“Remember the generosity of Jesus Christ.” (II Corinthians 8:6)
The Bible mentions faith 246 times, hope 185 times and love 733 times. Giving is mentioned 2,285 times! Why? Because giving is a primary way in which God shows His love for us. Everything is a gift from God. When we give, therefore, we emulate God. There are at least five blessings we receive when we return to God a meaningful portion of all He gives to us.
1) Giving draws us closer to God
Jesus says in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.” We invest more in the people, things and causes that we care about; and we care more about the people and things and causes that we invest in. So when we make a meaningful sacrifice to God, we actually care more about God. “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
2) Giving breaks the grip of materialism
We live in a materialistic culture. How do we escape materialism? By giving! If the essence of materialism is getting, then the essence of Christianity is giving. When we give generously to God, we break the grip of materialism on our lives. Jesus says rather bluntly in Matthew 6:24, “You cannot serve both God and money.” We have to choose what’s most important in our lives.
3) Giving strengthens faith
Sooner or later we’ve got to decide, “Can God be trusted with our finances? Can God be counted on to keep His promises?” The Bible says in II Corinthians 9: 13, “Your giving proves the reality of faith.” When we give, therefore, it is not a duty but rather an opportunity to deepen our faith.
4) Giving is an investment in eternity
How do we invest in eternity? We must do as it suggests in I Timothy 6:18-19, “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” It is the only safe investment for eternity. We will live a fruitful life on earth as well. There is no greater investment than the Kingdom of God.
5) Giving blesses those who give
In Acts 20:35 we read, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Deuteronomy 15:10 promises, “Give generously and do so without a grudging heart and because of this the Lord will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.”