T. Ramsbotham: The objects of our giving

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“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen. Romans 11:35-36

“All that we have, says our text, is from God: and all we can give is due to God. Our offerings of love and gratitude, therefore, ought assuredly to minister, either directly or indirectly, tacitly or avowedly, to His glory. How shall they be made to do so? They will do so, brethren, when the object of them is to provide firstly, for the rendering of a continual homage and adoration to God in and for Himself alone. Secondly, for the extension of His spiritual kingdom on earth and the salvation of men. Thirdly, for the relief, comfort, and advantage of His poor, in respect both to their souls and bodies.”

T. Ramsbotham in his sermon “The Objects of Giving” preached in St. Ann’s Church, Manchester on 27 March 1862 in Money, And It’s Responsibilities: A Course of Sermons on Giving issued by a committee of churchmen (Manchester: Hale and Roworth, 1862) 27.

Ramsbotham provides a good three-point outline for the objects of our giving. Our giving should glorify God, advance God’s kingdom through the salvation of people, and serve the poor, both physically and spiritually. What a simple and beautiful outline. From there his sermon expounds on those points.

I find them quite relevant as I had long conversations this week with Sophie, with her fiancé, Peter, and with Peter’s mom, Barb, as we drove from San Diego, California, to Littleton, Colorado. We had conversations about basic budgeting and what kind of things should we give to.

For example, Peter wants to support a guy who serviced his car at a place called God’s Garage. Peter just had to purchase parts and the guy at God’s Garage serviced his car freely. Similarly God’s Garage helps others in need. Peter said he feels led to support him. I urged him to include God’s Garage in his portfolio of giving.

What are the objects of giving in your giving portfolio? I’d encourage you to use today’s three points as a guide. Start with your local church, include ministries that make known the good news, and those who show God’s love to the needy. Our portfolios will look different, but I hope they will reflect these priorities.