“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."
God is a giver. He gives us love. He gives us healing. He gives us peace. He gives us LIFE. His very nature is one that gives...
How could we not be givers as well, especially since we have been made in the image and likeness of God, Himself! (Genesis 1:27)
There's a true story of a man named John D. Rockefeller who was born in the 1800's. He was an American oil industry tycoon and philanthropist who is considered to be the wealthiest American of all time by virtually every source. In fact, in 1916, John Rockefeller became the world's first billionaire. Even though he was retired, his investments and wealth continued to grow. It is estimated that in today's economy he was worth around $350 billion.
But at only 55 years old he was dying and had very serious health issues. He only was able to eat crackers and milk. He couldn't sleep and spent most of his life in his bed because he had a blood disease and a very serious stomach ulcer.
He remembered as a child listening to the Bible about God and being generous to advance the Kingdom and help others. As a result, he started to give his money away. Within 12 months he was well and lived for another 35 years. He credited much of his healing in learning to give. This is because in that time of sacrifice and obedience he realized God's abundant love for him. He gave away over 500 million dollars in his lifetime!
His philosophy of giving was founded upon Biblical principles. He truly believed in the Biblical principle found in Luke 6:38,
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."
He understood that everything he had and all of his success was because of God's gifts to him and he didn't want to keep that for himself. He wanted to bless others and give glory to God for His faithfulness!
There's only one place in the Bible that God challenges us to "test" Him and it's all about giving!
The Bible says,
" Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." (Malachi 3:10)
If we are already giving, praise God! Let's ask Him to help us give more for His glory! And if we're not giving as much as we should, let's pray that God would change our hearts to be more like Him, a generous loving giver! Let our testimony here on earth be of love, generosity and faithfulness to God's eternal plans and purposes.
Kate Hannett is a Pastor at Abundant Grace Christian Church in Rutherford, NJ. She leads the Women's and Children's Ministries and carries a prophetic teaching and prayer anointing. She is the main speaker at the annual Women's Retreat each year.