By Rev. Allen Skelton

"There are few greater joys in life than the joy of giving."

It seems God releases His abundance in the lives of those who gladly invest in His Kingdom. (Luke 6:38), "Give and
it shall be given unto you: good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give
into your bosom . . ." What a blessing it is to experience the kindness of God in such overflowing fashion. All
because we give!

Paul reminded us in his letter to the Corinthians that, "God loves a cheerful giver." In essence, that is what
stewardship is - The cheerful sharing of our blessings God has trusted us with. (Psalm 24:1), Stewardship is not just
a mandated Biblical truth. We are given the opportunity to involve ourselves in the grace of giving and experiencing
fulfillment at the same time. God is always more accepting of the attitudes of our heart than the calloused
accomplishment of our missions.

There have been endless arguments concerning our role in giving.  Some have made the `sharing of our blessing'
very rigid.  Others have cleverly excused themselves from any part in God's plan of giving. When someone gives
just to appease a religious system, he loses the spirit of giving. "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart,
so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7 exhorts us not to
give grudgingly. We do not honor God in giving what we really wish we could keep.

Those who excuse themselves from giving altogether also miss the spirit of giving. Stewardship is our responsibility
as kingdom people, but even more than that, it is our privilege. We do not give of our blessings just because it is
asked of us. Neither do we withhold of our ability to give because we live in an era of grace. We are joyful, non
begrudging stewards because our giving blesses God and blesses us. We would not be complete if all we did was

In Genesis 1:26, God said, "Let us make man in our image." We are created to be like Him. Our stewardship comes
from our Father. God is a giver. Everything we have has been given to us by God. He has withheld nothing from us.
He has given us life, His promise, His Son, and His Word. John 15:16 reminds us we can ask whatsoever we will of
the Father in Jesus' name and He will give it to us. Of course, it must be according to His will, but the idea is God
wants to minister to our needs. If God is a benevolent God, who, according to Romans 8:32, has freely given us all
things, how can we, who are created in His image, be anything less than abundant givers? Nothing pleases the
Father more than His children imitating Him.

Wayne Gretzky, the great hockey player said, "I miss 100% of the shots I never take." We, too, will miss 100% of the
blessings we could receive, if we never learn the joy of giving. The best way to avoid the pitfalls of selfish living is to
cultivate the attitude of giving as a lifestyle. Every time we receive income, our greatest act of worship should be to
share our blessing with whom it belongs. In the Old Testament, God taught His people to give tithes and offerings. In
the New Testament, Jesus taught us to continue in the pattern of giving. Paul, the apostle, taught us to give
continually and regularly.

Our faithfulness to give is a great indication of our love for Him. He has proven His love for us. We have the privilege
to honor His place in our lives, by joyfully sharing our blessings as good stewards.

Because we understand the spirit of giving, we remove all roadblocks to giving.

Every born-again believer is to be a giver.

Our wants and desires materially do not precede the priority of giving to the kingdom.

We are not asked to decide if or when to give. We give from every blessing God shares with us.

Our place is not to compare our giving with what others give. We give no matter what others give.

Our local churches are the beneficiaries of our tithes and offerings because that is God's plan to sustain and
prosper His church.

We should also give offerings to other worthy ministries God places on our hearts.

By being good stewards, we participate in God's plan to cover the earth with the message of "Good News." It is our
happy privilege to invest our blessings in our churches and in ministries who carry forth the plans of God.

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