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stewardship

Sacrificial Giving

Let us proffer a working definition for sacrificial giving.

Practical Definition: Sacrificial giving is the act of strategically giving something that is precious and costly or something one
barely can afford as an act of worship and devotion to God with an express purpose of getting an extraordinary breakthrough. It is a well considered, but painful giving.

 

To fully understand the nature of sacrificial giving let us appeal to the Law of Precedence and carry out a Scriptural survey of Sacrificial Giving.

 

1. Exhibit One. Abraham Gen 22

In those two verses Abraham’s destiny is altered and his seed guaranteed a place in God’s plan for mankind. Theologically speaking by Abraham offering his son as a sacrifice to God, he opened an opportunity for God to be able to offer the Lamb of God on the Cross for our salvation. The language of the spirit in sacrifice spoke louder for Abraham. Sacrificial giving can be painful. But it strategically opens a door for greater breakthrough.

Sacrificial giving often requires that we give up something we love dearly and cherish as a demonstration that we are more committed to God and His purposes than to things. Sometimes God may ask you to give up your dreams for His.

Sacrificial giving involves giving your time, talent, life and treasure.

Exhibit Two. Solomon 1 Kings 3:4-10

Sacrificial giving is often marked by extravagant and reckless abandon. This kind of giving raises an altar that silences the
sacrifices of ancestors to idols. By its very nature it cannot be frequent. It has been said by an eminent African prophetic minister, ‘Unless our sacrificial giving exceed the sacrifices made by our ancestors to forces of darkness, our worship would still be in vain.” (paraphrased). I contend that as Africans we should raise altars of sacrificial giving that speak louder than the sacrifices made to the devil before we can cleanse our continent.

Exhibit Three.

1Kings 17:9-16  Widow of Zarepath.

This exhibit shows that sacrificial giving may come out of scarcity rather than abundance.

Giving sacrificially sometimes gives out of the preciousness of your scarce resources and when directed by God,
often results in abundant supply and financial breakthrough. It may hasten God’s assignment through a man of God.

 

Exhibit Four

 2Sa 24:24  David

A sacrificial offering will cost you something. If your sacrificial giving is not costly then it is not sacrificial. However God does not require that we giving sacrificially all the time. Sometimes sacrificial giving stops plagues and iniquities in our lives.

It is unfortunate that people who have not realised the different types of offerings have made God’s people feel guilty by asking them to give costly offerings all the time. Sacrificial giving is by nature infrequent.

 

There is a seed that is so precious and costly that it can only be sown in tears. And yet ignorance cause people to speak of cheerful givers for all kinds of offering. If you give a sacrificial offering cheerfully then more likely than not, it is not sacrificial and painful. It does not cost you anything. I have had once in a while give in tears.

Exhibit Five

Mar 12:41-44  Widows Mite

This passage has often been misunderstood. Jesus did not say that you should give all you have. I have heard preachers make the saints feel guilty as they state that when you give God does not look at what you gave but on what you have kept to yourself. This is not true for normal offerings. It only applies to sacrificial giving. Jesus and not condemn those who gave out of their abundance. There is a place for giving out of need and a place for giving out of abundance. I have often said that while sacrificial giving makes a huge difference in the life of the giver, it does not make much difference in funding the work of God. The widow’s mite was strategic and critical to her but did not make a significant dent in funding the work of the temple.

The story of the widow’s mite also busts another church myth that says that your giving should be in secret. It is clear that Jesus was watching this public act of giving and commenting on it. The secret giving is mostly about alms.

Sacrificial giving may be measured by giving all or a significant portion of your source of sustenance.
Consequently i
f one gives sacrificially all the time they will become negligent on some of their responsibilities.

Exhibit Six

Mark 14:1-9 

Sacrificial giving maybe a demonstration of extravagant love and devotion. This kind of sacrificial giving will immortalise your memory and create a legacy. The strategic nature of this giving is shown in how she was anointing his body for burial.
Sacrificial giving once initiated of eth Holy Spirit may have a higher prophetic significance that is known by the giver.

Exhibit Seven  God Gave Sacrificially.

Sacrificial giving can and should be giving for a specific return in harvest. It is a type of giving intended for uncommon harvests. It is driven by an intense love.

Exhibit Eight

2Co 8:1 -5  The Macedonians

Sacrificially giving is giving willingly and voluntarily out of a deep desire to be a blessing. It should never be coerced or forced. Sacrificially giving may include giving beyond one’s means – and hence should not be done lightly or to
impress others.

Sacrificial giving seems to be strategic, God-directed times when one gives abnormal and painful offerings to provide unbelievable breakthroughs. These are not frequent small givings. From the examples given above from scripture it appears to me like sacrificial giving is quite rare. In daily usage we have cheapened sacrificial giving to anything even that which costs nothing. Sacrificial giving is costly giving. It causes an ache inside.

Sacrificial offerings unlike free will offerings, are strategic offerings, given at specific times, to break something in the
spirit. They therefore are not as frequent as freewill offerings. The Scripture does not require a Christian to offer sacrificially regularly as it considers his life a sacrifice offering. (Rom 12:1).
It is however critical that at strategic times a believer will be led by the Spirit to offer sacrificially
.


Why We Give Freewill Offerings

 Why Give Free- will Offerings?

 

a.) From Exodus 25:8 it is clear that one of the purposes of an offering is so that the sanctuary or the house of God may be built.  Offerings are thus for the purpose of meeting the needs that arise at the altar where God is served and can be used for any legitimate church expense.

b.) Offerings as an act of worship

Offerings as an act of worship are our way of appreciating God for who He is. They can be used as a thanks-giving offering when a person who has been blessed, delivered or protected, may want to come and give thanks to God for what He was done. Paul indicates this aspect of worship within an offering when he reflects on an offering he had received from the Philippians. He describes their gift as a sweet, smelling sacrifice that is
well pleasing to God. It paints the word picture of the offering at the altar whose sweet smell would rise into the presence of God, and if a sweet fragrance was perceived, the offering was accepted. [Philippians 4:18-19]

c.) An offering acknowledges God as the source of total supply and blessing in our lives. It is a way of giving thanks to God just as David years ago would pray, “Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.” [I Chronicles 29:13-14]

What a powerful prayer and a powerful truth! “Of thine own have we given Thee.” It’s an acknowledgement that we are just stewards over the resources of the earth but God is the owner. So we take out of our stewardship and give an offering as a way of acknowledging His right to ownership and title to all that we have.

d.) Freewill offerings are seed that we sow for a harvest. The Bible clearly teaches that we give an offering with an expectation of a harvest. Many
believers struggle with the concept of giving with an expectation to get. However they have no problem with a farmer who sows seed with an expectation of a harvest. They would consider an investor who invests with no thought of return as a foolish investor, but fail to see the folly in their view of giving without expecting to receive. The Scriptures clearly teach that God gave His son with an expectation of receiving a harvest of souls. John 3:16. We cannot be more spiritual than God. God expects a harvest. Even when he gives a gift or calling, he expects a harvest – that is why He will hold us accountable for the way we have used the gifting or the calling.

Luke 6:38 clearly shows that when we give, we can expect to receive a harvest multiplied, pressed down, shaken together and overflowing.

2 Corinthians 9:6-7 while talking about offerings clearly indicates that the measure of our giving determines the measure of our harvest. This points to a clear expectation to receive.

This Scripture clearly shows that free will offerings should be given without any manipulation from the one taking the offering. As a matter of practice if I am in a service and I feel that undue pressure is been put on people to give, I refrain from giving in that service. A ploy that some use which I find quite humorous is when preachers ask those who do not have to raise hands and get money from those who have for them to sow seed.. Surely God knows who the actual giver is and he blesses that one. To me this is just a manipulation tactic to increase the offering. It manipulates those who have already given to give again indirectly through those who do not have. If someone does not have they should ask of God because the Bible says that God gives seed to the sower and bread to the eater. Believe God for seed to sow.

e.) From John 3:16 we learn that it was out of love that God gave his only begotten son. It can be concluded that it was love that was the source of God’s indescribable gift. Therefore giving can be viewed as an expression of love. We therefore give offerings as an expression of our love and commitment to God. This is critical because money is one of the greatest rivals against God for man’s affections. When one
gives an offering he is acknowledging that he loves God more than money. It is an anti-dote against greed. Matt 6:24 clearly teaches that one cannot love and serve both God and money. My giving an offering is a clear demonstration that money does not control me but rather I control it and direct it for godly purposes. Giving an offering is therefore a declaration that God has prior claim in my life above the claim of material wealth. A generous giver is rarely plagued by the love of money because the love of God has first place.

It is therefore clear that giving offerings is multi-purpose: as an act of worship, to fund the church, as a seed for a harvest, as an acknowledgement of our stewardship over resources and as an expression of our love to God.