And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. (Philippians 4:15)
An amazing fact is that the Apostle Paul had little or no financial support to accomplish what the Lord Jesus Christ had called him to do. Even though the Lord Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and called him into the ministry, he was not overflowing with support in his ministry. From experience and the Word of God, I know that the Lord Jesus called people to support the Apostle Paul in his ministry, even though they weren’t.
I have been in the same position as the Apostle Paul, and the Lord has always made a way. The Apostle Paul and I are not alone in this. He will make a way for you, but His way always requires acts of faith. The Lord will give you opportunities to act on your faith—to sow financially. Don’t miss those opportunities! I’m not saying to go out and just randomly and wildly give your money out to just anybody. You do it according to the Word of God. A person should tithe to their local church, support it and sow as the Lord leads them into the Lord’s work.
Though the world sees the Christian season as a time of giving and receiving, this should be the attitude of the life of every Christian. We should be giving and receiving on a continual basis, not just during Christmas.
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Cor. 9:6)
I went on my first long cross country ministry trip in 1988. It was 2,076 miles, round trip, for a four day meeting. My wife and I drove to Alton, IL, to stop for the night and attended a conference there. I had $42.00 cash in my pocket – two one dollar bills and two twenty dollar bills. Our van had a quarter of a tank of gas in it and I needed to fill it up before continuing on to our meeting. We were staying overnight with some friends so that was free.
The offering was being received at the conference in Alton I was attending. The first thing I thought about was how much money that I did not have – not how much I was going to give! Yes, that is the way broke folks think. I was taught to work hard for my money, not to give it away. I wanted to hang on to every penny that I could, so I could continue to scratch my way through life financially.
I knew I had to give something because I was a faith preacher. Amen! I looked into my wallet and got out one dollar and crumpled it up hoping no one would see the small amount I was giving. Suddenly, the Spirit of God spoke to me and said, “In whom do you trust?” I said, “I trust in you Lord!” He said, “No you don’t. You trust in that forty-one dollars you have in your pocket.” You always lose when you try to argue with the Lord because He knows everything.
I realized the Lord was not pleased with my giving or faith. I sensed the Lord wanted me to give my best offering to Him that night. I got my wallet back out and got a twenty and a one dollar bill out. I did not have the faith to give my last twenty dollars because I needed gas in my vehicle. After the service was over, a man I did not know, walked up to me and handed me an envelope. I looked in it when I got outside and it had $500.00 in it! I wanted to give my last twenty then!
The Spirit of God revealed to me that if I had not sown what I did in the offering, He would have been unable to bring me the money I desperately needed. He cannot violate His own Word to meet my or your needs.
If you do not sow bountifully, you will not reap bountifully. Stop! It is that simple. If you want to increase your receiving, you must increase you giving. Why? The Bible says so. When I increased my giving, I increased my receiving.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Mal. 3:10)
Yes, that is what the Bible says. Tithe means one tenth. You tithe one tenth of your income back to God. That is what the Bible says. Your tithe goes to your local church. When you tithe you’re demonstrating to God that you believe He will take care of you. When you withhold your tithe, you are simply stating that you do not trust God to take care of you. Trust Him and obey the Bible!
In the Old Testament, God rebuked the devil for them because Jesus had not died and rose again to give us the authority over him. In the New Testament, the Christian must rebuke the devil in the name of Jesus Christ. God is not stopping the finances from coming to you, if you’re obeying the Bible. That is the devil doing that. Rebuke him!
The Christmas season is not an exclusive season for giving and receiving. It is a lifetime, year long season for the Christian. It is a lifestyle for those who are born again. As we emulate the attitude of our Father God (He is a giver and gave His only son), then we shall also reap the rewards of being a receiver, just like Him. God is with us!