Imagine a mother and her child in a severe famine, with just enough food for one last meal. Now imagine Elijah saying, ‘Share with me what you’ve got. Don’t be afraid; God will make sure you’ve more than enough to see you through.’ What would you have done in that situation? This woman chose to have faith and obey God. As a result, she survived the famine, and Jesus even mentioned her in one of His sermons. When we’re looking at giving to God, there are basically two kinds of givers: those who give God their ‘leftovers’, and those who give Him their ‘firstfruits’ (take a look at Proverbs 3:9). The first type of givers see themselves as responsible for meeting their own needs, so they look after themselves first and then give what’s left over to God’s work. But the problem with giving their leftovers is that as soon as they face uncertainty, especially if it affects their finances, they forget to be generous. They make themselves the priority. On the other hand, people who give God their firstfruits understand that He’s the source of everything they have. They prioritise giving to Him before they see to their own interests. They believe that what we reap is always greater than what we sow (have a read of 2 Corinthians 9:6-11). The people in the first group act through fear – they fear they won’t have enough, or that God won’t come through for them, so they need to protect themselves – whereas the people in the second group are motivated by faith – they have faith and confidence that God will care and provide for them. Paul wrote: ‘My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:19 NIV). So when God asks us to give something, let’s be generous, and have confidence that He’ll reward our faith.
Next time you receive some money, try giving some of it to God’s kingdom first, before you think about spending it on yourself.
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