Posted by Mark Labuschagne on Saturday, December 10, 2011
If you believe you have to give something before God will bless you, I would suggest your re-evaluate your theology. Jesus said, "Seek first", never said give first. And Paul wrote and said, Phil 4:19 "And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus". He never said this before they gave anything. Their motive was not to receive anything either, these people gave out of their love for Paul, a love that only comes from knowing Jesus. The reward for their generosity would be eternal favor. God is not moved into action by your giving my friend, He is moved into action by His love for you, for there is nothing more you can do to make our Father want to bless you (Supply your needs) anymore than you deserve.
Phil 4:10-19 It is a good work to succour and help a good minister in trouble. The nature of true Christian sympathy, is not only to feel concern for our friends in their troubles, but to do what we can to help them. The apostle was often in bonds, imprisonments, and necessities; but in all, he learned to be content, to bring his mind to his condition, and make the best of it. Pride, unbelief, vain hankering after something we have not got, and fickle disrelish of present things, make men discontented even under favorable circumstances. Let us pray for patient submission and hope when we are abased; for humility and a heavenly mind when exalted. It is a special grace to have an equal temper of mind always. And in a low state not to lose our comfort in God, nor distrust his providence, nor take any wrong course for our own supply. In a prosperous condition not to be proud, or secure, or worldly. This is a harder lesson than the other; for the temptations of fullness and prosperity are more than those of affliction and want. The apostle had no design to urge them to give more, but to encourage such kindness as will meet a glorious reward hereafter. Through Christ we have grace to do what is good, and through him we must expect the reward; and as we have all things by him, let us do all things for him, and to his glory. Matthew Henry Commentary
If the seed you sow is for that which is temporal (Earthly needs), then you will have received your reward. The seed I choose to sow, will produce eternal results, for this is where my eyes are set. Col 3:2 "Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things".
How selfish you would be if you gave something only because you expected something in return. Where is the Christ-love in that. If that would be the motive behind your giving, then with respect, don't give it to me. If your reason for giving was because of your love for Christ, then this act of worship becomes an acceptable fragrant offering is His sight and the reward is eternal.
Every time we "sowed" a seed because we wanted or needed something in return, it never came back to us. However, every time we gave with a pure heart and never expect anything in return, we saw the hand of the Lord move on our behalf and our giving never stopped our heavenly Father from pouring out His promises over us. Today, we still do not "sow a seed" (and not because we do not believe in the principle of sowing and reaping) because we expect anything in return, but rather we have learnt to give with a cheerful heart irrespective of our needs and Andi and I can testify over and over again how we have seen Jesus move for and on our behalf and we continue in this grace and lack no good thing. My friend, the goodness of God continues to abound, not because of our giving, but because HE loves us.... I know this is a controversial subject, but the ones that will argue with me are mostly the pastor standing behind his pulpit teaching this "sowing and reaping" thing simply because without your giving their vision will die. So they sell the idea to you so that they can keep their vision going. However, if message they continue to share worked the way they say it does, then when I look around, something is definitely wrong. Explain why the people in the congregation do not drive the same cars or live in the same houses as those who encourage them to give? For all I see is these precious folk continue to live in the squatter camps down the road while those who ask live in their fancy houses and drive the best cars... The word of God teaches that our heavenly Father is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34 Then Peter began to speak: "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism), and therefore as we are all equal in His sight, I think more of the "Sowing" should come from the top instead of the other way around. Jesus did say it is more blessed to give than receive, In other words, sell your earthly possessions and give to the poor, the widow and the hungry [in over flow]. (Read Acts 4:32-37 and tell me this is exactly what you are doing before you make a hasty comment)... The Church is not a pyramid scheme!