In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Acts 4:34-37
Memorise This Verse: Romans 12:8 ‘If it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously’.
Afterwards Talk About This: Why is the gift of giving such a neglected gift in the body of Christ
Something To Do Before Next Time: Ask the people in your group what they believe your spiritual gifts are.
Written Diploma Work: Give examples from the bible and personal experience of the gift of giving in operation.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: 1 Chronicles 29:17
To experience a lifetime of self sacrifice and giving which is so contrary to the way that the world lives will most certainly be accomplished by the gift and grace of God which will change our desires and attitudes towards money. This section considers giving as being a gift from God. Much is written about spiritual gifts and people say that there are 9 spiritual gifts and point to 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 as the primary biblical reference however, 1 Corinthians 12:27-30, 1 Peter 4:9-10 and Romans 12:6-8 all speak of further spiritual gifts and Romans 12:8 speaks of the gift of giving. So giving is a spiritual gift given to the church build up the body if it is the gift that has been apportioned you by Holy Spirit it needs to be stirred up, used to benefit your brothers and sisters and you will be accountable for your stewardship of it but what is the gift of giving?
Well, if someone has the gift of healing, they are the right person in the right place at the right time to release a blessing (healing), to benefit the right person. In the same way, someone with the gift of giving will be the right person in the right place at the right time to release finances and material blessings to the right person and it will be their joy, duty and privilege to do so. Perhaps the best scriptural example of the gift of giving is Acts 4:34 – 36 where Barnabas and other Apostles sold fields, land and houses to meet the needs of the early church. Moreover, an Old Testament example of someone having the joy, desire and gift of giving is David who contributed to the building of the temple just look at the scriptures below as some of the things he said.
1 Chronicles 28:2 ‘I had it in my heart to build a house as a place of rest for the ark’
1 Chronicles 29:17 ‘All these things I have given willingly and with honest intent’
If you have the gift of giving bestowed upon you then the words of David will also apply to you – namely you will have it on your heart to give and you will willingly and even have a joy in giving financially to the work of God. Perhaps you have never heard of the gift of giving but have always had an inner burden and desire to see lots of money invested into the gospel – perhaps this section will help you be released into your God ordained gifting and anointing. If God has placed the inner desire and gifting to give upon you then no other spiritual gift will be able to take it’s place and you will only know true peace and joy when you start to use this gift. Barnabas is the best example of someone operating in the gift of giving, but listed below are examples of other people utilizing the gift of giving.
Scripture – Receiver – Giver – Gift
2 Corinthians 11:9 – Paul – Macedonian brothers – General subsistence.
Philippians 4:16 – Paul – Philippian brothers – General subsistence.
2 Timothy 1:16 – Paul – Onesiphorus – General subsistence.
Luke 8:3 – Jesus – Female disciples – General subsistence.
Luke 22:10 – Jesus & Disciples – Owner of a house – Upper room.
Romans 16:1 – Phoebe – Roman church – Whatever she needed.
Romans 15:26 – Jerusalem believers – Macedonia & Achia – Gen. subsistence.
1 Cor. 16:1 – Jerusalem believers – Corinthians – General subsistence.
2 Cor. 8:1 – Jerusalem believers – Macedonian brothers – Gen. subsistence.
The gift of giving appears to be a very under-utilised gift in the body of Christ – there are several reasons for this. Firstly, most teaching and books and cassettes centre on the Spiritual Gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 to the virtual exclusion of the other spiritual gifts. For example, when did you last hear a sermon on the gift of showing mercy (Romans12:8), or the gift of administration (1 Corinthians 12:28) or the gift of hospitality (1 Peter 4:9). Secondly, it is a gift where you receive little recognition from fellow believers. For example, if someone gives an accurate prophetic word in front of a large church then they soon get recognised as having the gift of prophecy. However, if your gift is the gift of giving and you privately give money to an organisation or a person then no-one really gets to know about it as the gift of giving is a very hidden and private gift.
Thirdly, if we seek to stir up the gift of giving it will cost us financially, for example, giving a word of knowledge, or of prophecy or healing the sick will not cost you anything it will if you seek to use the gift of giving and as such it is not a very popular gift in our selfish, materialistic society. If you feel that this gift of giving is your primary spiritual gift and you want to spend the rest of your life using it for the good of the body of Christ, here are some ways you can stir it up.
Fellowship with others who have the gift. Romans 1:11 shows that spiritual gifts can be imparted from believers who already have them to those who do not have them. Why not seek out those who are operating in this gift and get them to lay hands on you and impart what they have 2 Timothy 1:6 also speaks of spiritual gifts being imparted through the laying on of hands.
Pray that God will show you the people and projects he wants you to bless. Money given to the right person at the right time can have untold eternal value and bless both the giver and the partner – let those who have this gift of giving pray that they will be spend the rest of their lives being in the perfect will of God and will constantly give to exactly the people and places that God wants them to.
Give, and give generously. The advice of Romans 12:8 is that the way you develop the gift of giving is simply to be a generous giver the more you give the more you will get back and the more people you will be able to bless.
So a lifetime of financial giving will only be achieved through the grace of God when he bestows the gift of giving to us where giving becomes our desire and our joy and we literally live to give the words of Jesus in Acts 20:35 become reality to us ‘It is more blessed to give than receive’. It must be stressed that the gift of giving is not for everyone but if through what you have read you believe that this could be your gift then step out in faith and wisdom and give generously – obedience will lead to joy and happiness not only for the recipients but also for you as well! As the bible says in Romans 12:8 if this is your gift then give generously.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Kazakhstan
16,222,563 people, 60% Muslim – 24% Christian.
Illiteracy and lack of bible distribution are hindering the already good church growth.
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.