Help, I’m Afraid to Give! (NY)
24 Feb 2018
When we are afraid to financially support the church, we can study the Scriptures and see that we are specifically told to give. We cannot simply ignore these passages because they make us uncomfortable. Some people have trouble believing all of the Word of God because they do not understand what God says about money. If we do not fully trust God, we will believe Him in all other areas of our lives except for our finances. We cannot “cherry pick” the Word like this. The Bible gives us practical advice on how to handle money, but if we ignore that advice and trust ourselves over God for sound money management, we make ourselves the source of our own prosperity. This fear is a stronghold we must conquer, and overcoming it will give us power, authority, and dominion in our financial lives.
- We should plan our giving in advance, with the proper motives and no fear.
- Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come (1 Corinthians 16:2).
- Paul told everyone, not just some people, to give. However, he said to give as God had prospered, not comparing themselves to each other.
- Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth (Ephesians 4:28).
- Paul told the Ephesians to work at an honorable, legal job. The purpose for working at all is to have money to help others.
- I have coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me. I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:33-35).
- Paul labored at different jobs to earn the money to help others and minister to them.
- For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
- Fear hinders us as Christians and puts us in a place where we are afraid to give the way the Bible tells us to.
- Giving is a characteristic of God, but too many Christians are self-centered and unwilling to give anything.
- For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
- If we experience fear, it came from the devil, not God.
- Just like God needs faith in order to bring His will to pass in our lives, the devil needs fear to bring his will to pass. This happened with Job.
- For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me (Job 3:25).
- The number one fear that the enemy tries to inflict on Christians is the fear that what God promised will not come to pass.
- Give, and it shall be given unto you… (Luke 6:38). The devil wants us to be afraid to believe this.
- Jesus believed God regarding His identity. We must have the faith of Jesus.
- And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me (John 16:8, 9).
- The Holy Spirit was sent to convince the world of the sin of unbelief, not to convict us of wrongdoings.
- And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased (Matthew 3:16, 17).
- It was up to Jesus to believe what He had just heard concerning His identity. Likewise, we are empowered when we believe in our identity in Christ.
- Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matthew 4:1-3).
- This was the big test of Jesus’ faith.
- Whenever God says something to us or something significant happens in our lives, the enemy will test us and try to talk us out of believing what God says.
- Jesus knew exactly who He was and no one could talk Him out of His faith.
- Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind, and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out devils, but by Beelzebub the prince of the devils. And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand: And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad. Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come (Matthew 12:22-32).
- We cannot lift verse thirty-one out of context; we must read the entire passage in context to learn exactly what blaspheming the Holy Spirit is, and if we are doing it.
- In essence, the Pharisees said they did not believe Jesus had healed the man by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Specifically, blaspheming the Holy Spirit is refusing to believe. God cannot forgive unbelievers, because they do not even believe in forgiveness.
- Unbelief cannot be forgiven, but it can be repented of. Repentance is a change of mind regarding what we believe.
- For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
- The temptation Jesus faced in the wilderness regarding His identity is the same temptation we face all the time. It is the temptation not to believe God.
- It is okay to have money; how we handle it shows our level of trust in God.
- And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth. Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions (Mark 10:17-22).
- One reason people are afraid to give is that they consider giving to be a loss instead of a gain. They see it as giving their money away, not sowing it like a farmer for a future harvest.
- The rich young ruler demonstrated his unbelief when he called Jesus “good master” instead of “God.” He saw Jesus simply as a teacher.
- The first answer Jesus gave the man, to obey the law, was based on the fact that he asked Jesus what to do instead of what to believe.
- The man only had faith in what he could do, himself, to inherit eternal life, not in what Jesus could do.
- The young man said he had kept all the commandments, but no one except Jesus was able to keep all of them. The man had broken the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” and the tenth, “Thou shalt not covet.”
- The man’s sorrow at Jesus telling him to sell what he had and give to the poor was a second indication of his unbelief.
- And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (Mark 10:23-30).
- Reading verse twenty-three out of context can make us think that having money will keep us out of heaven. The disciples were amazed because they were all financially well-off; Jesus had to clarify what He said so they could understand it.
- Many people stop believing God in the financial realm because they get tired of the persecution. This limits Him in what He can do for them.
- We must not let the spirit of mammon, which readily attaches itself to money, deceive us into trusting it more than God.
- Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap (Galatians 6:7, AMPC).
- If we think we can sow financially without reaping, we are as deceived as the rich young ruler.
- For us to give without receiving puts God in a position to be mocked. He will not allow that.
- Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again (Luke 6:37, 38).
- We need a change of heart and a mindset that chases away the fear of giving.
- God says we will see a return when we give. Along this same line of reasoning, if we choose not to give, we should not expect any return.
- We have authority to determine our own measure of return.
1 Corinthians 16:2
2 Timothy 1:7
Luke 6:37, 38
John 16:8, 9
Matthew 3:16, 17
Galatians 6:7, AMPC