HONOR THE LORD WITH YOUR POSSESSIONS
How we acquire our money and what we do with it is a vital part of Christianity. Those who have trusted in God are blessed as they meet Him through giving. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, And strength to your bones. Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine." (Proverbs 3:5-10)
Who or what has priority in our life? In life priority is given either to God or to material things. "No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Luke 16:13) Christians must never allow their possessions to possess them. It is frightening when we realize how many are actually controlled by a desire for things.
Giving produces Christian fellowship. Scriptural giving produces fellowship among Christians. "Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common." (Acts 4:32) Giving that is done from the heart brings brethren together.
Giving results from Christian love. Christ's love caused Him to give Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. (Ephesians 5:25) God loved and He gave. "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) Paul challenged the Corinthians to prove the sincerity of their love by giving. (2 Corinthians 8:7-8) A proof of a Christian's love is seen in giving. "Therefore show to them, and before the churches the proof of your love and of our boasting on your behalf." (2 Corinthians 8:24) You can size up a man's character pretty accurately by considering how he got his money and what he does with it.
Giving with the right spirit. The right spirit in giving is a loving heart which is willing to sacrifice. David would not give that which cost him nothing. "Then the king said to Araunah, No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing. So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver." (2 Samuel 24:24) Good hearts, committed to God leads to generous giving. Giving is a grace in which every Christian should abound. "See that you abound in this grace also." (2 Corinthians 8:7) Those who give with the right spirit are laying up treasures in heaven. (Matthew 6:19-21)
To become a Christian hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in God and in His Son Jesus (Hebrews 11:6), repent of sins (2 Peter 3:9), confess Jesus before others (Acts 8:37), and be baptized into Christ. (Romans 6:3-4) In Christ give as you have been prospered knowing God will keep His promise. "Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you." (Luke 6:38) You giving reveals your love for God.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street, Greenville, Alabama 36037