Bella Vista Church of Christ



Randall Caselman


Blessed Are The Givers


  Indiscriminately throwing large sums of money into the Sunday collection does not make us pleasing to God. We give for a reason...


  Because it is commanded. God has always demanded giving in worship. Cain and Able were to sacrifice, Abraham paid tithes to Priest Melchizedek. The children of Israel supported the priesthood of Aaron and cared for the poor by their giving. In the New Testament, Paul clearly instructs the Corinthian church, and us, to: "Give on the first day of the week, as we have been prospered, sacrificially, as we have purposed, generously and cheerfully."


  A means of saying “Thank You." God has given us life, strength and health; He has saved us through His Son Jesus. In fact "All good blessings come down from our Father in Heaven." Then scripture tells us that "His love compels us, constrains us." We give because He first loved us.


  Because our generosity blesses us. It was Jesus who said: "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." God blesses our generosity by giving us more and more and more.


  Because, in giving, we lay up treasures in Heaven. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal... But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal." Jesus reminds us that "not a cup of cold water will be given in My name without its reward."


  Scripture teaches that our giving can be an indication of what’s going on in our heart. "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Paul instructs: "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart… It is an expression of your thanks to God… A test of the sincerity of your love. Therefore show the proof of your love." If we genuinely love, we will give. We can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving. If we love God, we will give Him our ambitions, our energy, time, talent and treasure in accordance with His truth. Amen?


  As Paul closed his third missionary journey, he asked for a meeting of the Ephesian Elders. During this emotional encounter, Paul imparts a Christian principle that almost goes unnoticed today. In his closing remarks, Paul attributes this statement to Jesus: "It is more blessed to give than receive.” This concept cuts across the grain of life in our culture. It’s just the opposite of how we live, think, dream and plan.

  Let's see what we might learn as we catch a glimpse of well-known givers and getters.


  Judas was a Getter. Judas was always looking out for number one. Scripture tells us that he had been a getter for some time, stealing from the apostles’ treasury.


  Peter was a giver. Acts chapter three records the healing narrative in the Temple court where a man asked for alms. Peter's response was "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Being a giver is not based on how much we have or necessarily how much we give; it’s an attitude of the heart not a function of the pocketbook.


  Barnabas was a giver. The first time we meet him, he’s selling a piece of land in order to feed the needy. Then time after time we find him giving. A giver is an encourager. Barnabas lived up to his name son-of-encouragement.


  Demas was a getter. According to Colossians 4.14, Demas was a dear friend and working companion of Paul. But for whatever the reason, the things of this world overcame his desire to serve the Lord. Paul says "Loving this world" prompted him to forsake both Paul and the Lord. An observation: Love of this world, things, always produce a getter not a giver.


  Ananias and Sapphira were apparent givers, but not really. Their motives were that of a getter. They acted out the part of givers, but their heart was not in it. Givers and getters do what they do out of a heart condition.


  You see, getting is the motive behind every sin from sexual immorality to gossip. On the other hand, a giving attitude makes possible all the goodness we experience: "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son." "By grace are you saved and that not of yourself, it is the gift of God." "Give and it will be given to you"... "For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." "God loves a cheerful giver."


  Interesting that when Jesus pictured the judgment scene, the deciding factor of being on the right or left was giving vs. getting. Our eternal destiny depends on how we deal with this concept of Getting & Giving. "Then the King will say to those on his right,‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’"