God’s Law of Giving and ReceivingSeptember 14, 2016
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
— Mark 1:35
In recent years, many people have been forced into positions of financial hardship as they struggle to keep up with an unpredictable, ever-changing global economy. People from almost every walk of life have been affected by the rising cost of living. Families scramble to keep up with house payments, car payments, insurance costs, school costs for the kids, credit-card payments, and a myriad of other monthly expenses.
This economic instability has also adversely affected churches, ministries, and mission organizations. When things get tough in the economy, many believers simply cut back on their giving to God, choosing not to set aside their tithes or give special offerings to ministries or charitable organizations. This decline in giving has had catastrophic consequences in the Kingdom of God because preaching the Gospel and establishing churches require money. Regardless of what is happening in the economy, there is a lost world that desperately needs to hear the message of Jesus Christ — and when people cease to give to the work of God, it hinders the outreach to lost souls.
The Bible makes it clear that tithes and offerings are not optional for us as believers. In fact, we have an even greater responsibility to be consistent and faithful in difficult times. God is watching — and His law of giving and receiving always works!
Right now believers all over the world are faced with these questions:
- In light of current financial challenges, will I remain faithful and unmoving in my financial commitment to the work of the ministry?
- What does this time of financial hardship reveal about me and my commitment to steadfastly sow into the work of the ministry?
- Will the giants move my faith, or will my faith move the giants?
Allow me to share an example from my own life. My parents’ response to these challenging economic times stands out to me as a wonderful example of being consistent regardless of what is happening in the economy. Perhaps no one understands the challenge of making ends meet on a limited budget more than retirees. My father is now in Heaven, so today I will give you the vibrant example of my mother. Although she lives on a fixed income and makes many difficult financial decisions, she has never stopped giving to the work of the Lord.
My mother has always been careful with money, but now that she lives on a fixed retiree’s income, she thinks twice before she gets in the car to drive to the grocery store or pharmacy. Instead of casually driving down the street to run a single errand, she combines errands to avoid driving when it isn’t absolutely necessary in order to save on gasoline expenses. She is extremely careful with her expenditures.
Nevertheless, she has always resolved that regardless of what happens in the economy, she will not cut back in her giving to the ministry. She knows that if she and others don’t stay on track with their giving, it ultimately affects souls that need to hear the Gospel and be saved. My mother has never considered her giving into the work of the ministry as something that could be “opted out of” in order to cut expenses.
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I want to encourage you to take the same stance of faith as my mother. Be unmoved in your commitment to support the work of God, regardless of what is happening in the economy. Every time you write a check for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom, He is watching. He sees each time you cut back on something else but refuse to skimp on your tithes and offerings. God sees it all, and He takes note of your love, devotion, and unwavering commitment to support His work. As a result, God will provide for you in ways that your natural resources could never provide. God will multiply your seed back to you in ways you could never expect or anticipate.
In Second Corinthians 9:6, the Holy Spirit said through Paul, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” Paul wrote in terms of seed when he spoke about giving to the work of God. Since this is the metaphor the Holy Spirit gives us, we need to consider what it means. What does a farmer — a sower of seed — do to guarantee that he will have a harvest in the fall of the year?
If a farmer puts seed into the ground, he is guaranteed to have a harvest. But what if he says, “It’s too hard to plant right now, so I’m going to hold on to my seed and not plant it this year”? Or what if he decides, “I’m going to eat my seed because I have so little of it”? These faulty decisions will guarantee that the farmer is going to experience a crisis at harvest time — because if no seed is planted in the ground, there simply will be no harvest.
The future of a farmer is completely dependent on getting his seed into the ground, and any farmer who fails to do this is guaranteeing his own crop failure. Therefore, regardless of how hot the weather or how difficult the task, a farmer must plant seed if he wants to reap a harvest. This is God’s law of sowing and reaping.
The law of sowing and reaping applies to every sphere of life, including finances. It supersedes natural laws and natural economic crises. Even if the world around you suffers financially, sowing seed into the Kingdom of God will bring you protection and blessing. This is God’s promise to you.
One of the best examples of God’s people being blessed in times of crisis is the account of the children of Israel when God delivered them out of Egypt. God’s people were blessed and protected while the world around them suffered. Although plagues ravaged the Egyptians, those plagues never touched the children of Israel because they hearkened to the voice of the Lord and did exactly what He instructed them to do.
The world around the Israelites was falling apart, but their obedience to God’s Word created an invisible wall that protected them from the destruction that crippled and laid waste to Egypt. If Israel had not obeyed God’s commands, that invisible wall would never have been erected and they would have experienced the same plagues the people of Egypt did. It was their obedience that set them apart and saved them while the godless world around them suffered terribly.
If you and I stay on track financially and give to God’s work, regardless of how difficult it seems to be to do so, we will be divinely protected, supernaturally provided for, and guaranteed a blessing multiplied back to us. Like natural seed, it may take awhile for the crop to grow, but God promises in Second Corinthians 9:6 that if we put seed into the ground, we will reap. If we sow sparingly, that is how we will reap. But if we sow bountifully, God promises that we will reap bountifully. The level we reap will be completely determined by the level we sow.
If you and I are sure of where God wants us to sow and how much we’re supposed to sow, we must stay steadfast in our obedience to give! We must first make sure we’re putting our seed in ground that will produce good fruit. Then we are to determine not to refrain from giving, regardless of the current economic climate or forecast.
Just keep your eyes faithfully fixed on Jesus in this matter of giving. Carefully obey His command to tithe, to give offerings, and to sow seed. As you do, He will cause harvests of blessing to come to you, despite anything that is happening in the world around you. This is God’s promise to you!
I’m very aware that many are worrying about the economy and wondering what’s going to happen in the future. But don’t let that happen to you! A spirit of fear will cause you to back off and retreat from doing what God commands — and that will put you in a negative cycle that brings a curse instead of a blessing. If you want to stay in a cycle of blessing, you must take authority over fear in the name of Jesus and then trust God as you obey His command to give, for that is His method of bringing you a harvest. Don’t shrink back; keep pressing forward; keep your eyes on Jesus; and believe for a good harvest to come from the seed you have sown into good soil.
If you do what is right and obey God’s command to give, you needn’t worry about the future because the law of sowing and reaping works. This universal law assures a harvest of provision for you, for your family, and for your business, regardless of what happens in the world around you. And that, my friend, is good news!
MY PRAYER FOR TODAY
Heavenly Father, I thank You that the law of sowing and reaping works regardless of what is happening in the current world economy. Your Word commands me to give tithes and offerings, and I obey what Your Word tells me to do. You said that if I love You, I will keep Your commands. By giving, I am demonstrating my love to You. It is a part of my worship. I thank You for keeping Your promise that if I give, it will be given to me again. It is part of Your personal promise to me, and I thank You for being faithful to perform Your promise in my life.
I pray this in Jesus’ name!
MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY
I confess that I am consistent and faithful when it comes to giving tithes and offerings to the work of the ministry. People need to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ — and I commit to using my money to preach the Gospel and to mature new believers in their faith. When it comes to my contributions, I declare that God can count on me. If there is any area that needs to be cut back in my expenses, it will not be in the area of my tithes and offerings. I will be faithful, and God will multiply my seed back to me. My time of harvest will come, and it will never be late. God is well aware of my situation, and He will keep His promise of sowing and reaping to me!
I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!
QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER
- During times when the world economic situation is challenging to you, do you remain faithful to give your tithes and offerings, or do you see this as an optional choice to stop or to reduce your giving? Do you see yourself giving to God for His purposes or merely to men?
- Have you considered what happens to churches and ministries — the work of the Kingdom — when people stop giving? The needs of the ministry continue regardless of what is happening in the economy. So if everyone cut back, how would it affect the ability of the ministry to carry out the work of Jesus in these times?
- Can you think of a time when you were tempted to cut back on your giving, but you decided to remain steadfast, and in the end, you saw God multiply your seed back to you in some way that you could have never anticipated?