THE TRUE GIVING SPIRIT
Psalm 51:5 tells us that all people are born in this world sinful, and Romans 6:23 teaches that the wages of sin is death. Therefore, all human beings die—as a consequence of sin. As long as the sinful person stays within the jurisdiction of sin, he has no hope of eternal life. Jesus succinctly explained to his night-visitor, Nicodemus, that the born-again experience is a condition of man’s salvation. “No one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (Jn. 3:3). Through the ‘born-again’ experience, the human being moves from the kingdom of sin to the kingdom of righteousness.
Jesus did not tell him to sell his property and give half of it to the poor. It was Zacchaeus’ spontaneous response to God when he was reborn in Christ."
REBORN TO SHARE
When a person is born again in Christ, he or she naturally shares the blessings received from God with others. Ellen White wrote, “Every true disciple is born into the kingdom of God as a missionary” (Desire of Ages, p. 195). In other words, all regenerated Christians are to do missionary work. Missionaries are the ones who share with others what they possess—things such as time, talents, material blessings and the everlasting gospel. Jesus said that sharing with others is the responsibility of His followers, “Freely you have received, freely give” (Mt. 10:8). Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector in the town of Jericho. He was a rich man, yet he was not happy because his own countrymen considered him a great sinner. Then one day he met Jesus and repented of his sins and was completely changed. After his conversion experience, in the presence of the multitude, “Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor’” (Lk. 19:8). Jesus did not tell him to sell his property and give half of it to the poor. It was Zacchaeus’ spontaneous response to God when he was reborn in Christ. He was willing to share what he had with others. While the carnal heart is full of selfishness, the regenerated heart is filled with an unselfish, giving spirit.
GIVE AND IT WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU
Jesus said, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap” (Lk. 6:38). God loves voluntary givers and abundantly rewards them. God asks His people to faithfully give tithes awnd offerings to His storehouse, not to enrich Himself (Testimonies, Vol.2, p. 653), but because He wants His people to develop a noble character by giving generously. He has promised to “pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (Mal. 3:10). od gives to those who are constantly giving to others, so that they can have more blessings to share with other people. The Lake of Galilee is a good illustration of this point. It constantly receives fresh water from the upper valleys in the north. All kinds of living creatures enjoy a life of abundance in the lake. It constantly sends the water down to the Jordan River. By the constant receiving and giving of water it continues to maintain the power of life. The Dead Sea, on the other hand, constantly receives water from various sources, including the Jordan River, but it does not send it on to others. Consequently, it becomes stagnant and decaying, and accordingly, living creatures cannot survive in it. It is dead! It reminds us how dangerous it is not to share God’s blessings with others. Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). When we give, we will receive more abundantly.
“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). When we give, we will receive more abundantly."
GOD LOVES CHEERFUL GIVERS
God does not receive anything from us if we give reluctantly, with a selfish heart. “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7). God accepts only freewill offerings (Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 396). “The freewill offerings of the humble, contrite heart He will receive, and will reward the giver with the richest blessings” (Testimonies, Vol. 2, p. 653). When we give with a true and faithful giving spirit, God will grant us more abundant blessings as a consequence, not only materially but also in character.