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Consider the connection between love and giving:
When we love another person in the Biblical sense, we will be willing to give to meet that person’s need. This is not giving someone a gift just because we think they will enjoy it, like a birthday gift for your wife. We are talking about sharing what we have to help another person who is struggling to meet a need in their lives. Consider:
Jesus illustrated the concept of loving a neighbor by describing a Samaritan who found a man who had been beaten and robbed. He tended the man’s wounds, took him to an inn, and offered to pay for his further needs. Jesus said we should go and do likewise. Love leads us to give to meet a need.
(1 John 3:16-18)
John 3:16 – God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son...
Romans 5:8 – God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Scriptural love is an unselfish concern for the needs and wellbeing of others. It motivates people to give what others need but are unable to do for themselves.
(See also 2 Galatians 2:20; John 15:13; 1 Corinthians 13:4-7; 1 John 4:9; Ephesians 5:2,25.)
Discussing the responsibility of Christians to support the work of the church, Paul said:
2 Corinthians 8:8 – I am testing the sincerity of your love...
2 Corinthians 8:24 – Therefore show to them ... the proof of your love...
Our giving to the church collection indicates how much we are concerned about accomplishing the work God has assigned to the church. Specifically:
(1) How concerned are you about preaching the gospel to the lost? Suppose you did not know the truth, but the church could teach you if it had the money. How generous would you want the church members to be in giving? “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39).
(2) How concerned are you to see gospel preachers receive the income they need to continue preaching? Suppose you were a preacher whose family lacked several hundred dollars income each month. How generous would you want members to be in giving so your need could be met? “Do unto others...” (Matthew 7:12).
(3) How concerned are you for needy brethren with genuine material needs? “Let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth” (1 John 3:16-18).
Every good thing we have came from God: physical blessings, spiritual blessings, and the hope of eternal life. Now God asks us to love Him enough to do His will, including supporting the church financially. If we really love God, will we try to give as little as we can and still squeak by at the judgment, or will we give as generously as we can to accomplish His will?
(See also John 14:15; 1 John 5:2,3; 2 John 6.)
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2018; gospelway.com
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.