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Should we expect a return on our giving? Yes we should. God promised in several passages of Scripture that He will bless us when we honor Him with our substance in accordance with His word. Malachi 3:10 says "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the LORD of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it." Some insist that since this passage was specifically addressed for the Jewish community, it has no relevance for the Church. I disagree. I believe that God's word carries divine principles that apply to every generation of God's people in all ages. God has ordained blessings for our obedience in giving to ministry and in serving Him with our skills talents and gifts that He was graciously bestowed upon us. When the people of Haggai's day responded to the exhortation to build the temple, God was definitive in terms of opening His blessings for them. He promised them that going forward, He would bless them (Haggai 2:19). We should however be careful to allow God to determine the timing and manner in which these blessings will come. God is sovereign over us and He knows what is best for us even as we petition Him for our provisions. I am hesitant to buy into the health and wealth prosperity theology which seeks to portray God as being open to manipulation by men. They ultimately misrepresent His sovereign power and authority. God's blessings cannot be reduced to financial or material prosperity only. There are diverse ways in which God chooses to bless us. The Bible is replete with passages of Scripture which reveal that blessings follow obedience in serving God. It is therefore my conviction that God will honor any giving or support to church ministry or to any godly cause that is consistent with His divine will, whether financial or non financial. Hebrews 6:10 says "For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister."
One of the clearest passages in my mind is that God instructs us to give without seeking the praise of men. If we give to seek the praise of men, we have received our reward. If we give for the right motivation, to respond to who God is and what He has done for us, without seeking the praise of men, then our reward will be in Heaven. Sometimes while debating the merits of how and where to give, we forget that the reward that is coming to us is almost assumed in the scripture. As in the example above, the reward is to be expected, and your choice is to decide where and when to receive that reward. But the reward is guaranteed by God. Yes, we are to expect a reward, but that should not be the motivation to give. We don't give to get. We give out of a grateful and cheerful heart.
Yes. The Lord God is faithful and would not fail to fulfill his promises to us, His children. The book of Malachi 3:10 says it all. When we give, we should expect a return on our giving. We are expected, however, to give not to be praised by men but freely to the glory of God, our Father in Heaven.
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