Giving and Receiving is a law that God has established on the earth from the very beginning. Cain and Abel give us a great lesson here. Why did God prefer Abel’s offering over Cain’s? It was Abel’s heart motive. Cain gave off of what was left; the leftovers. Abel gave from the first, the best of what he had.
Here are a few points we need to consider when operating in seed time and harvest.
1. The heart motive.
What motivates you to give? If you’re giving because you think you need to give to make God happy with you, you’re giving for the wrong reason. God is already in love with you! But, to please God with your gift, you need to do it willingly.
It’s not the amount that matters, it’s the impact it has on you that matters. Luke 21:1-4. Why is this pleasing to God? Because it shows Him that you trust Him to provide for all your needs, that He is your source. Not only does it please God, but He knows that it’s the best thing for you. It’s far better to trust and rely upon God than to try and do things in your own strength.
But don’t get confused now. It doesn’t not make God love you more or make you more righteous or anything like that. When it says ‘it pleases God’, it’s talking about making Him smile. When we give with a generous and happy heart, it makes God glad!
1 Cor. 13 talks about love. Verse 3 talks about the right motive. You can be the biggest giver in your church and still not profit from it if you give with the wrong motive. Matt. 6:3-4; it’s a heart issue.
2. Give where you’re fed and led.
So where you should give your tithes and offerings? There are two rules; give where you’re fed and give where you’re led. 1 Tim. 5:17. If there are ministers that are blessing you in your life, they need to be honoured in your life. If you ate at MacDonald's, you would never walk across the street and pay at Burger King. It's the same principle.
And give where you’re led. Is the Holy Spirit telling you to support a particular work of God? A missionary or charitable organisation that does a work of God. Be sure that it’s good ground though. Don’t throw your pearls to the swine! What does that mean? I’d say it means giving to a Christian organisation that aren’t just meeting the needs of people but also spreading the gospel and meeting the spiritual needs of the people they’re reaching.
3. Give off the top.
And what should you give? The first fruits. Would you give visitors to your house, leftovers? To give of your leftovers takes no faith at all. In the NT, this principle is found in 1 Cor. 16:2. Do it first. Not at the end with whatever is left. God wants our trust. Hebrews 11:6. That’s why God was pleased with Able’s sacrifice instead of Cain’s in Genesis.
4. You cannot out-give God.
You cannot give more than God, folks. He is no man’s debtor. Remember the seed? Your harvest will always have more than you sowed. An apple seed will grow a tree that produces many apples every year for decades. From one apple seed! Talk about increase. If you sow bountifully, you’ll reap bountifully.
God has infinite wealth and ability. 2 Cor. 9:8. Do you believe God’s Word or not? He is able! God takes pleasure in your prosperity. We must align our thinking with God’s. You don’t need to worry about tapping the bank. There will never be a run on God’s bank! Everyone has seed to sow. Have a plan, so that the percentage of your giving continually grows. The Bible never warns about being too generous. It warns us of being too stingy though!
If you barely have enough to meet your needs, find some seed somewhere. Cut something out. Stop buying that cup of coffee or cancel your netflix subscription. Then, when you see a harvest, sow again and again until you are truly operating in God’s economy. Remember, it’s not the amount that matters, it’s everything we’ve talked about today. You do that and I promise you, God will take of you.