THE MIRACULOUS POWER OF GIVING
By Rita Langeland
Over the course of more than two decades of learning to trust God for finances to do the work of Hidden with Christ Ministries, I have both observed and experienced what I can only describe as “the miraculous power of giving.” I believe it is a spiritual law that God has set in motion in the earth for the benefit of both the giver and the receiver.
GIVING IMPACTS THE GIVER
Many people do not realize how often the Bible addresses the subjects of money, giving and generosity. Hundreds of scripture verses dealing with these subjects can be found in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus stated plainly that the giver is more blessed than the receiver, while the book of Proverbs outlines a multitude of benefits that come to generous givers including prosperity, blessings, never facing lack, and being repaid by God Himself.
“…remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how He himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35b
The generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25
The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor. Proverbs 22:9
One who gives to the poor will never lack anything, But one who shuts his eyes will have many curses. Proverbs 28:27
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:17
One well-known figure in the business world proved the truth of these scriptures during his lifetime. The man’s name was J.L. Kraft, and he was the founder of Kraft Foods Inc. He donated approximately 25% of his enormous income to Christian causes for many years, and famously said, "The only investment I ever made which has paid consistently increasing dividends is the money I have given to the Lord."
Similarly, another businessman found that giving to God’s purposes always resulted in increase in his business. R.G. Letourneau was born in 1888 and quit school at the age of 13. But the man had a brilliant engineering mind and eventually became a multi-millionaire through his 300 patented inventions of machines and heavy equipment. During World War II, the U.S. Army utilized thousands of his earth moving machines to build roads and air strips which helped the Allies shorten the war. Letourneau was a generous giver who often repeated his now famous quote, “I shovel [money] out, and God shovels it back...but God has a bigger shovel!”
GIVING IMPACTS THE RECEIVER
The person who is on the receiving end of another’s generosity is often impacted in a “lifesaving” way. In the tenth chapter of the Gospel of Luke we find the familiar story of the Good Samaritan. His compassion and generosity saved a man’s life after other people had seen yet ignored the man’s desperate need. The Good Samaritan stopped and rescued him, carrying him on his donkey to a place where he could be cared for until he recovered from injuries inflicted by robbers. At Hidden with Christ Ministries we have seen the generosity of our donors save a person’s life by providing vitally needed medical care, give hope to the hopeless and lift up the downtrodden.
Generosity ALWAYS impacts the life of the receiver, often far more than the giver even realizes! After one Pastor’s Conference sponsored by Hidden with Christ Ministries in Tanzania, an African pastor told us he had planned to quit the ministry forever because he was so deeply discouraged. But he kept his promise to accompany another pastor to our conference before resigning from his church. God used the generosity of the HWC donors who sponsored that conference to revive this demoralized pastor when he attended. Twenty years later, that pastor is still in the ministry and has won many to the Lord.
We can list several of the orphans who came to Treasures of Africa Children’s Home in medically compromised conditions who would have died if they had not received the medical care, nutrition and love they were given when they first arrived at TOA. The miraculous power of giving can be a lifesaver for the receiver!
TWO BIBLICAL ATTITUDES ABOUT GIVING
One dear friend of this ministry, when thanked for his gift, reminded me that everything we give away originally came from God Himself. He told me that he personally subscribed to the position that “We give out of the hand of God.” This is a scriptural attitude which was first expressed by King David when he prayed over the gifts that had been donated to help build the temple in Jerusalem. King David prayed to the Lord:
But who am I and who are my people that we should be able to offer as generously as this? For all things come from You, and from Your hand we have given to You. (1 Chron. 29:14)
Another generous donor responded this way when I thanked him for a donation the ministry received. He made this humble yet profound statement: “The gift is not from me. It is from our heavenly Father. I’m only the clerk who redirects the funds.”
I have learned so much from the multitude of “cheerful givers” who have helped Hidden with Christ Ministries and Treasures of Africa for more than two decades. I have witnessed the miraculous power giving has had on people’s lives around the world. And I have observed the miraculous blessings that God has poured out on the givers. May we all seek to become “clerks” who redirect the funds God places into our hands.