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“God loves people who love to give.” In our culture people often try to motivate us by pointing out the tax benefits of giving. The New Testament perspective is quite different.
God works through people to touch those who need help, and we can be the hands and feet for God to bless others, whether people in ministry or individuals who need a hand (vv 9,10). There are many charities and ministries that need help. We can be an extension of God as we choose to give out of love (v 13). As we avail ourselves to God and strive to reflect his love to others, other people will be motivated to serve God in their own way, or join in on what we are doing (v 2).
God’s heart is for all people to grow in his love. Loving God is costly. Mark describes how Jesus watches with his disciples as a widow gives her last two coins worth less than a penny (Mark 12:41-44). She did not give out of her abundance but out of her love for the Lord. How will she live now? Giving out of poverty is hard. I totally get that. Some of the ways I’ve been blessed most is when people who had less than me have given out of love to me. Some of the most cheerful givers are those who have little.
This passage reminds us that we are blessed as we give out of our love for the Lord. We give not because we have to nor because we are motivated by wanting something in return. “We love [give] because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19), and “gave his life for me” (Galatians 2:20).
Written by Rob Longley and Annabel Robinson.
Lord, I know that all I have is from you. You have shown me that your love for me is greater than what I have around me to keep me alive. You do not demand that I give but invite me into this living relationship with you. Lord help me to be a cheerful giver. Help me to grow in your love as I give back to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.