There’s a reason so many people love giving. Although we don’t do it to get anything, it can fill us with incredible joy. And when we prioritize giving to God’s Kingdom, we can experience something greater…
A Story about the Gift of Giving
Christmas 2008—I still remember the morning well. In typical Derrick family fashion, we were up before the sun, and the house was lit only by the subtle glow of hundreds of Christmas lights my mom had lovingly placed around the house weeks before. This was the most excited I had ever felt on a Christmas morning. As I looked at the beautifully wrapped presents beneath the tree, I focused intently on one—The one.
I can’t tell you any of the presents I got that day, but I can tell you with vivid detail about that gift. It was a calendar I had made for my mom using photographs I had taken, edited, and paired with Bible verses that were carefully chosen to comfort her heart as my family walked a dark and painful road. Because the website I ordered from needed extra time for production and delivery, the anticipation had been building for weeks, and it was finally time. As she tore the paper away and began to flip through the pages, her eyes filled with tears. It was at that moment I realized something: She may have received the present, but I was the one who was given the gift.
And just like giving to others, giving to God’s Kingdom can make an impact.
How Giving to God’s Kingdom Makes an Impact
I don’t know about you, but I find giving fun. When the Bible talks about it being more blessed to give than receive, I couldn’t agree more. From thinking about the person and picking out the item to wrapping it and finally seeing the person’s reaction when they open it, the whole process is energizing for me in a way that few other things are. However, I know that eventually, the item will wear out, the calendar will be used, and the memory of the gift, no matter how special, will eventually begin to fade.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”—Matthew 6:19-21
As Jesus laid out, the painful reality is that we do live in a world where there are moths and rust and thieves—and even the things we hold most dear are temporary at best. When I sit with that sobering thought and begin, as Psalm 90:12 describes, “numbering my days,” I feel a deep longing for more. Thankfully, Jesus didn’t stop there. Not only can we have more, but we can also have more that will impact eternity.
By giving to God’s Kingdom.
When Jesus talks about “laying up for yourselves treasures in heaven,” He is describing investing in God’s Kingdom and the work He is doing here on earth. He is describing a shift in priority from the temporary to the eternal—from the earthly to the heavenly.
I’ve had the privilege of serving as a Biblical stewardship and budget coach for several years, and one of my favorite moments in the process is when an individual discovers the absolute joy that comes from giving to God’s Kingdom. Much like Christmas morning in 2008, the excitement of getting to partner with God in what He is doing is hard to contain and begins to transform us from the inside out.
3 Things That Happen by Prioritizing Giving to God’s Kingdom
So, what exactly happens when giving to God’s Kingdom becomes a priority?
– Our hearts change
Jesus revealed something very deep about human nature in the passage above. Our hearts will naturally follow what we treasure. We can treasure any number of things, and I find that, personally, one of the most powerful mirrors I can use to look at my own heart in this area is my bank statement. How I spend reveals what I treasure.
When giving to God’s Kingdom becomes a priority, something amazing happens—our hearts begin to change. The importance of this world begins to lessen as we raise our gaze to see what God is doing and invest in it. As the old hymn says, “The things of earth will grow strangely dim.”
– We do something God loves
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”—2 Corinthians 9:7
How cool is it to think we can bless God, the Creator of the universe? I still struggle to get my mind around that truth sometimes. As humbling and mind-boggling as that thought can be, though, it is true. And giving to God’s Kingdom is one way we get to do that. In fact, as the verse above reveals, God loves it when we give cheerfully to His purposes. It is an act of trust and obedience that shows what our hearts treasure… and that blesses God.
– We get to join God in what He’s doing
One of the great blessings in my life is a mentor who has walked alongside me for the last decade. While there are many lessons I have learned from this individual, one of the most impactful in my life has been this: “Look for where God is at work and join Him in it.” When giving to God’s Kingdom becomes a priority, this is a tangible opportunity to do just that.
Whether that looks like…
- Giving to your local church
- Investing in the work God is doing through ministries
- Supporting a missionary
…or whatever else God may have placed on your heart, look for where God is at work and prayerfully join Him in it. This is more than just giving a donation—it is investing in eternity.
Experience Joy by Giving to God’s Kingdom
While we don’t give to get, it truly is more blessed to give than receive. And when giving to God’s Kingdom becomes a priority, we get to experience that joy in a way that is unlike anything else this world has to offer. Moreover, we can use the gift of giving to advance God’s Kingdom!