Since my last blog the Lord has been speaking to me intentionally about the power of the seed in relation to God’s wonderful gift of grace. It is my desire to see the gift achieve the purpose through me in which it was given.
Take a seed. Put it under several inches of dirt. Give it enough water, light, and fertilizer. And get ready. A mountain will be moved. It doesn’t matter that the ground is many times the weight of the seed. The seed will push it back.
I have come to understand that we sow seeds every day either in our own lives or in the lives of others. We sow seeds physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally. Every seed that we sow brings its own harvest either for good or for bad.
- When we do something kind for others such as giving them a gift, we are sowing seeds of blessings and joy.
- When we say a kind word, we are sowing seeds of love and affirmation.
- When we pray for others and ask God to meet their need or help them in an area that they are struggling, we are sowing seeds of hope, mercy and grace.
- When we acknowledge a deed well done or compliment someone on a talent they possess, we are sowing seeds of encouragement.
Every seed that we sow will fall into the soil of someone’s heart. It will take root, grow and bring to fruition what was planted by us the sower. That is why we must be conscious to what we are saying and doing to others.
But it was the power of the financial seed to advance the Kingdom of God that the Lord focused my attention that I felt I needed to consider.
What I hadn’t realised was that God had not only supplied me seed, but He had increased and multiplied my store (i.e. resources). God was quietly increasing my financial seed so that I would have more to give for His Kingdom purposes.
I began to see a greater “harvest of righteousness,” that is, I could do more and greater works that result from me being a righteous person. I was further encouraged by His Word. “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, his righteousness endures forever.” Psalm 112:9
It was God blessing me that enabled me to have more than enough for my family and myself but also give abundantly. “And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 GNT.
The truth is that my faith has been on a cycle of giving for many years and I sensed that I was not to interrupt it but introduce a greater degree of grace into it. If it flows in, it must also continue to flow out for the promise to be continually renewed and reactivated.
I was challenged by the following questions
How do I give to God?
For me personally, I began my Christian life as a tither. Like many others, that was what I was told God expected of me. I had followed this pattern faithfully for all of my Christian life. However, when grace was introduced to my giving it revolutionised my giving. It gave me a new freedom motivated by God’s goodness. It was no longer a percentage formula, but grace giving motivated by my heart relationship with God.
For me, I want my giving to reflect God’s work in my heart and my walk with God. For me, grace giving is all about my intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Grace giving is inconceivable without walking with God
I truly want to enlarge myself in the grace of giving. But to do this I have had to confront my own selfishness, and in doing so my greatest prayer is for Him to help me understand this grace and grow in it.
I want to encourage people towards grace giving. As a pastor I never commanded people to give or tithe. My heart was for them to Know Jesus Christ as Saviour. As they grow in grace I believe His grace will manifest in every area of their lives so that the will of God will be done in the way of God. That we will “Be” before we “Do”, and that what we do will be for the glory of God, having first given ourselves to Him.
How much should I give?
As I contemplate how much to give, I keep in mind two facts.
- The law of the harvest. If I sow sparingly, I receive a rather thin harvest. If I sow in abundance, I receive a bountiful harvest.
- God weighs my motives. He loves sincere (not reluctantly), willing (not under compulsion), cheerful givers.
It now is a heart attitude and I look to Jesus for my guidance. I start with a benchmark of giving (alright a percentage), but I add continually to that benchmark depending on the needs that is presenting.
Where do give?
The simple answer is wherever it is needed.
- I start with my local church. Both Scripture and common sense make clear that the believer’s first and primary giving obligation is to his own church family. For this reason, first and foremost I give to my local church. Grace giving is not in place of, but in addition to my giving to my church.
- I give to ministries that that I have an interest i.e. unreached people groups, who have never heard the gospel;
- I give to the poor due to circumstance (not choice)
- I give to ministries who support persecuted Christians i.e. Christians suffering in hostile spiritual environments
- I give to the place that is blessed because of the good ground with good soil that will return to a good harvest. I am a firm believer that “soil can change” in a person hearts
I challenge myself and those reading this blog to be a giver in life. Acknowledge the power of God’s seed and sow it consciously. Say kind words, do kind deeds, lift others up, and give from your whole heart so that God may be able to return it back to you multiplied many times over. And the wonderful thing about seeds is they multiply greatly when planted in good ground and the amount of harvest we receive is directly related to the amount of seeds that we have sown.
I want to encourage you to try it for yourself and receive the blessing of being a giver.