The BIBLE VIEW #950 — Giving

In This Issue:
A “Giving” Testimony
Put the Money in His Hand
Keeping Money

Volume: 950     March 25, 2024
Theme: Giving

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Bill Brinkworth

“Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast an hook, and take up the fish that first cometh up; and when thou hast opened his mouth, thou shalt find a piece of money: that take, and give unto them for me and thee.” Matthew 17:27

One of the biggest blessings of being a Christian is seeing how God takes care of His own.  Seeing Him meet needs establishes concretely how real He is.

Many spend much energy trying to justify why they should not and do not give sacrificially to the Lord.  They miss seeing how God will provide for their needs. 

I have noticed quite often that those who have justified robbing God by not giving their tithes (Malachi 3:8) also have the most financial problems.  Some tried to talk me out of giving by faith to my local church.  They justified not giving because they supposedly “knew” the Scriptures better than I did.  They accused me of being foolish when I gave money to the ministry when I could not afford to.  Those people never got to the point where they ignored human reasoning and lived by faith.

I am so glad I did not let them influence me.  When I got saved, I soon learned about tithing (giving at least 10% of what God had allowed one to earn) from my daily devotions and good preaching on the subject.

I gave sacrificially when giving was extremely difficult because of my low economic level.  Not once did I ever miss a bill.  I never was even late when I tithed.  I always got to see how God met my needs because there was no other way as far as the “world” saw, but through His help.  When the needs were most urgent, He always provided in an unexpected manner.

In verse 25, a “tribute” was due to be paid by Jesus.  Sometimes, a “tribute” was a temple tax or a gift to the Lord.  Here, I believe it was a government tax, as it was mentioned that “kings of the earth” were collecting it.  It was a need to pay Jesus’ tax. 

The disciples and Jesus had no guaranteed salary or a well-stocked bank account.  They lived day-by-day through God’s provision of their “daily bread”. 

When it came time to pay their taxes, an important need, Jesus told Peter to work for it.  Peter obeyed, went down to the water’s edge, threw in a hook, and caught a fish.  Peter reached into the fish’s mouth and, imagine that, pulled out of it a coin that was enough to pay their tribute.

Coincidence?  Unlikely!  It was God’s way of providing what they needed.  If they had had a large savings account and had just taken out the money they needed, they would have missed seeing how God had taken care of them — an important lesson to learn if one is to grow spiritually. 

With the economy being in a terrible mess, more and more people are finding it hard to pay bills.  This is not the time to stop giving to God, but rather a time to give more faithfully and then see how the mighty hand of God will provide!

“Although a new Christian and a single parent, I soon started tithing.  One Sunday, my pastor encouraged all to participate in “Give It All Sunday.”

“I struggled with that request.  ‘How in the world could I afford to give all I earned that week?  I do not make much, am on a strict budget, and barely can make ends meet now.  I have expenses most do not have.’

“Soon, however, I succumbed to the Holy Spirit’s desire to step out by faith and put all I earned in the offering plate that Sunday.  By the grace of God, I somehow made all my financial obligations, although I had no savings to help me, and never missed a bill.  When we live by faith, God WILL be there to do the impossible!  Trust Him.” — Bill Brinkworth

A “Giving” Testimony
Norman Gartin

When I was a new Christian, I sat in the DMV with another man from my church.  My friend said he couldn’t tithe because he couldn’t afford to with all the car repairs and his being on state assistance.  My response to him was that I couldn’t afford not to tithe, seeing I was also out of work and trusting the Lord to provide.

He and his wife later went on to divorce.  Their lives were in a constant spiral down and away from God.  My wife and I have been married for over 35 years, and our children serve the Lord.  I wonder if there is a relationship between our attitude on tithing and where we ended up years later.  We both sat in the same church and heard the same teaching but with different ears.

“Some people don’t give their money because they worship the dollar, and they don’t want to give away their ‘god’.”  — Bill Brinkworth

Author Unknown

The sun gives ever; so the Earth,
What it can give so much ‘tis worth;
The ocean gives in many ways;
Gives paths, gives fishes, rivers, bays;
So, too, the air, it gives us breath;
When it stops giving comes in death.
Give, give, be always giving;
Who gives not is not living.
The more you give,
The more you live.

God’s love hath to us wealth upheaped;
Only by giving it is reaped.
The body withers, and the mind,
If pent in by selfish rind,
Give strength, give thought, give deeds, give pelf,
Give love, give tears, and give thyself;
Who gives not is not living.
The more we give,
The more we live.

(* “pelf” is money or riches.)

“You give but a little when you give of your possessions.  It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.”  — K. Gibran

Put the Money in His Hand
Author Unknown

A pastor was taking a missionary offering.  He said, “I want each of you to give today as though you were putting your money right into the pierced hand of Jesus Christ.”

A lady came up afterward and said to him, “I was going to give a dollar, but I didn’t do so.”

“Why didn’t you give it?” the preacher asked her.

“Do you think,” replied the lady, “I would put a dollar into His pierced hand?  I have a hundred dollars at home, and I will give that.”

If you were putting money into the pierced hand of our Lord, our contributions would amount to millions instead of thousands, and the world would be evangelized in our generation!

“Giving is the secret of a healthy life.  Not necessarily money, but whatever a man has of encouragement, sympathy, and understanding.” — J. D. Rockefeller, Jr.

Un-voluntary Giving
Author Unknown

A summer boarder asked the farmer, “How much milk does that cow give?”

“Wal,” the farmer replied, “ef ye mean by voluntary contribooshun, she don’t give none.  But ef ye kin get her cornered, so’s she can’t kick none to hurt, an able-bodied man kin take away about ‘eleven quarts a day from her.”

When it comes to giving, are not many like Farmer Applegate’s cow?

“God has given us two hands — one to receive with and the other to give with.  We are not cisterns made for hoarding; we are channels made for sharing.” — Graham  

Keeping Money  
Author Unknown

It is foolish to allow our hearts to lean upon any earthly good, which may soon perish.  It is like putting all one’s money into the coat pocket, which a clever thief may empty.

A great man once told a youth to empty his purse into his head if he wished to keep his money safely; meaning that a good education would be the best and surest investment for his little capital. 

Let us lay up our treasure where it will be safe, namely, in the graces of the soul, the love of God, and for our eternity in Heaven if we are saved.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

“You do not have to be rich to be generous.  If one has the spirit of true generosity, a pauper can give like a prince.” Wells

The BIBLE VIEW #930 —Tabernacle Giving

In This Issue:
Give and Give
Before Anyone Gave

Volume: 930     October 30, 2023
Theme: Giving for the Tabernacle

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Give and Give
Bill Brinkworth

God had just given Moses the instructions for the construction of the first “church,” the Tabernacle.  It was to be a beautiful place.  It was a “tent” and very portable, as it would be taken up and down as the people of Israel followed God through the wilderness.

Although the tabernacle was a tent, it was a holy dwelling place for God.  It would be richly laden with gold, silver, weavings, and precious stones.  The place of worship would be a monument honoring God.

“Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord… (Exodus 35:5)” commanded God of His people.

The people of Israel had been delivered from the cruel clutches of the Egyptians.  They had seen God open the sea so they could walk through it on dry ground!  God’s people saw the pursuing enemy drowned by the waters that had been their escape route.  

The Hebrews had seen the sky darken and the Earth shake as their leader, Moses, ascended a mountain to meet with God.  They saw and felt the Earth tremble as Moses talked with God.  

Israel felt the fury of God when they displeased Him. God was very real and wonderful to them.  What a wonderful opportunity God’s people had to obey their heavenly Father and give back to Him!

So, the people gave and gave.  Animals were skinned, and the hides were prepared for the Tabernacle’s outer coverings.  Oil was readied for the tabernacle’s lighting.  Wood was hewn.  Gold and silver were collected and crafted.  Furniture was constructed.  

Women labored over weaving looms.  Men collected precious stones and polished them.  The people had a mind to work.  All continued to give of themselves and their possessions with which God had richly blessed them.

Rich men contributed.  Leaders donated.  Socially important men and women shared.  Families sacrificially offered what they could.  Poor men and women gave.  

What a sight it must have been to see the pile of goods given to the service of God continue to grow.  How it must have felt to feel the air of unselfishness and zeal amongst God’s people.

One day, Moses stepped out amongst the people and commanded their attention.  “ … Let neither man nor woman make any more work for the offering of the sanctuary … for the stuff we have is sufficient for all the work to make it, and too much.” (Ex.  36:6).  The people were restrained from giving as they gave more than enough!

Oh, Christian, if only we would have the same spirit of giving today.  Many today stop short when giving has anything to do with their pocketbooks.  

There is not one person who has anything that God has not given or allowed them to have.  Still, it is hard for people to give.

“Well, God had nothing to do with the new car I have sitting in my garage,” retort some.  Not true.  God blessed them with the job to earn the money to buy it.  He allowed them to have the health to be able to work.  Their heavenly Father blessed them with the intelligence to learn the skills that enabled them to earn money.

King Nebuchadnezzar once said almost the same thing.  He was proud of what he had done and gave God no credit for his accomplishments.  

Within one hour, God removed the leader’s intelligence.  High and mighty King Nebuchadnezzar was not so high and mighty any longer.  He ate grass and crawled on all fours like cattle.  

The once powerful ruler stayed that way for four years.  After finally recognizing that God had used him in doing all the marvelous things, God restored his sanity, and he became the leader again.

Do not learn the hard way, as did Nebuchadnezzar.  If you have anything, it is through God’s blessing.  Be a cheerful giver and give unto the Lord.  The most you can give is only part of what He has allowed you to have anyway.

We are responsible for being good stewards with our money, helping others, and seeing that the Gospel is carried throughout the country and world.  You can give of yourself, talents, time, and money to see that God’s will and way are accomplished.  He could do it Himself, but he chose to allow us.  

We also have the opportunity now to give and give.  Would it be wonderful for our spiritual leaders to get us to stop giving because we had given too much?  Oh, for giving hearts, as Israel once had.

“It is possible to give without loving, but it is impossible to love without giving.”  — Braunstein

Before Anyone Gave
Bill Brinkworth

After fleeing Egyptian slavery, one of the most significant accomplishments of Israel was building the Tabernacle.  That portable tent was a God-designed place of worship for the over two million refugees seeking a new land God had promised them. 

All gave to support the monumental task that was to be laden with gold, silver, woven materials, and other materials (Exodus 35:5-19).  However, giving did not come naturally to those people.  Before they would provide, a change had to be made in their hearts.

Their leader, Moses, gathered the people together and pronounced they would head to a new land of great wealth and opportunity, but God would not lead them.  Moses highlighted their sin as a reason for God’s not guiding them.  He said they were a “stiffnecked people” (Ex. 33:3, 5, 34:9).

Their stubbornness and hard-heartedness cost them God’s protection, provision, and other blessings.  They immediately knew what angered God.  It was their clinging to ornaments (jewelry) they had brought from their bondage in Egypt.  What in particular about their adornments was sin is not clear.  The decorations were somehow tied to Egyptian idolatry and false worship. 

God had them gather these treasures from Egypt in the first place for His pre-known purpose of decorating the Tabernacle.  Most likely, the pagan etchings and engravings on the rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces depicted idolatrous images they were to flee from, not covet.  

Israel removed their jewelry (Ex. 33:4,6), which was a remnant of their ungodly past.  The realization that they were still hanging on to the old world and life they had been delivered from broke their hearts (they “mourned” – Ex. 33:4).  

Turning from their sin changed their heart about giving.  Those “treasures” of ungodliness lost their luster and value.  The things became a tool to glorify God.

People then gave so willingly that Moses did what every pastor dreams of doing; he commanded Israel to stop giving as what they had given was “sufficient” (Ex. 36: 5-7) for the task God had for them.  It is also recorded that they not only gave the valuables they were allowed to have while in Egypt, but many gave themselves to the task of building the place of worship.

This remarkable change in heart was all because they recognized their sin and desired to flee from its clutching grasp on their lives.  When they truly repented, their giving and service to the Lord were given more willingly (Ex. 35:21, 22, 29). 

Hearts were changed as their selfish priorities changed.  They were more united because they now had one important goal, and they accomplished what God had for them to do.

Too many today also have barriers that will keep them from living for God and serving Him.  It may be the pull on their lives of coveting, idolatry, dishonesty, or another sin.  They may have moments of “religious” activity, but a relationship between them and the Lord is missing. 

Unless sin is recognized, confessed, and repented of, people will not have the Lord’s leading in their lives.  Not until they get to the place of being grieved over the waywardness from obedience to God will anything change.  It is never too late to have the right change of heart!  It will change many things, including one’s giving.

The manner of giving is worth more than the gift. — Corneille