Our Lord made an astounding promise: "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you" (Luke 6:48, NIV).
In other words, the Lord promises that the more we give, the more we will get back. That is amazing, but also dangerous. We really have to be on guard about our motivation. Our heart attitude in giving is critical.
Money is clothed with the spirit in which it is given and reflects the inner self of the giver. The intent of the giver makes all the difference in the world. Our motive should not focus on the return, but on our love for the Lord Jesus and our desire to obey Him. If our motives are pure, we can be assured of an abundant return. But if we try to manipulate God, the law of sowing and reaping is nullified.
Oswald Chambers in "My Utmost for His Highest," describes the hollowness of manipulation: "Our Lord replies in effect, that abandonment is for Himself, and not for what the disciples themselves will get from it. Beware of an abandonment which has the commercial spirit in it... If we only give up something to God because we want more back, there is nothing of the Holy Spirit in our abandonment; it is miserable, commercial self-interest."
Self-interest is hollow because it focuses the spotlight upon ourselves and away from God. Selflessness, on the other hand, brings praise and honor to our Lord, and is the heart of a pure motive.
I am greatly concerned about Christian fund-raising that focuses on this giving and receiving principle and tries to get people to give to their ministry with the promise that they will get more back in return. Yes, the principle is a true one, and if the donor's heart is right, they will receive a reward. But if we are not extremely careful in how this is presented we will play upon people's self-interest and cause them to be tempted to greed, and sin.
Personally, I prefer that the ministry need be explained, and let the Holy Spirit speak to people about how much, if any, to give. That way, any giving will truly be of the Sprit and there will be no chance of wrong motive.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission each year until our Lord returns,
The late Dr. Bill Bright was Founder and President/Chairman Emeritus of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 27,000 full-time staff and up to 500,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely translated and viewed film of any type ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into 839 languages and viewed or listened to by over 5.7 billion people in 228 countries. Dr. Bright was also the author of more than fifty books. Visit campuscrusade.com for more details
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