Here’s the point: he who plants sparingly also harvests sparingly. Each should give according to what he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:6,7)
What do you think of, when you hear the phrase, “What is your contribution?” Does your mind turn directly to money, with the question being asked, “How much money have you given to the poor and needy or to your congregation this month?” Do you believe the only worthwhile contribution is money?
In my years of experience, I have discovered that many morally-minded givers perceive giving to be financial only. I wonder if Yahveh has that opinion of faithful giving?
In 2 Samuel 24:24, we hear King David saying to Aravnah, the owner of the threshing floor where he wanted to place the Arc of the Covenant, But the king said to Aravnah, “No; I insist on buying it from you at a price. I refuse to offer to Adonai my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” Here we find the principle of leadership giving. This is giving with integrity, whatever we give.
From King Solomon, we derive the principle of extravagant giving, giving more than is required and with a quality greater than expected. We see this in the 3,000 proverbs, the over 1,000 songs created and the construction of Yahveh’s Temple and the palace, to hold the court.
Elisha’s gift to the widow was not a monetary one but was a gift of opportunity. In 2 Kings 4:3,4,7 we read: “Go, and borrow containers from all your neighbors, empty containers; and don’t borrow just a few! Then go in; shut the door, with you and your sons inside; and pour oil into all those containers; and as they are filled, put them aside…. Go, sell the oil, and pay your debt; then you and your sons can live on what’s left.” Here, the prophet of Yahveh uses this woman’s poverty, and the resources she has, to create a business opportunity for her and her son, for many months.
Then, in Luke 21:3,4, Adonai Yeshua, the Lord Jesus, observes the widow placing her ‘mite’ into the Temple offering box: “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put in more than all the others. For they, out of their wealth, have contributed money they could easily spare; but she, out of her poverty, has given all she had to live on.” His judgment is clear; the widow’s giving from her poverty was more generous and of greater quality, than the wealthy, who gave from their surplus wealth. What does this mean to us, today?
Beloved, I am reminded of Adonai Yeshua’s admonition, found in Matthew 6:3,4 – “(W)hen you do tzedakah [giving], don’t even let your left hand know what your right hand is doing. Then your tzedakah will be in secret; and your Father, who sees what you do in secret, will reward you.” Every gift of food, clothing, appliances, time, etc. we give to those in need is an expression of worship. These are the people who vitally need our contributions to their welfare, if they cannot work for their own living. In our social age, in North America, the poor are provided with a bare minimum to support themselves. In many cases, due to illness costs and unexpected emergencies, this support is woefully inadequate. This is where we come in. Our direct contributions, in clothing, food or finances, time and effort, either to the individual or to an agency which works directly with the poor, is a worshipful experience. When we give with a full heart and a joyful mind, we are answering Yahveh’s call to “(D)on’t forget doing good and sharing with others, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” (Hebrews 13:16)
CONSIDER: Are you of the opinion you can only give from the wealth you have? Are your contributions only financial?
ACT: Our Beloved Abba desires us to give from our own store of goods, be they food, clothing or other things we have, that the poor need. Our giving, if it is authentic, must be from a full heart, knowing it is an act of pure joy and worship.
PRAY: Beloved Abba, my Perfect Father, I come to you this day to ask you for a heart full of the desire to worship You, through the gifts I give to others in need. I don’t require recognition or recompense for these gifts; the only thing I need is your Love. In Your Blessed Name I pray.
May the God of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob bless you richly.