May 25, 2005
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them; if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality…
When I was a pastor in Florida, we had what was called The Chapel by the Lake Crusade. There was a 50,000-dollar budget for that particular ministry every year and we were always running short. Each night of the crusade, we would take a love offering.
One year during the first night of the crusade, a lady and member of our church came to me and said, “Pastor, I believe in offerings, but I’ve always wanted to attend a crusade where there was no offering taken. People who attend and don’t know Jesus may see the crusade as an excuse to take up an offering.”
The lady proceeded to write me out a check for the entire budget of the crusade. Every night from then on, we stood up and said, “By the generosity of someone and the blessing of God, we’re not going to take an offering tonight. Don’t you dare put anything in the plate.”
What an impact that had on the city! The thing that motivated this lady to give her money was her desire to see more people come to Christ. She had the gift of giving. The gift of giving is the capacity to give liberally to meet the needs of others with sincerity, simplicity, and without impure motives. Before I say anything more, let me distinguish the difference between the gift of giving and the grace of giving.
Every Christian should exercise the grace of giving, or tithing, in obedience, honesty, love, gratitude, and through faith by giving a tenth of his or her income to the Lord (see Malachi 3:10). But beyond all of us who give to God on a systematic basis, there are those that God has uniquely inspired to practice the gift of giving.
If you get excited about giving to others, love to give freely of your money, time, energy, and love, delight in knowing that your gift is an answer to specific prayer, give to support and bless other so as to advance the kingdom, believe strongly in tithing, handle your own finances well, and are focused on sharing the Gospel with others, then you may be blessed with this gift. Ask God to reveal whether or not you have been gifted to give.
THE PERSON WHO IS GIFTED TO GIVE HAS BEEN TRUSTED
BY GOD TO SPREAD HIS GOSPEL AND ADVANCE HIS KINGDOM.