In the bible, God promises that if we give generously to God, in faith, with a pure heart, then God will give back to us. Here are some bible verses which confirm this promise that we can meditate on:-
Luke 6:38 - Give and it will be given to you, a good measure pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
Psalm 112:5 – Good will come to him who is generous and lends freely, who conducts his affairs with justice
Proverbs 11:25 – A generous man will prosper, he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
Proverbs 22:9 – A generous man will himself be blessed for he shares his food with the poor
Proversb 11:24 – One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly but comes to poverty
2 Corinthians 9:6 – Remember this, whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Proverbs 3:9-10 – Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. Then your barns will be filled to overflowing and your vats will brim over with new wine.
I was listening to a teaching CD by Marnie L Pehrson entitled “Faith Precedes the Miracle“. Disc 3 is about Gratitude and Giving. She states that the eternal law found in the bible says that you cannot give without eventually receiving at least ten times as much in return. This means if you give $1 to the poor or a worthy cause, you will eventually receive $10 or more in return. If you give $10 you will receive $100 or more in return and so on. I’m not sure where she obtained this calculation from. However she goes on to challenge her listeners to test this law out for themselves to see what happens. Sometime ago I did actually test this out by giving $20 extra per month to a charity I was committed to and I believe it did come back to me in a tenfold way, in that my monthly car insurance payments were reduced substantially due to a certain event. Of course we should not have an attitude to give only to receive . Also we must give in faith and with a cheerful heart because without faith it is impossible to please God.
Marnie also suggests that it is good to give away things that we don’t need anymore so that others may benefit. She emphasises the point of giving it away. If we sell the items for money than the amount we obtain for the sale is all that we will receive. It is only when we give, that it will return to us tenfold.
In Malachi 3:8-11 it says:- “Will a man rob God” Yet you rob me. “But you ask ‘ How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse – the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,’ says the Lord Almighty.
In this passage God even asks his people to test Him on this point, that is, to obey Him in regards to tithes and offerings, and see that God will provide for all their needs and possibly more.
A point to note is that the sowing and reaping will more often come from two different sources. When we give to a certain person, or christian cause, it does not necessarily mean that the same organisation or person will bless us in return (althought this could occur too). More often than not the blessing or return will come from another completely different source or a completely different way. This allows us to know that God is working on our behalf in His own supernatural way and is not through man’s own doing. Also the return may not always come in the form of cash but could also be a reduction in debts owing, a free gift that was needed and so on. God cannot be limited in the ways that he chooses to give to us.
Another important point in the teaching is that we will not always know exactly when we are going to reap what we sow. It could be the following week , the following month or whenever God sees it is the suitable time.
There is a verse from Ecclesiastes 11:1 which says “Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again”. This means, that if we keep on putting out good, and helping others, then eventually it will return to us in our time of need.
In Malachi 3:8-11 it also talks about the overflowing abundance that God can sow into our lives when we are generous in our giving. Notice that the passage talks about not only tithes but offerings as well. Offerings are amounts over and above the tithe amount, according to our level of generosity. This can be illustrated in how God can transform a tiny pea seed to grow into an enormous pea tree through his power.
I realise that many new believers or christians may find the issue of tithing and giving a very difficult one, especially if you find your income or resources already limited. I would suggest asking the Lord to help you build your faith gradually in this area. Meditate on the relevant scripture passages. Just start by giving a small amount, then gradually increase it over time according to the amount of faith you have. Perhaps even test to see if the law of sowing and reaping really comes true for you. See if your small amount will eventually multiply tenfold in the future. This could then help to reassure you that God will indeed provide for you and not leave your whole family to starve. Also the Lord will understand if you are new in the faith or in this area. He will treat you with gentleness and build your faith with small miracles so that you can gradually expand your capacity to give. ”Test and see that the Lord is good” Then you will enter the supernatural realm of Heavenly Economics.
Another point to note is that sometimes if people really want to give you something out of kindness, let them give to you if you feel OK about it. In so doing you are allowing them to be blessed in the heavenly kingdom.
It is also important when we give or ask something of God, that we do so with a thankful and grateful heart. This puts us in harmony with God. Otherwise if we have an ungrateful and grudging attitude, this may block the blessings of God from flowing towards us. God is always looking at the attitude of our heart which is most important to Him. He does not look so much at our outward appearance but on what is inside of us. This is what really matters to Him.
God himself is the perfect example of giving that we can follow. He did not wait to receive our love first. Instead he took the initiative and gave of himself, gave his only Son to us. Jesus himself also followed his Father’s example by giving of himself and being a servant to others. It is because He first gave to us, that now motivates us to give our lives back to him.
Let us continue to develop the art of giving.