Giving Like God, by W. E. Vine

 

The opening verses of the Epistle of James contain a description of God as "the giving God." That is the literal rendering of the phrase "God who giveth..." in the statement, "God, who giveth to all liberally" (verse 5). "The giving God" it is almost a title. How abundantly it is illustrated in the Scriptures! "He gave His only begotten Son"; "How shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?"  His giving is the outflow of His love, "God so loved that He gave." He gives "liberally" (Jas. 1:5), "freely" (Rom. 8:32), "richly" (1 Tim. 6:17).


Likeness to the Father
 

One of the prominent lessons in the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount, is that by shaping our conduct in obedience to the Lord's precepts our character will be conformed to that of our Heavenly Father. We shall be truly "Sons of our Father which is in heaven" (see, e.g., Matt. 5:45). Not merely children but "sons." That is to say,
those who not only are born of God but share His character, and so represent Him worthily, bearing the impress of the Divine parentage. As then His grace is such that He is "the giving God," liberal in His giving, the same spirit of liberality is to characterize us. When Christ sat over against the treasury and observed "how the people cast money into the treasury," He was really noticing the kind of giving which corresponded to God's mode of giving. The poor widow cast in all that she had. Was not that like the gift the Father gave in giving His Son? He was His all. Giving is a test of character.

Motives

The world forms its estimate according to the getting: Christ's estimate is measured by the giving. The world reckons what sum is given. Men consider the amount: Christ considers the motive. With the world the great question is: What does a person own? The Lord takes notice as to the use a person makes of it. How much is suggested by the Lord's remarks about the widow's offering! "This poor widow cast in more than they all: for all these did of their superfluity cast in unto the gifts: but she of her want did cast in all the living that she had" (Luke 21:3-4). There was little, if any, sacrifice in their case. They were as comfortably off afterwards as before. She had nothing left. Theirs was a matter of religion; hers was a matter of love and devotion to God. After all, the great criterion was, not how much she gave, but how much she kept. What a difference between their balance and her nothing!

from Chapter 17 of The Church and the Churches, by W. E. Vine

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