Obviously a gift benefits the recipient. The church continues its ministry, the hungry are fed, and missionaries are sent. However, if a gift is given with the proper attitude, the giver, surprisingly, benefits even more. “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). The giver receives three extraordinary benefits.
Increase in Intimacy
Above all else, giving increases our affection for Christ. The Bible says, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Luke 12:34). This is why it is necessary to mentally give each gift to Jesus Christ. When you give your gift to him, your heart will automatically be drawn to the Lord. And nothing in life compares to knowing Christ well.
Increase in Heaven
Jesus wants us to know that when we give, we are investing treasures in heaven that we will be able to enjoy for all eternity . . . forever and ever! He told us, “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Matthew 6:20).
Imagine that you’ve been offered a high-paying job for two years in Switzerland, but there’s a catch. At the end of two years, you have to leave behind all your Swiss currency and everything you’ve purchased. The only money you can keep is what you have converted to U.S. dollars and sent home.
So what do you do with your Swiss currency? If you’re smart, you’ll keep only enough Swiss currency to meet your needs, and you’ll convert the rest to American dollars and send it home.
Something similar to this will happen when you die—you’ll leave everything behind. And while it is true that you can’t take it with you when you die, you can send it on ahead! Paul wrote to some contributors, “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account” (Philippians 4:17). We each have an account in something comparable to the First National Bank of Heaven. Every time we give, we are making deposits to a heavenly account that is ours to enjoy forever.
Increase on Earth
In addition to laying up treasure in heaven, there is a material increase flowing to the giver. The Bible says, “One gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper” (Proverbs 11:24-25).Another passage about giving says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6).
When we give, we should do it with a sense of expectancy—anticipating God to provide an increase even though we have no idea when or how he may choose to do it. In my experience, he can be very creative!
Remember that you receive the advantages of giving only when you give out of a heart filled with love. This rules out the motive of giving just to get.