John is from a poor family. His father recently lost his job as a casual staff in one of the soap factories in their town. His mother sells roasted groundnuts at the front of their rented apartment. After John’s father lost his job, life became unbearable for the family. The little proceeds from the sale of groundnuts by John’s mother were irregular and not enough to feed the family. One day, a member of their church visited John’s family and realized that it was difficult for the parents to care for their children. The man went back home and returned to John’s house the next day with food stuff. He also gave some money to the family and asked John’s father to come and work in his company as a clerk. The family was happy and gave thanks to God for the gifts given to them. They were also happy that their father would be able to work again and have enough money to take care of his family. They praised God and thanked Him for the life of the man who helped the family.

Meaning of Giving

The word ‘Giving’ simply means to offer something to someone to bless or meet their needs. Giving is the act of presenting something you own to another person to keep or use. Whatever is given is known as a ‘gift’, the person who gives is the ‘giver’ while the person who collects the gift is the ‘receiver’. Giving is part of our worship and it is our responsibility as Christians to give to God and others. The Word of God teaches that it is more blessed to give than to receive(Acts 20:35). God first showed us an example of giving; He gave us life, that is ability to live by giving His breath to us (Genesis 2:7). He also gave us His Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sins so that we can have eternal life (John3:16;10:10).JesusH2Nmust follow the example of our heavenly Father and seek to be like HimHim and to people around us. When we give, we must always give what to spend or no longer useful at all. We must give to honor Cod and help people.

What to Give and to Whom

God is nota man; He cannot eat our food nor wear our clothes. So, we cannot give Him food or clothes, yet there are many things we can give to God. Things that we can give to God include the following:

Our Hearts/Lives: The best and the greatest thing we can give to God and lives. We should ask Jesus to come and live in our hearts.We should give lives to Him so that we can live for Him and serve Him, all the days of our lives.If we do not give Jesus our hearts first, it would be difficult and impossible to give Him another thing.The Christians in Macedonia first gave their hearts to God and it was easy to give their gifts to God(2 Corinthians 8:3-5;1 Corinthians 4:1,9;1 Timothy 6:20)

Our possessions: All that we have belong to God. We can give anything that belongs to us to God and other people for use (Colossians 3:1-2; Matthews 6:19-21). Out clothes, toys, etc. Our money is part of our possessions, which we can give to God for His work.

Time: We can give our time to serve God(Psalm 90:12;Colossians 4:5;Ephesians 5:15)

Gifts and Talents or Abilities: God gives us special gifts and abilities(1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7,11). Some of us have melodious voices with which we can sing: some of us can draw or write poems. Some of us can teach. We can give our gifts and abilities to God for His use.

Giving to People

While it is good to give to God, we must also give to people. God expects us to give to people around us, especially the poor and the needy around us. The book of Deuteronomy 15:11 says,’ There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore, I command you to be open-handed towards your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.’There are many things we can give to people. Some of these are food, toys, clothes, money, counsel or advice, shoes, and so on. However, as children, we must always tell our parents before we give anything to anyone, even our friends. Proverbs 19:17 says,’Whoever is kind to the poor to the LORD, and he[God] will reward them for what they have done.

Giving to God

We must give in such a way that our giving will be to both God and humans and be acceptable to God. To give in an acceptable way to the Lord, we must do the following:

First, give yourself to God by surrendering your life to Him: The best and the greatest thing we can give to God is our lives. Without giving our lives to God first, He will not accept any other thing we give to Him. The Christians in Macedonia first gave themselves to God before their gifts; this made their gifts to be acceptable to God.

Give generously and proportionately (2 Corinthians 9:7): Some people are fond of giving small or little things to God. They have so much but would rather give little to God. To make our gifts acceptable to God, we must give generously and appropriately, according to how much God has blessed or provided for us.

Give cheerfully and willingly: We should not give reluctantly, murmur while giving, or be forced to give. Such gifts will not be pleasing and acceptable to God. Instead, we should give cheerfully, joyously, and willingly.

Give the best to the Lord: We should not give any gift that is bad or no longer good to the Lord. We must give our best to the Lord so that our gifts will be acceptable and pleasing to Him. God was not pleased with the priests in Israel for giving Him blind and lame animals. That was not their best but leftovers. We should not give leftovers to the Lord but our best. The best will usually cost us something or be more expensive, but that is what will be pleasing to the Lord.

Give from the heart: We must give from a sincere, genuine, and pure heart. We must not give for wrong reasons such as to show off, wrong motives, or for people to see our gifts, praise, or applaud us. We must give secretly; we must not give arrogantly or oppress others. Such a thing will not make our giving to be pleasing and acceptable to God.

Giving That Pleases God in the Bible

Webareleamed that God wants us to give and that giving brings blessings, both to the giver and never: There are many examples of people (male and female) in the Bible who gave acceptably and pleasingly to the Lord. They include Dorcas, Solomon, Abelanda widow.

Solomon (2 Chronicles 1:6-7): Solomon gave generously to God by giving a thousand burnt offerings to God and God allowed him to ask for whatever he wanted. As children of God, you need to give to God generously because He is the. giver of all things, and He will bless you in return.

Abel (Genesis 4:3-6):: Abel offered a sacrifice to God, which pleased Him, and God pled Abel’s git e sacrifice of a fatanimal from his floces. He did that in faith. It is important to also learn to give in a way that will be acceptable to God.

The Widow with a Mite (Mark 12:42-43): One day, Jesus was in the temple for worship and many rich people gave their offerings. A poor widow also gave her two small coins, which was all she had. Jesus commended her act of giving, despite giving little compared to what the rich people gave. As God’s children, we do not need to have excess before we give. The little we have will still be accepted by God if we give it from a pure and sincere heart. That little could be the best offering.

Dorcas(Acts 9:36-42): Dorcas, who was also called Tabitha, made clothing for the poor and widows at Joppa. Dorcas was known for her good works and acts of mercy because she gave generously to the widows and the poor. She did not give to the rich to receive favor from them but to the poor who could not repay her. When she died, the widows whom she had helped stood beside her in an upper room, crying because of what she did for them. They also sent for Peter to come and raise her from the dead. We can learn from Dorcas by giving to the poor and needy among us and God will be pleased with us. Part of what is expected from us as Christians is to look after orphans and widows(James 1:27).

Importance of Practising Giving That Pleases God

  • Giving is a form of worship to God, so when we do it well, our worship is acceptable to God.
  • God will be happy with us when we give to the poor without announcing it.
  • We will be happy and fulfilled because we are obeying God.

Conclusion

It is not just about giving; we must give the best to the Lord, the Owner, and of all good things. We should remember what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Eachan should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Giving should be done in God’s way so that it can be pleasing and acceptable to Him. This will make us enjoy the reward of giving. The Bible gives us examples of people who gave gifts. We should also emulate these people by giving willingly and generously like they did. We should not emulate bad examples of those whose sacrifices were rejected by God. We should give to God and also give to the poor and the needy.