Serve : Give
This is our seventh week in our Disciple’s Path series, and we talked about the practice of “Give.” Being a disciple of Jesus means following Jesus in all the areas of our life, and that includes our finances. Giving opens our hands and hearts to serve God and our community in new ways.
The prophet Malachi gives a challenging word in Malachi 3:6-12, in which he connects not giving to God with robbing God. When we hear this connection, we may get angry and defensive because that seems like a pretty harsh and unfair accusation. However, perhaps there is some truth to it. We tend to think that we are the owners of our life, our money, and our belongings. We work hard for what we earn, and it belongs to us. While there may be some truth to that, that view is ultimately a deception. The life we live, the air we breathe, our talents and gifts, the strength and ability to work are God’s gifts to us in life. James 1:17 “every good and perfect gift is from above.” Our God is the great giver, the giver of life and every good thing. We do not own all that we have, it all ultimately belongs to the Lord. Stewardship is taking care of something that has been entrusted to us by another. That is what we are called to do- we are stewards, not owners of our life and money.
God promises in Malachi 3:10 to open up the windows of heaven to pour down blessing upon us when we commit to give to God. The blessing that God is talking about is not equivalent to God showering down money from the sky. It’s that God will ensure that there is enough when we chose to give. Through giving, our eyes will be opened to numerous blessings in life- such as the joy of daily work, laughter in friendships, support in families, release from anxiety, and hope in God. Tithing helps us to see every good thing in life as a gift from God.
We give out of gratitude for God’s generosity and out of an overflow of our love for God. Giving and tithing to God helps us grow in our relationship with God, and it stretches us in our faith. Giving keeps us aware that we are not the owners of our money, and it breaks the sin of greed. There are two seas in the area where Jesus was in ministry to- the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea receives, but it never gives. The Sea of Galilee, however, passes on what it receives. The Dead Sea cannot sustain life or creatures in it; however, the Sea of Galilee is teeming with life. Ultimately, we have the choice to be conduits of the blessings we receive, we have the choice to be like the Dead Sea or the Sea of Galilee.
Monday- Malachi 3:6-12
Tuesday- James 1:1-27
Wednesday- Matthew 26:1-16
Thursday- Matthew 26:17-75
Friday- Matthew 27:1-66
Questions to Consider and Discuss:
- How can giving grow your faith in God?
- How is God calling you to take the next step of faith in your giving?