WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 04, 2023
TOPIC: BE A GENEROUS GIVER
BY T. O. BANSO
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ When you have it with you” (Proverbs 3:27-28 New King James Version).
Some people don’t like any message or sermon about giving. Such people eagerly desire miracles. They don’t have a problem with miracle or breakthrough services. They are, however, allergic to giving! The only giving they like is when they are the receiver or beneficiary! If you are not a giver, you have a long way to go before you can succeed in life.
The issues some people are battling with, in their lives, are related to the fact that they are not givers. Many people have experienced breakthroughs because they were generous givers while some stingy people kept on praying, thinking that alone will give them their miracles. But you must give just as you must pray, not one of the two.
Cornelius the centurion gave and prayed. The Bible says this Roman army officer gave alms generously to the people and prayed to God always (Acts 10:2). One day at about the ninth hour of the day (3 o’clock), an angel of God appeared, in a vision, to this devout man, who feared God with his entire household and told him, “Your prayers and your alms have come up for a memorial before God” (Acts 10:4b New King James Version). Note that Cornelius was both a giver and a prayerful man. Some people’s conditions have not changed for the better because they pray but don’t give. Be a generous giver.
If you don’t cultivate the discipline of giving, including especially giving to the servants of God who have blessed you, the poor and needy, and widows, you need to change. Just recently, a servant of God told a lady whom he had laboured over in prayer and counseling for a breakthrough in life and recently got a job she desired, after the initial impediments in her way, blocked him on Facebook, and stopped phoning him! Why? Because he told her to give a tithe of the five or six months’ accumulated salaries she had been paid!
My focus is not on the theological debate about tithing but on the fact that she failed the money test. If she had not secured employment, she would still have been in the labour market, unemployed. How much is the total amount of five of six months’ salaries compared to the journey ahead of her? There are still many hurdles ahead of her to scale but she cut off her relationship with the servant of God whom God used for her.
Compare her to someone else whose one of the two contract jobs he was doing was not renewed. This made his income drop. But he continued to pay the tithe he was paying before this development. Ideally, he should give less than the old tithe since his income has reduced. But he said that he had decided that irrespective of the non-renewal of one contract, his tithe would not reduce but rather increase. That was his covenant with God. No Pastor told him to make that decision. He made it voluntarily because money is not his god.
While the lady I talked about earlier thinks she is wise, she is actually not. That young man is wise. Don’t be surprised that God will continue to lift him higher and bless him above his colleagues.
Be a generous giver. Give to God. Give to His projects. Give to God’s causes on earth, especially soul-winning. Give to the servants of God, particularly those who are blessing you spiritually. Support them. “Whoever is being taught God’s word should share the good things they have with the one who is teaching them” (Galatians 6:6 Easy-to-Read Version). Give to the poor and the needy. Proverbs 19:17 says he who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given.
You cannot miss your harvest if you are a cheerful giver. God loves a cheerful giver, as 2 Corinthians 9:7 says: “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver” (New King James Version).
God will make a way for generous givers. They will not lack. “As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night” (Genesis 8:22 New Living Translation). This is true both spiritually and physically. You will reap what you sow. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7 New King James Version). Paul adds, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (verse 9 New King James Version).
However, you will not only reap what you sow, but your harvest will also be more than the seed you sow. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (2 Corinthians 9:6 New King James Version).
In every organization, group, or society, you can either be a beggar or a giver. A beggar is not necessarily a poor person. You can be poor but still be a generous giver and you can be rich and be a beggar! Beggars, in this context, are stingy people who like people to give them things but never give. Be a generous giver, not a beggar!
The widow of Zarephath was poor but she was a generous giver. After explaining her situation to the Prophet Elijah, who had asked her for water and bread during a famine, she obeyed his instruction and prepared food for him first before taking care of herself and her son. Consequently, she reaped a bountiful harvest, as she never lacked throughout the remaining period of the three and a half years of famine. Later, when this widow’s child died, Elijah restored him back to life (1 Kings 17:8-24; Luke 4:25-26).
Be a generous giver. Proverbs 11:24-25 says, “There is one who scatters, yet increases more; and there is one who withholds more than is right, but it leads to poverty. The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself” (New King James Version). Give your money, time, materials, or whatever God has blessed you with to bless others.
Give generously. Don’t delay your giving. “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. Do not say to your neighbor, ‘Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,’ When you have it with you” (Proverbs 3:27-28 New King James Version). If you delay or postpone your sowing, you also delay or postpone your reaping.
The Contemporary English Version puts Ecclesiastes 11:1-4 thus: “Be generous, and someday you will be rewarded. Share what you have with seven or eight others, because you never know when disaster may strike. Rain clouds always bring rain; trees always stay wherever they fall. If you worry about the weather and don’t plant seeds, you won’t harvest a crop.”
Be a generous giver. Don’t make excuses for not giving. Give willingly and cheerfully.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall not be a beggar but a generous giver in Jesus’ name. I shall not make excuses for not giving; I shall not be stingy in Jesus’ name. I will give generously, willingly, and cheerfully.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947