Views from the Pews: Giving should come from the heart

Salvation Army Whitby. Norma Phillips.
Salvation Army Whitby. Norma Phillips.

envoy norma phillips

October, the time when the grain is in, the fruit on the trees is ripe for picking, and the trees turn from shades of green to various shades of reds, orange and yellow.

Salvation army, st peter's court whitby.

Salvation army, st peter's court whitby.

Harvest festivals take place within schools and churches; but how do we give freely to help others?

When the request for produce or tinned food goes out, do we just rummage in our cupboards and see what we have and want to get rid of, or do we try to think of the people who will receive the gifts?

In the Bible in Philippians 4:19 we are reminded by Paul: “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”

The church at Philippi was well known for its giving in helping others even though they were not particularly well off themselves, Paul in his teaching had taught them to give to help others less fortunate than themselves, they also supported Paul in his ministry, even though Paul was against them supporting him, but he was grateful for their gifts and news from the church.

Philippians had been exceptionally generous.

Out of their little they gave much – and they did so willingly. They could not join Paul on his travels but they wished to be associated with his work and to encourage him in what he was doing.

So they dug deep into their pockets, and gave freely, they gave because of the new life they had discovered in Jesus Christ and this meant that they wanted to share it with others.

It was a gift of gratitude, a joyful response to the wonder of the gospel, a thank-offering to God who supplied their every need.

Can we see our giving in the same way; not as something we have been asked to do, but as a pleasure, because we want to share what God has provided for each of us, as an investment in the life of God’s kingdom which will give us a return of rich blessings?

Is our giving evident by open-handedness which is a characteristic of God’s giving to us?

Ours is a generous God who gives and gives far more than we deserve and without counting the cost, and whose greatest gift was his only Son. How can we hold anything back or offer something which is second best? Our sufficiency is in God, the God who has given Jesus Christ.

His love is generous and this should be our response. “My God will meet all our needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever.”