Everyone likes to receive, but not everyone likes to give.
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7 NKJV).
Maybe you believe God is greedy. Maybe the Church makes you feel pressured to give. But giving is a huge part of God’s Kingdom.
Jesus says, “‘Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’” (Matt. 6:19-21 NKJV).
When you give to God’s Kingdom, you’re storing treasures for yourself in Heaven. But what exactly does it mean to give? While it’s very important to give money toward the Kingdom of God, I want to talk about servanthood.
“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:28 NKJV).
What do you have to give? What talent do you possess that can be used for God’s Kingdom? What gift is God laying upon your heart to serve His Church with? Today, let me assure you: God wants whatever you have to give — no matter how big or small you think it is.
The Church cannot reach its fullest potential until everyone — yes, everyone, does his or her part for the Kingdom of God. In other words, if you want people to know Jesus, start serving His Kingdom. I’m learning that the effectiveness of a church is more about the willingness of people to serve than about how good the pastor is.
So what do you have to give?
There’s a wonderful story in the Bible about Jesus stalking people. What’s worse? He’s stalking them at church! And you know what’s even worse than that? He’s stalking them as they give money! Don’t believe me?
“Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts” (Mark 12:41 NLT).
Joe drops a handful of coins into a bucket. Sally follows. Then, there’s Robert. He drops in two handfuls. Isaac comes along, emptying his full pockets. Eventually, she comes. A poor widow. And her offering? Two small coins.
“Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on’” (V. 43-44 NLT).
I believe there’s more to this story than money. You see, we do the same with our gifts and talents. The elders, pastors, missionaries, and worship leaders are considered “rich.” I mean, what can the Church do without them? They appear to have the most valuable gifts.
But then, there’s the “poor.” The ushers, greeters, sound booth workers, nursery workers, and toilet cleaners. I mean, can’t the Church make it without them? Well, the answer is no.
As humans, we tend to separate the “rich” from the “poor.” You see, in our eyes, some people are more important in the Kingdom of God. But that’s an enormous lie. In God’s eyes, someone cleaning the church’s toilet is just as valuable as someone preaching a sermon.
So what do you have to give?
Maybe you feel like the poor widow. Maybe your calling seems small and insignificant. Maybe you’re convinced that your church can do just fine without your service. Someone else can do it, right?
Imagine if the poor widow, upon examining the size of her offering, decided to keep it. After all, it was only two small coins. I wonder if she doubted whether or not her offering even mattered. But it did. In fact, Jesus considered her offering to be more than that of the “rich.”
No matter how insignificant you feel your gifts are, God sees them differently. You see two small coins, but God sees a sacrifice of your livelihood. So don’t hold back. The Kingdom of God desperately needs you.
What do you have to give?
Isaiah Pauley is a 2018 graduate of Wahama High School. He can be followed at www.isaiahpauley.com, or on Facebook at Isaiah Pauley Page.