But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you. Luke 11:41
“For the offertory to be prized and to flourish, there must first be an enlarged spirit of charity vouchsafed to the church of God; and then, under the same influence, other “modes of giving” would prosper in the same proportion. Still the advocates of the offertory will be wise in taking heed never to give offence, by even appearing to desire to attract to it the giving already in operation. Let them make it plain that their object is, not to divert giving, but to increase giving by increasing the opportunities of giving, and to enlarge the spirit of giving by setting forth the motives and the blessedness of giving, and then every good man will bid them Godspeed; but let them, on the contrary, be foolish enough, narrow-mindedly and enviously to depreciate other modes of giving, and to boast of their favorite mode, as the one divinely instituted channel for Christian charity to flow in, and then popular, so far as their bad influence can prevent it, the offertory never will become.”
Edward Birch in his sermon “The Modes of Giving” preached in St. Ann’s Church, Manchester on 3 April 1862 in Money, And It’s Responsibilities: A Course of Sermons on Giving issued by a committee of churchmen (Manchester: Hale and Roworth, 1862) 40.
In modern times we talk about the fact that there must be “no competition in the kingdom” or that “God has no favorite charities.” A similar message was proclaimed in the mid-1800’s in England. Rather than tell people to just give to the church offertory, to grow giving to all charities Birch urges hearers to encourage many opportunities of giving. Any other thinking is narrow-minded!
Today’s Scripture reminds us that the clean or right way to give is to see all that comes to you as a grace. Don’t just give to your church as if you are doing your part like paying taxes to God. He does not need your money; He wants your heart. He wants you to see all you have as grace and serve as a generous conduit of material and spiritual blessings. This means you get to give to many things that He cares about.
Give this way and teach others to give this way as well. Don’t try to manipulate people to give to your charity. Encourage them to deploy all they are and all they have following God’s leading to the local church and many charities. Urge this as it is the pathway for helping people experience the blessedness of giving.Read more