Help, I’m Afraid to Give
11 Feb 2018
Religion can confuse Christians in the area of financial giving. Some people have even resolved not to give because they think God has nothing to do with giving. As a result, many believers have lost confidence in it and are afraid to give. God is the ultimate giver; He gave us His only Son. Giving with the intention of blessing others falls in line with the example He set. Giving is within God’s plan for us, but fear of giving can stop us from living out this plan. Giving with the right motives is an act of faith, and it opens doors in our lives; fear has the opposite effect, and it blocks anything good from happening. We are not the source of our prosperity. When we trust God in all areas of our lives, including our finances, He is able to prosper us.
- The apostle Paul teaches us why and how to give. It is to bless others.
- 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 was instructing the church to set aside their tithes and offerings in advance; these instructions were for everyone.
- He did not tell everyone to give the same amount, but what they were able to give.
- 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 advised the people to work in an honorable profession to earn the 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 was not just a minister; he also took odd jobs to earn money to help the needy and minister to others.
- Many people do not understand the blessing found in the act of giving.
- God gives us seed to use to bless others. We are more blessed when we receive from Him than when we give to Him.
- Fear stops us from living our lives as givers.
- Giving puts us in the same category as God, when He gave us Jesus.
- 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).
- Giving is an act of trust in God. It springs out of our belief in His promises.
- 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).
- When we notice fear in any area of our lives, we must realize that it did not come from God.
- The number one fear the devil uses against us is the fear that what God promised us will not come to pass.
- God needs faith to produce in our lives; the devil needs fear to produce in our lives.
- 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).
- Walking in fear empowers the devil to work in our lives. Fear is the opposite of faith.
- The enemy does his best to use fear as a weapon to keep us from believing God’s Word. Unbelief is based in fear, and fear is something we must not tolerate.
- 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).
- To reprove is to correct or convince.
- The Holy Spirit did not come to convict us of sinful acts or make us feel guilty about our actions, but to convict us of unbelief.
- Unbelief itself is a sin, and it is the root of all other sins.
- The spirit of mammon tries to move us away from trusting in God to trusting in it. Mammon attaches itself most easily to money.
- 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).
- As Christians, the number one temptation we face is the temptation to walk in unbelief.
- 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).
- The temptation for Jesus involved what God had just said about Jesus’ identity immediately after His baptism; it was not about turning stones into bread.
- The temptation for us is the same: not to believe what God said about our identity.
- Jesus successfully resisted the temptation because He believed God.
- We must believe what God tells us about our identity; unbelief is a sin.
- 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 (Matthew 12:22-31).
- We need to read verse thirty-one in context to understand it. Everything can be forgiven except walking in unbelief where the Holy Spirit is concerned. This is the unforgivable sin.
- Unbelief cannot be forgiven, only repented of. Repentance is a change of mind and heart.
- Unbelievers are the only people going to hell.
- But the fearful, and unbelieving…shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).
- 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).
- Jesus never succumbed to the temptation to walk in unbelief regarding His identity.
- When we sin, it is because there is some part of God’s Word we do not believe.
- Fear can stop us from giving. We must see giving as a gain, not a loss.
- 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).
- The top reason people are afraid to give is because they see giving as a loss instead of a gain.
- The rich young ruler trusted God in the area of eternal life, but not where his money was concerned.
- When Jesus told the man to sell what he had, give to the poor, and follow Him, it was a test designed to reveal what the man believed.
- 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?(Mark 10:23-26).
- Grief is associated with sorrow or loss. The young man’s mindset was, “I’m getting ready to give something away,” rather than, “I’m getting ready to sow something for a harvest to come up.”
- There is nothing wrong with being rich, as long as we do not trust in our wealth more than in 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 do not believe that we will receive when we give, we are deceived.
- This is true for all areas of our lives, not just in our finances.
- 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).
- What we do is what we get back in return.
- If we do not believe this Scripture, it is because at some point in our lives something happened to cause us to stop believing.
- We can determine our own rate of return.
1 Corinthians 16:2
2 Timothy 1:7
John 16:8, 9
Matthew 3:16, 17
Galatians 6:7, AMPC
Luke 6:37, 38