Qualities That Prompt Giving To Church
It is in the interest of every member, even visitors, to give to Church. This assertion rests on what the Bible teaches about giving. Proverbs 22:9 promises that he who has a ‘bountiful eye’, who ‘gives of his bread’ to the needy, or, in this case, to the Church, shall be blessed. Love makes giving easy, and a Christian should love the Church. Some qualities prompt giving to Church, and the Biblical story of Elijah and the widow of Zarephath (I Kings 17:8-16), is instructive.
There was a famine in Israel, which had been prophesied by prophet Elijah. It lasted several years. There came a time when Elijah was hungry. God assured him by His Word that He had already made provision for a widow to sustain him. Not knowing how he would identify the woman, Elijah set off in obedience and found the widow at the gate of the city. This shows that a quality that prompts giving is obedience. The widow, in love for her son, had gone to the city gate to gather two sticks to cook their last meal. Another quality that impels giving is love.
Mary Baker Eddy, founder of the Christian Science Church, writes in Science and Health with key to the Scriptures that learning to trust God is a step-by-step process. This process of trusting God unfolds as Elijah first asked for a little water. The widow could spare some water. Thus, the desire to give is a quality, which breaks the resistance to giving. When Elijah asked for a morsel of bread, the woman explained that she did not have enough for the three of them. At this point, Elijah said she should make the morsel for him first, before making for her family; then assured her of God’s promise of sufficiency. The fourth quality on which giving depends is trusting God’s promise of sufficiency.
Giving to Church is a priority, because we love God and desire to see the works of Christ Jesus manifested in the world, results in immense blessings. In this Bible account, not only Elijah, the widow and her son, but all who came to her house were catered for throughout the famine. Eddy writes that whatever blesses one, blesses all; and, giving in the service of our Maker cannot impoverish, while withholding cannot enrich. The qualities of obedience, love, the desire to give and trusting God’s promises, prompt us to give to the Church. So, as Proverbs 3:9,10 promises, let us honour God with our cheerful giving, and trust Him to fill our barns.
Moji Solanke, Christian Science Committee on Publication for Nigeria West
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