A California church was entering into a major building program. When members were given opportunity to give financially in support of it, one spiritual giant in the church was a lady who lived alone on a meager income. She was saddened by the fact that all she had to give was $3.55 in nickels in the bottom of her purse. Rather than conclude it was not worth giving, out of love for the Lord and her church she gave the $3.55.
Upon learning what this lady had done, at the next worship service her pastor shared the story with the congregation. One man spoke up and said, “Pastor, I’ll give you $10 for one of those nickels.” Another man spoke up and said, “I will give you $25 for a nickel.” A spirit of revival swept the church as evidenced by the largest giving in the church’s history.
This story reminds us of an instance recorded in Scripture where individuals who had little gave much by comparison, and, in the process, have inspired great giving in generations of believers ever since. We recognize them as the Macedonian believers who gave so generously in spite of their own needs in order to help the believers in Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 8:1-5). They qualified as great givers because they were grace givers – individuals whose giving is considered abundant because it is so sacrificial.
In contrast to these great givers stands a man who qualified as a great hoarder. Jesus spoke of him in Luke 12:16-21.
And He told them this parable, saying, ‘The land of a certain rich man was very productive. And he began reasoning to himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no place to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘This is what I will do: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your soul is required of you; and now who will own what you have prepared?’ So is the man who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.’
What does take to be a grace giver, and therefore a great giver?
A grace giver first gives him/herself to God, and then makes his/her possessions available to God to lay up treasure in heaven, not on earth.
Grace givers realize that though they cannot take their money with them to heaven when they die, they can send it on ahead through the gracious giving they do while here on earth.
Grace givers have the willingness, no matter their level of financial well being, to give with rich generosity. When one has little to give, to give anything at all is to give much.
Do you want to be rich toward God?
Then be a grace giver.