In the adult class I teach in my church, I’ve been dealing with the theme of “grace” for several weeks. Not only is our salvation given to us by grace through faith, but all that we are and have is literally the result of God’s grace. And that includes giving.
The Apostle Paul spoke of the grace of God which enabled the Macedonian Christians to give out of their poverty (2 Cor. 8:1-9). In that same passage, he urged Titus to excel in the grace of giving. And he concluded with this powerful statement:
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes, he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our “Role Model” when it comes to grace giving. He gave His life on the cross of Calvary, not because He had to do so, not out of obligation or compulsion, but out of His great love for us. And He did so because of His grace.
Sad to say, giving is one aspect of grace that is frequently overlooked. In fact, the subject of “grace giving” is foreign to many churches. For example, one of my cousins was once asked to build some cabinets for his church. When he presented his bill for the project, he was informed that the bill would not be paid since this was what he was expected to do as a member of that church.
That’s “giving” (if you can call it that) under duress, not out of love for the Lord, not out of grace. Pressure tactics, laying a guilt trip on people, or embarrassing them do not constitute grace giving. Preaching on giving primarily to raise funds rather than to instruct and teach God’s Word also does not result in grace giving.
Grace giving involves giving because you want to give out of a “willing heart” (Ex. 25:2) or because you have decided in your heart to do so (2 Cor. 9:7). Grace giving is a natural response of a child of God to the One who gave His all for us. Grace giving is giving out of our love for the Lord of glory. Grace giving is giving in response to how God has prospered us.
And when grace giving is involved, the end result is that the needs will be met. (If you think that’s not true, go back and read Exodus 36:6!) When God’s people give willingly from the heart, as God has prospered them, there will always be enough to meet the needs.