Christian Giving

 •  17 min. read  •  grade level: 8
My dear Brother: Since you ask how the subject of Christian giving is presented in Scripture, I will try to give something of how the matter has been brought before my own mind in reading the Scriptures. The subject, I believe, is one, the importance of which, very many of the people of God but little appreciate, though it holds a large place in the Word of God, both in Old Testament and New.
While very many seem to have little or no exercise about giving, it is a comfort to know that there are not a few faithful, self-denying givers, who are blessed of God in their own souls, and who are a blessing to others. These in their measure are imitators of God, the great Giver, who spared not His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, and who can be counted on, with Him also freely to give us all things (Rom. 8:3232He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? (Romans 8:32)). It is well known by those who have observed these things, that these liberal givers, as a rule, are enriched in their own souls, proving the truth of Proverbs 11:2525The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. (Proverbs 11:25), “The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself.” And it is just as noteworthy, that a Christian who gives not is dried up in his spiritual affections, and although he may have abundance of earthly treasure, suffers from what Scripture calls “leanness of soul.”
Christ, though He was rich, became poor for our sakes, that we through His poverty might be rich (2 Cor. 8:99For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)). How many of us, for His sake, and the sake of those He loves, have become poor? Hebrews 10:3434For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. (Hebrews 10:34) shows that the Hebrew saints took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, knowing that in heaven they had a better and an enduring substance. They became poor for Christ’s sake. The Apostle Paul also suffered the loss of all things, counting them but dung that he might win Christ. The history of God’s people furnishes a multitude of cases, where everything has been given up for Christ, or devoted to Him. Not a few in our own day could be mentioned who have devoted their all to Christ, and used all in serving Him and His. Have such been the losers? Surely not, but much the gainers. Has not a loving Father’s care been over them? Most certainly. “Your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Luke 12:30-3130For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. 31But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Luke 12:30‑31)).
The following Old Testament scriptures, as well as many others, might be weighed with much profit in connection with this subject: Gen. 28:2222And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God's house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee. (Genesis 28:22); Lev. 27:30,3230And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord. (Leviticus 27:30)
32And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord. (Leviticus 27:32)
; Num. 18:20-3220And the Lord spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel. 21And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. 22Neither must the children of Israel henceforth come nigh the tabernacle of the congregation, lest they bear sin, and die. 23But the Levites shall do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations, that among the children of Israel they have no inheritance. 24But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the Lord, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance. 25And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 26Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up an heave offering of it for the Lord, even a tenth part of the tithe. 27And this your heave offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the corn of the threshingfloor, and as the fulness of the winepress. 28Thus ye also shall offer an heave offering unto the Lord of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and ye shall give thereof the Lord's heave offering to Aaron the priest. 29Out of all your gifts ye shall offer every heave offering of the Lord, of all the best thereof, even the hallowed part thereof out of it. 30Therefore thou shalt say unto them, When ye have heaved the best thereof from it, then it shall be counted unto the Levites as the increase of the threshingfloor, and as the increase of the winepress. 31And ye shall eat it in every place, ye and your households: for it is your reward for your service in the tabernacle of the congregation. 32And ye shall bear no sin by reason of it, when ye have heaved from it the best of it: neither shall ye pollute the holy things of the children of Israel, lest ye die. (Numbers 18:20‑32); Deut. 12:19;14:27-29; 15:1-15; 18:1-819Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth. (Deuteronomy 12:19)
27And the Levite that is within thy gates; thou shalt not forsake him; for he hath no part nor inheritance with thee. 28At the end of three years thou shalt bring forth all the tithe of thine increase the same year, and shalt lay it up within thy gates: 29And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the Lord thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest. (Deuteronomy 14:27‑29)
1At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. 2And this is the manner of the release: Every creditor that lendeth ought unto his neighbor shall release it; he shall not exact it of his neighbor, or of his brother; because it is called the Lord's release. 3Of a foreigner thou mayest exact it again: but that which is thine with thy brother thine hand shall release; 4Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it: 5Only if thou carefully hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all these commandments which I command thee this day. 6For the Lord thy God blesseth thee, as he promised thee: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, but thou shalt not borrow; and thou shalt reign over many nations, but they shall not reign over thee. 7If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: 8But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth. 9Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto thee. 10Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. 11For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land. 12And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee. 13And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty: 14Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him. 15And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day. (Deuteronomy 15:1‑15)
1The priests the Levites, and all the tribe of Levi, shall have no part nor inheritance with Israel: they shall eat the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and his inheritance. 2Therefore shall they have no inheritance among their brethren: the Lord is their inheritance, as he hath said unto them. 3And this shall be the priest's due from the people, from them that offer a sacrifice, whether it be ox or sheep; and they shall give unto the priest the shoulder, and the two cheeks, and the maw. 4The firstfruit also of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the first of the fleece of thy sheep, shalt thou give him. 5For the Lord thy God hath chosen him out of all thy tribes, to stand to minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for ever. 6And if a Levite come from any of thy gates out of all Israel, where he sojourned, and come with all the desire of his mind unto the place which the Lord shall choose; 7Then he shall minister in the name of the Lord his God, as all his brethren the Levites do, which stand there before the Lord. 8They shall have like portions to eat, beside that which cometh of the sale of his patrimony. (Deuteronomy 18:1‑8)
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It will be seen from these scriptures that the Levites, the widows, the fatherless and the poor, all came in for consideration in connection with the liberality of God’s people. The Levites are largely noticed. They had no inheritance with their brethren in Israel. The Lord was their portion, and for them He exacted from the other tribes a tenth of all their increase. This tithe was devoted to the Lord. “All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD” (Lev. 27:3030And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord. (Leviticus 27:30)). “And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.” These tithes were first devoted to the Lord, and then given to the Levites. “And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation” (Num. 18:2121And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation. (Numbers 18:21)).
We find also that the Levites were to offer to the Lord a tithe of what they received. “Thus speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithes which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up a heave offering of it for the LORD, even a tenth part of the tithe.”
All this is instructive. The Levite was to be cared for, and not forgotten. Stress is laid upon this again and again. “Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth” (Deut. 12:1919Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth. (Deuteronomy 12:19)). The people were the Lord’s people, and the objects of His love and care; and they enjoyed the service of the Levites, and were not to forsake them. The Lord gave the increase of the land, and of the flocks and herds, and He exacted a tenth, which was to be devoted to Him as holy. This tenth was to be given to the Levite as his inheritance; and he also was to have the privilege of presenting an offering to the Lord — a tenth of the tenth which he received.
The application of this principle is simple. Those called of the Lord to devote themselves to His service in spiritual things are not to be forgotten. “If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?” (1 Cor. 9:1111If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? (1 Corinthians 9:11)).
In Nehemiah’s day, after the captives returned from Babylon, self-interest took the place of what was due to the Lord, and the Levites were neglected. “And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field” (Neh. 13:1010And I perceived that the portions of the Levites had not been given them: for the Levites and the singers, that did the work, were fled every one to his field. (Nehemiah 13:10)). A little later still, in Malachi’s day, one of the grievous charges the Lord brought against them was in regard to these tithes. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed Me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed Me, even this whole nation.” Solemn charge. Yet even then, cursed as they were through their self-seeking and forgetfulness of God, He stood ready to bless them, if only they would bring in the tithes. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in Mine house, and prove Me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Mal. 3:8-108Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. 9Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. 10Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:8‑10)).
In considering what is said in the New Testament, it is well to note the difference in the order of blessing known to Israel, and that known to Christianity. Christianity connects itself with the rejection, death, resurrection and ascension to heaven of the Messiah. While our faithful God and Father supplies His people now with creature mercies, it is in a scene out of which His Son has been cast, and where He does not allow us to settle down with the thought of finding our blessing where His Son found only a cross and a grave. Our blessings now are in Christ, and where He is. They are spiritual and heavenly. In keeping with this, and having in view His own rejection in Israel and in the world, the Lord said to His disciples, “Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth,... for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Luke 12:33-3433Sell that ye have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that faileth not, where no thief approacheth, neither moth corrupteth. 34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Luke 12:33‑34)).
How blessedly this was carried out in the beginning of Acts when all hearts were still fresh in the love of Christ! “All that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.” “Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, and laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made to every man according as he had need” (Acts 2:44-45; 4:34-3544And all that believed were together, and had all things common; 45And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. (Acts 2:44‑45)
34Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, 35And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. (Acts 4:34‑35)
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There was no bondage in this. It was not a legal exaction. It was the free-will offering of hearts touched by the love of Christ, and energized by the power of the Holy Spirit. With Ananias it was not this, but the ambition, perhaps, not to be behind the others; and it is in connection with his case we are distinctly told there was no bondage. “While it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power?” (Acts 5:44Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. (Acts 5:4)).
No doubt there was a special call at that time on account of the many thousands detained at Jerusalem by the wonderful work of God. But why should we not hold all our possessions as subject to the Lord’s disposal, and to be used for Him, as He may guide? We ourselves are the Lord’s, bought with a price, and all we have is His, held by us as stewards, to be used for Him and His glory....
1 Corinthians 9:1414Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:14) tells us the Lord has “ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” This is the same principle as the tithes given to the Levites. Indeed the context refers to this. The Apostle did not use this right for himself, though he did receive from assemblies; but he gives it as that which the Lord ordained as a general rule. And, of course, this lays upon the saints at large the responsibility to care for those devoted to the gospel. There is no question of salary or hire; but there is the question of caring for such. The servant who devotes himself to gospel service, or service in spiritual things, leaves himself in the Lord’s hands for his support, waits upon Him, counts upon Him.
But the Lord has laid upon the saints the responsibility to think of these, and to minister to them of their substance, as the Lord enables and leads. “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things” (Gal. 6:66Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. (Galatians 6:6)). “But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Heb. 13:1616But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:16)).
As to the general responsibility of Christian giving, its importance may be seen from the fact that two entire chapters in 2 Corinthians are devoted to it — chapters 8 and 9 — to say nothing of many other passages bearing on the subject. The occasion of the lengthy discussion in these two chapters, was the raising of a collection among the Gentile assemblies for the saints in Judea, in a time of general dearth (Acts 11:28-3028And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea: 30Which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. (Acts 11:28‑30)).
When we examine these New Testament scriptures, although we see the same general responsibility to give, we see also a marked difference from many of those in the Old Testament. There it was law — legal exaction — all bound to giving according to a fixed rule. Here it is grace: “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich” (2 Cor. 8:99For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)). And so in writing to the Corinthians, the Apostle says, “Therefore, as ye abound in everything, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also” (2 Cor. 8:1111Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. (2 Corinthians 8:11)). He calls it “grace” because it is the fruit of grace in the heart. And being grace, it connects itself with “a willing mind.” “If there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not” (2 Cor. 8:1212For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not. (2 Corinthians 8:12)). It is not here a legal ten per cent, as under the law, that he must pay, but according to his willingness and ability. There is a deliberate weighing of the matter. What can I devote to the Lord? How much am I able to spare? How much ought I to give to this purpose, or that? “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:77Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7)).
Under the law the tithes were exacted whether a man was willing or unwilling, gave cheerfully or grudgingly.
But here God counts on the hearts He has touched with His grace, and expects them to give willingly and cheerfully, leaving it to the love He has put into these hearts to say how much shall be given. Nothing else suits Him now. He loves a cheerful giver, and unless we give thus, He does not want our giving.
But let us here take heed, for the deceitfulness of our wretched flesh is ever ready to take advantage of His grace. If we would enjoy abundant blessing in our giving, we must sow plenty of seed for it is written, “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully” (2 Cor. 9:66But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (2 Corinthians 9:6)). How many are dried up in their souls, because they sow “sparingly”! God Himself supplies the seed, and He delights to have us sow bountifully, and He is able also to “minister bread for your food,” and to “multiply your seed sown,” and to “increase the fruits of your righteousness.” Why then, should we give grudgingly? Why not give cheerfully and bountifully, counting on all grace from Him?
Another point of great importance comes out in 1 Corinthians 16:22Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:2). It is connected with the same special occasion, but it gives us a general principle on which to act in view of giving. “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God path prospered him.” Here it is providing a store, out of which can be given as the occasions arise. It is like the tithes first devoted to the Lord, but in view of being given to the. Levites. Our devoted money is thus laid aside in store, and from this we can draw to give to the poor, or for the spread of the truth in books and tracts, or to give to a servant of the Lord to help on the work.
If the saints generally acted on this principle in faithfulness to God, I am sure the matter of giving would be greatly simplified, and there would be abundance in the treasuries for the various needs. A dear brother (now with the Lord) once told me he had a bag which he called “the Lord’s bag,” in which he placed what he habitually laid aside, and he said it was never empty. There was always something in it from which to draw in time of need.
If the’ saints would faithfully lay aside on the first day of the week, as the Lord prospers them, how many precious stores of money there would be to meet the many calls to give! How many poor and needy and tried ones would be made to rejoice through the bounties of God’s people! How many servants of the Lord, ready to faint under pressure, would take fresh courage, and go on with thankful hearts! And would not the Lord be honored? Would not fresh blessing be the result—the windows of heaven be opened? Who can doubt it?
It is to be feared that very many feel but little or no responsibility in this matter. Why should this be so? Mark the word is, “Let every one of you lay by.” It is not law but it is responsibility under grace. It is the privilege also of those who receive — even the poor — to lay by of what is ministered to them, just as in the case of the Levites. With one it may be little, with another more, according to the ability; but are any altogether exempted? If I am poor, and devote a little to the Lord out of my “deep poverty” (2 Cor. 8:22How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality. (2 Corinthians 8:2)), shall I be the poorer for it? Will He allow me to suffer want because of my devotedness and faithfulness to Him? Such is not His way. He loves the cheerful giver, and honors those who honor Him. The wise man has also said, “Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine” (Prov. 3:9-109Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 10So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine. (Proverbs 3:9‑10)).
Does the assembly give as such? I believe so, and believe it to be a happy thing to do so, when it is done in the unity of the Spirit. It seems dear that the writing of the epistle to the Philippians was on the occasion of their having sent an offering to the Apostle Paul by the hand of Epaphroditus. They had also sent once and again unto his necessity (Phil. 2:25; 4:10-1825Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labor, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants. (Philippians 2:25)
10But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. 11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. 14Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction. 15Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. 16For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity. 17Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. 18But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. (Philippians 4:10‑18)
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The Apostle would not receive from the assembly at Corinth, but it does not follow that he might not have received from individuals there. But while he would not receive from that assembly, he did from others. “I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service” (2 Cor. 11:88I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service. (2 Corinthians 11:8)).
“The box”? Well, it seems to me, it is only a convenience for receiving the offerings of the saints when they are assembled together.
What part has it at the Lord’s table? I do not see that it has any special connection with the table at all, except this: it is at the table we gather for worship; there we have the tokens of Jesus’ dying love; there we remember Him, and think of His love; there we offer worship; and there at the same table it is fitting that we present as an offering to Him what we put in the box. Hebrews 13:1616But to do good and to communicate forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. (Hebrews 13:16) shows that our communicating is a part of the worship, “for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.” The placing of the box on the table, or otherwise, is, in my judgment, a matter of little importance. It is well to be as simple as possible about such things. If we get occupied with these little side questions, we are in danger of losing sight of the great question; namely, the duty and privilege of giving. Let it be in assembly, or let it be individually; let the box be on the table or otherwise, the great thing is to attend to the giving — to DO it, and not forget, nor neglect, to do it.
Let every one have a box, or bag, at home, and habitually lay by a portion out of all that comes in, and do it cheerfully, and with a liberal heart, as unto the Lord, assured that it is well pleasing to the Lord, and remembering how He has said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:3535I have showed you all things, how that so laboring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. (Acts 20:35)).
Let us not suppose, either, that because a tenth is not exacted, it does not matter whether we give that much or not. A tenth was Jacob’s measure, and a tenth was the portion for the Levites, but an Israelite under the law had to give much more than that to meet its requirements. And why should not a Christian give as liberally? Grace does not exact it, but if the heart is living in the sunshine of Christ’s love, will it not yield up its stores more bountifully than under law? Where the Israelite was faithful in giving, the Lord blessed him in his basket and in his store. And while the Christian’s blessing is of another order, the Lord will honor such as are faithful in this responsibility.
May the Lord stir us all up to give, according to the grace we have received, our hearts aglow with the love of Him who loved us, and gave Himself for us, and in whose presence and glory we shall soon have our part, leaving behind us all that is of earth and all that we have failed to devote to Him, and finding, as treasure above, all that has been given as unto Him.
Yours affectionately in Him,