Growth Through Giving

MEMORY VERSE: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” —II Corinthians 9:7

ROMANS 12:1-8

TRUE and sincere giving is an expression of divine love, the greatest example of which we have in our Heavenly Father himself, who so loved the world “that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Jesus, in turn, gladly gave himself in death, laying down his life in sacrifice that mankind might be redeemed from sin and death.

And in this we have, basically, the true example of Christian giving. Christian giving may be reflected to a limited extent in the material resources we devote to the Lord’s service, but in the full sense it is the giving of ourselves in sacrifice, as Jesus did. This is what Paul means in our lesson: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”

Having given our all to the Lord to be used by him in sacrificial service, we are to see to it that this gift really changes our lives. Paul continues, “And be not conformed to this world.” The giving of oneself wholly to the Lord, to be used in sacrificial service, is not the way of the world. The way of the world is generally selfish. In the world one’s concern is chiefly for himself and his own interests, but this must not be so with the Christian.

The dedicated Christian should, as Paul points out, seek to be “transformed by the renewing of” the mind, or outlook in life. What we are interested in now is to discover, or “prove,” “what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” We do this through the study of His Word, that we may become servants who need not to be ashamed, because we have rightly divided the Word of truth, and have courageously applied to ourselves those instructions of the Lord which direct us in the way of sacrifice.

One of the great temptations coming to those who are conformed to this world is to think more highly of themselves than they ought to think. In the world, people are encouraged to make a high appraisal of themselves and their abilities. They are often willing to spend untold sums of money to impress upon others how well-suited they are for a certain office in government, or for some other reason.

But this is not the way of the Christian. We are not to think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think, “but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.” We are to recognize the talents and assets we have to give to the Lord, and then he diligent in their use.

Paul explains that all the Lord’s people are not the same. Ha mentions some of the talents to be noted among the brethren in the Early Church: “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [public speaking] let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence, he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.”—vs. 5-8

Today there are many other ways of carrying out the terms of our covenant of sacrifice, but the principle is the same. We are to lay down our lives “giving,” with simplicity, with diligence, and with cheerfulness. Just because we cannot “give” in the same manner as another brother, or to the same extent, does not relieve us of the responsibility of doing all we can in the service of the Lord.

Our memory verse is to the point. In the first instance it was an admonition to the brethren at Corinth to participate in helping their unfortunate brethren in Judea; but the admonition is good for us also. Our hearts should determine the extent of our giving, and we are not to give “grudgingly.” Let us always remember that “God loveth a cheerful giver.”


What is the greatest example of “giving” the Bible presents to us?

How does Paul describe the giving “of our all”?

What kind of “giver” does God love?

Dawn Bible Students Association
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