It is not accurate to say that giving EQUALS receiving. It would be better to speak of giving AND receiving just as we talk of sowing AND reaping. When giving is relegated to some mathematical formula, it changes from a beautiful expression of love into a lesson in frustration and disappointment.
Our motivation for giving is not just to receive for that would be selfish. We give/sow as an expression of our love for God and not as part of a magic formula for prosperity. Far too many Christians over the years have been bitterly disappointed after giving a huge donation expecting to receive the winning lottery ticket in return. Many times it appears they received nothing.
The Bible instructs us in Galatians 6 to not be weary in well doing knowing that in due season we will reap if we faint not. There are many times in this life when the selfless giving of our resources, time and hearts will not be rewarded in the here and now. Many places in the New Testament speak of the eternal rewards and crowns awaiting those who faithfully give and serve in this life.
We do not give of our tithes and offerings as some sort of insurance premium guaranteeing protection, provision and prosperity. We give because God urges us to do so and because love demands it of us. We give because we are thankful for all God has given us and because we WANT to share those blessings with others. We do not give because God needs our offerings but because God blessed us with the means to give.
In order to manifest our love for God and the love of God, we must be willing to freely give expecting nothing in return. Any giving that demands repayment is nothing more than a loan. We give because we love and because we know that in God's due season He will reward the manifestation of His love with His blessings.
We do not give to get, give because we have to or give to flaunt our wealth. We do not give because God is poor and needs our gifts or because He demands we give "or else". We are not to give grudgingly, out of necessity or due to a sense of obligation. We do not give in order to receive a money tree in our back yard.
We give because we see a need and the love of God in our heart motivates us to help. We love because we are thankful for all God has done for us and we want to share it with others. We give because the blessings of giving far outweigh those of receiving. We give because God so loved that He gave His Son.
Our giving is the natural manifestation of our love for God. Our giving is the expression of thankfulness for the love Jesus displayed in giving His life for us. Simply put, giving is the way we say "I Love You" to God and each other.
Great message B2Y! You said, "Our giving is the natural manifestation of our love for God." So true. And then we become a natural manifestation of the love [i]from[/i] God."
Grace to you,
I have heard so many people say, "I gave to God but He didn't give back to me!" What was the problem? God "refused" their offering. Why? Because they were giving in order to receive. Those who give with this sort of attitude (I don't care whether they are expecting money or any other sort of "favor") need to read what the Bible has to say about acceptable and unacceptable offerings.
Yes, we do give offerings to God because it is the "right thing" to do but as we do so, God also looks upon our heart. Is it a greedy heart wanting favors from God or is it a heart filled with love and gratitude towards Him? Is it a heart that desires to be like our Heavenly Father, freely giving from what we have because we desire to be like Him or is it a heart which says, "see how much I give?"
[quote]Simply put, giving is the way we say "I Love You" to God and each other. [/quote]