough to find 400 Naira (two 200 naira notes). I thought on what to do, if I drop one of the notes in offering bag, the other note wouldn’t be sufficient to get back home.
The offering time was almost over when I dropped one of the notes, with the mindset that God wouldn’t leave me stranded after giving to Him. I had no airtime on my phone to call anyone (bad enough). I sat there and enjoyed the rest of the service, of course I wasn’t comfortable but I was at peace within myself. By the way, the distance from the church to my house isn’t a walking one at all!
Immediately after the event, someone walked up to me and offered to drop me at a place, it wasn’t quite close to my house but I thankfully accepted. As we were about to leave, a casual friend(not anymore) came and gave me some money “for transport”, I was rejecting it (of course I didn’t mean it), but he insisted (thank God) and I was really grateful. I had enough to get me home. Remember the other 200 naira note? I had no cause to spend it.
That testimony above is a proof of God and His word. If I hadn’t dropped the money in the offering basket, I wouldn’t have experienced His awesomeness much and it was actually the first time I consciously realized and experienced the blessings of giving to God. Why? It was out of nothing, I didn’t have much, I could have kept the little I had, no one would question me, but I gave out the little I had.
One thing I have realized is that it doesn’t matter how much you give, but the cheerfulness, willingness and how much you decide to give Him out of what you have. Remember the poor widow in the Bible that gave all she had? Jesus recognized the fact that she gave the best. Mark 12:41-44
We are God’s representation on earth and He commanded that we give to the needy. This doesn’t have to be monetary alone, there are so many ways we can give to the needy.
- Money to satisfy their needs
- Food and water for the hungry ones
- Shelter for the homeless
- Counselling/advice for those who need it
- God’s word to the lost souls
- Words of love to the broken-hearted.
GIVING TO THE POOR=GIVING TO GOD
“For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command thee. Saying, thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.” Deuteronomy 15:11 KJV.
It is not God’s desire for the poor to exist, but for Him to let us know they shall never cease means it is just that way and it will be that way. He has commanded us (the privileged ones) to give to these poor and needy. He has given us the privilege to give, not because we are better off.
In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus shared a parable which is really self-explanatory. As much as it is important to give to God, it is equally important to give to the poor and needy because it’s more like giving to God.
THE ATTITUDE TOWARDS GIVING
How do you give? Why do you give? If you want to start doing so, how do you want to give? Why do you want to? In Matthew 6:1-4, Jesus warns about giving in public so as to be seen by other people, I am certain this doesn’t mean you can’t give to people you see outside, but the attitude matters. It feels nice for other people to know you have given to someone or some set of people (it speaks well), but we are not giving to get acknowledged by people, it’s God we have business with. Jesus makes it clear that when we make a big show out of our giving, then there is no reward in heaven. Our giving is as a result of God’s blessings upon us which gives us the privilege to give to other people.
WHAT’S YOUR DECISION?
You don’t have to meet someone begging for alms before you give, like I mentioned earlier, there are several ways to give to the poor and needy. Look around you and give a helping hand, there are a lot of people that need help but are not bold enough to ask, reach out to them.
WHAT’S YOUR EXPECTATION?
Don’t give to get praised by people, give because it’s a command by God. There are blessings embedded in giving, don’t give with the expectation of getting something in return. God sees our hearts, let us do things with purity of hearts. Know this, you can never give and be stranded, God will always come through for you.
Have you ever experienced God’s miracle as a result of your offering? What other ways do you think we can give?