Christian Churches of God

No. 010




Giving and the Providence

of God


(Edition 2.0 20000902-20221102)


Learning to give is the basis of the love of God.



Christian Churches of God

PO Box 369,  WODEN  ACT 2606,  AUSTRALIA




(Copyright ©  2000, 2022 Wade Cox, Peter Kasper anor)


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Giving and the Providence of God

In order to show us how to give God set the example. He has never stopped giving to us. We will look at this example and check this against our response both to God and to each other. Our attitude to giving needs to reflect that of God.


The gifts from God

There is so much said in the Bible about giving that it would be too time consuming to cover each Scripture. However, we must understand that we cannot live as Christians nor enter into eternal life until we internalise this concept and put giving into every aspect of our lives. We cannot keep the First Great Commandment with its attendant laws unless we give to God the love, worship and obedience demanded by Him. We cannot obey the Second Great Commandment unless we give to our neighbour the love demanded by this commandment; also with its attendant laws. Everything God does is giving.


The greatest gift of the Messiah

From the beginning God has given us everything. He gave life (Gen. 1:26-27). He also ensured us an habitation that would provide us with all our physical needs. He gave us a way of life that would ensure our continued welfare, both spiritually and physically. We were required to live according to the Laws set down for us and we were warned of the results of failing to live that way (Deut. 28) (cf. also the paper The Blessings and the Curses (No. 75)).


The wages of sin, that is transgression of the Law, is death. Having failed to live according to those laws, God gave us the greatest gift of all. He gave us Jesus Christ in order that our sins could be forgiven, and atonement could be made for us so that our relationship with God could be restored.  

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (RSV)


God knew we would fail and He made provision for that.


Isaiah 42:1-8 Behold my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my Spirit upon him, he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4He will not fail or be discouraged till he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his law. 5Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6"I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, 7to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. 8I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to graven images. (RSV)


As everything God does is an aspect of giving, so too is everything that Christ does. During his life he gave health to the sick, sight or hearing to those in need, deliverance from demon possession and also life to the dead.  Through his death Christ gave us the ability to have eternal life, but for this we must live as Christ lived – in obedience to God. We must also live in faith and believe.


John 6:30-40 So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform? 31Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, `He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" 32Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world." 34They said to him, "Lord, give us this bread always." 35Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. 36But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. 38For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; 39and this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day. 40For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (RSV)


James 1:17-18 tells us that every good gift comes from God.

James 1:17-18  Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures. (RSV)


James 1:5-7 tells us that we need to ask.

James 1:5-7 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all men generously and without reproaching, and it will be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7For that person must not suppose that a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways, will receive anything from the Lord.    (RSV)


We need to be mindful that although we are given all things we need to ask of God humbly and fervently, keeping in mind that we should not be asking for all these things just for ourselves, but also for others, that their needs can be fulfilled, their health restored, their problems resolved and their spiritual lives enhanced.


We are given the Holy Spirit on baptism and the acceptance of the Covenant with God. In return for acceptance into the Body of Jesus Christ, we covenant to keep the Laws of God and we must give to others as we have been given. Giving is an expression of love. Hence to love God is to give to God that which He asks of us. (See The Law of God (L1) and the Law papers (Nos. 252–256.) To love our neighbour as ourselves is to give as we are able, in order that their lives may be enhanced, not damaged in any way by our breaking of the Laws of God. We do not steal from them; we do not spread false witness against them; we do not covet anything of theirs (see the Law papers (Nos. 257-263)).  

1Corinthians 12:4-11 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; 6and there are varieties of working, but it is the same God who inspires them all in every one. 7To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11All these are inspired by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (RSV)


Paul reminds us of the need of love when utilising our gifts. Without love we are as nothing.

1Corinthians 13:1-12  If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful; 5it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right. 7Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; 10but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. 11When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. (RSV)


God provides for our physical needs as well as our spiritual needs.

Matthew 6:25-33  "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, nor about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27And which of you by being anxious can add one cubit to his span of life? 28And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; 29yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith? 31Therefore do not be anxious, saying, `What shall we eat?' or `What shall we drink?' or `What shall we wear?' 32For the Gentiles seek all these things; and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well. (RSV)


Following the flood, God promised that while the Earth remains, we will always have the seasons, the harvests and consequently an environment in which we could live.

Genesis 8:20-22 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21And when the LORD smelled the pleasing odor, the LORD said in his heart, "I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I ever again destroy every living creature as I have done. 22 While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease." (RSV)


However, we need to look at what mankind is doing to that environment. We have a responsibility to ensure that we care for it as instructed by God’s Law. For instance, we have not given the land its Sabbaths for hundreds of years and we are reaping the penalty for that. We destroy the atmosphere with our material luxuries; we destroy the seas by eating the very creatures whose main purpose is to cleanse the seabed, often rejecting the meats God provided for us (see the paper The Food Laws (No. 015)).


We kill animals and birds indiscriminately for pleasure or riches, rather than for proper control or for food. We have failed to look after our environment as we should and we have failed to live according to the way in which we should and thus our health and our welfare are seriously impaired. 


What did God promise us in return for obedience?

Leviticus 26:1-13 "You shall make for yourselves no idols and erect no graven image or pillar, and you shall not set up a figured stone in your land, to bow down to them; for I am the LORD your God. 2You shall keep my sabbaths and reverence my sanctuary: I am the LORD. 3"If you walk in my statutes and observe my commandments and do them, 4then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. 5And your threshing shall last to the time of vintage, and the vintage shall last to the time for sowing; and you shall eat your bread to the full, and dwell in your land securely. 6And I will give peace in the land, and you shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid; and I will remove evil beasts from the land, and the sword shall not go through your land. 7And you shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. 8Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. 9And I will have regard for you and make you fruitful and multiply you, and will confirm my covenant with you. 10And you shall eat old store long kept, and you shall clear out the old to make way for the new. 11And I will make my abode among you, and my soul shall not abhor you.  12And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people. 13I am the LORD your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that you should not be their slaves; and I have broken the bars of your yoke and made you walk erect. (RSV)


Because we have not given to God the honour due to Him and have not lived in harmony with Him, each other and the environment, and have not followed the instructions which would have enabled us to maintain the physical and spiritual health of both the individual and the Earth, we will progressively see its destruction through war, illness, famine and pollution. If we bought an expensive piece of equipment we would read and follow the instructions. We would care for it and repair it if it broke down. We are too proud to follow the instructions that would have enabled us to maintain an environment that was given to us in perfect order. We could have lived in peace and prosperity.


The responsibility of the Elect

Let us look at how we can give now. By giving we can change the way things are. By giving back to God His tithes and offerings, returning to the laws He instigated and repenting of our waywardness, the world can be turned around.


We have been given many examples of the way people gave in biblical times. We’ll look at a few of them.


God instructed Moses to build the Tabernacle.

Exodus 35:20-23 Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. 21And they came, every one whose heart stirred him, and every one whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD's offering to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. 22So they came, both men and women; all who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to the LORD. 23And every man with whom was found blue or purple or scarlet stuff or fine linen or goats' hair or tanned rams' skins or goatskins, brought them. (RSV)


Notice that all who gave were of a willing heart. They wanted to give for the glory of God.


The restoration of the Temple under Ezra was also completed in that manner.

Ezra 2:68-69 Some of the heads of families, when they came to the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem, made freewill offerings for the house of God, to erect it on its site; 69according to their ability they gave to the treasury of the work sixty-one thousand darics of gold, five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred priests' garments. (RSV)

They gave as much as they were able.


Offerings given in to the Temple:

Luke 21:1-4 He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury; 2and he saw a poor widow put in two copper coins. 3And he said, "Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them; 4for they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had." (RSV)

This woman gave everything she had and Christ obviously thought highly of her for her attitude and faith. Each is judged according to their works within their ability.


When the Jerusalem church started out the brethren clubbed together so everyone in need could be helped.

Acts 2:44-47 And all who believed were together and had all things in common; 45and they sold their possessions and goods and distributed them to all, as any had need. 46And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they partook of food with glad and generous hearts, 47praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (RSV)


Here, Paul and his companions were obviously appreciated. 

Acts 28:7-10 Now in the neighborhood of that place were lands belonging to the chief man of the island, named Publius, who received us and entertained us hospitably for three days. 8It happened that the father of Publius lay sick with fever and dysentery; and Paul visited him and prayed, and putting his hands on him healed him. 9And when this had taken place, the rest of the people on the island who had diseases also came and were cured. 10They presented many gifts to us; and when we sailed, they put on board whatever we needed. (RSV)


Do we have the right attitude to each other or do we have respect of persons thus giving precedence to those in less need? Respect of persons is sin. (See the paper Respect of Persons (No. 221).)


James 2:1-26  My brethren, show no partiality as you hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2For if a man with gold rings and in fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3and you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, "Have a seat here, please," while you say to the poor man, "Stand there," or, "Sit at my feet," 4have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my beloved brethren. Has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor man. Is it not the rich who oppress you, is it not they who drag you into court? 7Is it not they who blaspheme that honorable name which was invoked over you? 8If you really fulfil the royal law, according to the scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you do well. 9But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. 11For he who said, "Do not commit adultery," said also, "Do not kill." If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. 13For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy; yet mercy triumphs over judgment. 14What does it profit, my brethren, if a man says he has faith but has not works? Can his faith save him? 15If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, 16and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit? 17So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead. 18But some one will say, "You have faith and I have works." Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe -- and shudder. 20Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from works is barren? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar? 22You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by works, 23and the scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness"; and he was called the friend of God. 24You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25And in the same way was not also Rahab the harlot justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? 26For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead. (RSV)


God warns those who are rich to be careful that they do not put their riches before God and before those in need. They may not give as they are able and sometimes it may be grudgingly.

James 5:1-6 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. 2Your riches have rotted and your garments are moth-eaten. 3Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you and will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. 4Behold, the wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. 5You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. 6You have condemned, you have killed the righteous man; he does not resist you. (RSV)


Paul gave instructions for the wealthy.

1Timothy 6:17-19 As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy. 18They are to do good, to be rich in good deeds, liberal and generous, 19thus laying up for themselves a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of the life which is life indeed. (RSV)


We are warned that the time is running out. We need to ensure we are right with God. A right attitude is important because if we give with the wrong attitude, we might just as well not bother. A gift grudgingly given is no gift.

1Peter 4:7-11  The end of all things is at hand; therefore keep sane and sober for your prayers. 8Above all hold unfailing your love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9Practice hospitality, ungrudgingly, to one another. 10As each has received a gift, employ it for one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11whoever speaks, as one who utters oracles of God; whoever renders service, as one who renders it by the strength which God supplies; in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (RSV)


If we cannot give freely with love, in the abundance of the gifts from God, we fail. Christ gave his life for us. We can give no less. Most of us may never be asked to give so much, but what we can give we should give without reserve.


At 1John 3:16-24 we read:

1John 3:16-24  By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17But if any one has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 18Little children, let us not love in word or speech but in deed and in truth. 19 By this we shall know that we are of the truth, and reassure our hearts before him 20whenever our hearts condemn us; for God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21Beloved, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22and we receive from him whatever we ask, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us. 24All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us. (RSV)


Effects of giving

When we give from the heart, we also are given in return.

Mark 9:41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward. (RSV)


In Luke 6:38 Christ says:

Luke 6:38 give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For the measure you give will be the measure you get back." (RSV)


Invitation to salvation

Through Isaiah we are told that we can have salvation. Christ is still able to save us. The gift of eternal life is an ongoing option. If we fail to be part of the First Resurrection we have a second chance. It is God’s will that no flesh should perish. 


Isaiah 55:1-7  "Ho, every one who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Hearken diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in fatness. 3Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. 4Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. 5Behold, you shall call nations that you know not, and nations that knew you not shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. 6"Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; 7let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. (RSV)


We must remember also to be thankful for the gifts we are given and to be thankful in all things. Sometimes we feel we are not getting a fair deal and things are not working out for us and everything we do seems to go wrong. This is the time to remember that all things work together for the good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28). When we give thanks to God we remember the blessings He has provided for us and this will help us to remember to give to others.

Ephesians 1:1-11 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are also faithful in Christ Jesus: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, 4even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. 5He destined us in love to be his sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, 6to the praise of his glorious grace which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace 8which he lavished upon us. 9For he has made known to us in all wisdom and insight the mystery of his will, according to his purpose which he set forth in Christ 10as a plan for the fulness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. 11In him, according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to the counsel of his will, (RSV)

Christ came to unite both the heavenly host and the earthly host.


First we must return to God and ensure we are right with Him. Malachi issues a very strong warning to this effect.

Malachi 3:6-18 "For I the LORD do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. 7From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my statutes and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you, says the LORD of hosts. But you say, `How shall we return?' 8Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, `How are we robbing thee?' In your tithes and offerings. 9You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me; the whole nation of you. 10Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing. 11I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil; and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts. 12 Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the LORD of hosts. 13"Your words have been stout against me, says the LORD. Yet you say, `How have we spoken against thee?' 14You have said, `It is vain to serve God. What is the good of our keeping his charge or of walking as in mourning before the LORD of hosts? 15Henceforth we deem the arrogant blessed; evildoers not only prosper but when they put God to the test they escape.'" 16Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another; the LORD heeded and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and thought on his name. 17"They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, my special possession on the day when I act, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18Then once more you shall distinguish between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him. (RSV)


Our first step then is to ensure we are tithing correctly (see the paper Tithing (No. 161)). Give to God what He asks of us. When all is said and done it is not a great deal that He asks of us. Why do we hate doing as God says? We obey the laws of the country to avoid fines and punishments. Keeping the laws of the country does not provide the returns that keeping God’s Laws do. One keeps us out of trouble; the other provides great blessings in health and welfare, followed in time by eternal life. One offers eventual death, the other offers abundant life (see also the paper The Blessings and the Curses (No. 075)).


After proper tithes and offerings have been given to God, we should look to our brethren and our neighbours. When we see a need we should deal with it before we are asked. It is hard for some people to ask for help.


Some of us do not have money, but is that a reason for not helping? We may have time to talk to someone or pray for someone; knit a cardigan for a needy person; provide a blanket to someone who is cold; invite someone to dinner who may be lonely or in need of a good meal. If we look we will surely find a way to give something to someone whose needs are greater than our own. If we look at our prayer list we may see something more we can do in conjunction with our prayers; a letter or card, a little encouragement in a phone call, a small gift.


If we live close enough maybe we could cook a meal and take it round to our neighbour; share a little time with them; mind a child or an elderly relative for a while. The list is endless, but we must be thoughtful of the needs of others. Often it is the little things that are most appreciated. We can not all do great and wondrous things for others. We do not all have the gift of healing, or wealth, or great skills. The opportunity for great labours of aid in disaster areas is not for everyone. In these times of lawlessness; it is not always appropriate and could be dangerous to provide assistance personally, but it may be possible to alert those with the skills and resources to deal with the situation. It is also necessary to think about how and what we should give. It would not be appropriate to give money to an addict as it may well be  spent on furthering that addiction. An addict needs a different kind of help. We need to be discerning and should pray for wisdom.  


2Corinthians 9:6-15 sums it up:

6The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. 9As it is written, "He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures for ever." 10He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God; 12for the rendering of this service not only supplies the wants of the saints but also overflows in many thanksgivings to God. 13Under the test of this service, you will glorify God by your obedience in acknowledging the gospel of Christ, and by the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others; 14while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God in you. 15Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (RSV)


The Providence of God

We have so many promises that God will always provide for us. Especially if we tithe correctly, and generally give as we are able and it is needed.


Malachi 3:10-11 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 11And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.


God says that our bread (food) and water is sure.

Isaiah 33:15-16  He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil; 16He shall dwell on high: his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks: bread shall be given him; his waters shall be sure.


Jesus multiplied bread and fish. And he told his disciples: Do you still not understand? when they were worrying that they had not bought bread.

Mark 8:15-21 And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. 16And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread. 17And when Jesus knew it, he saith unto them, Why reason ye, because ye have no bread? perceive ye not yet, neither understand? have ye your heart yet hardened? 18Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? 19When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? They say unto him, Twelve. 20And when the seven among four thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Seven. 21And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand?

Could it be that we still do not understand?


Jesus did not worry much about possessions. He knew that His Father always will provide what is necessary. He did not care for food as we saw above, and he did not care for money. See Matthew 26:6-13 and Mark 14:3-9 and John 12:1-6. 

Here only verse 6:

This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it.


Judas was a thief. Jesus knew this all the time but did nothing. Why? Because it did not matter. The amount of money in the box does not matter. If God provides He provides. He owns everything and Jesus knew this and also had access to it, but he never used it in a wrong manner as Satan would have done. We all would certainly do something knowing a thief in our house or group, but not so Jesus. See also Matthew 17:27.


And we have the verses which say: when you give it will be given to you; if you give you have more...

Our human mind says: how is this possible?

Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete with it shall be measured to you again.


Proverbs 11:24-25 One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. 25A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.


God does not need our money or none of our goods. All is His anyhow. He only wants to see our attitude. We see this in:

Mark 12:42-44 And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. 43And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.


The Bible talks about rich people and how difficult it is for them to enter God’s Kingdom. We have the parable of the rich young man:

Matthew 19:16-26  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. 18He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. 23Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.


We find this also in Mark 10:17-27 and Luke 18:18-27. We should not pile up goods: James 5:1-3 and Ezekiel 7:12, 13, 19 and Zephaniah 1:18; 1Timothy 6:6-11, 17-19.


But for example Abraham and Job and many others were very rich. So the important point cannot be only the question between rich and poor. There are rich who are saved and poor who are not. So what is the important point?


Let's look at the example of Job. He was very rich as we see in Job 1 but he was not like Nebuchadnezzar who said (in Daniel 4:30) “The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?”

Isaiah 2:11-12, 17 11The haughty looks of man shall be brought low, and the pride of men shall be humbled; and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day. 12For the LORD of hosts has a day against all that is proud and lofty, against all that is lifted up and high;

17And the haughtiness of man shall be humbled, and the pride of men shall be brought low; and the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.


God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God (1Cor. 1:28-29).


We should be humble and have this attitude:

Deuteronomy 8:16-17 who fed you in the wilderness with manna which your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end. 17Beware lest you say in your heart, `My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.'


Many people and especially governors and kings said and say: look what I have accomplished! And all this through my power and my wisdom.


Not so Job. He says in Job 1:21: “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”

He says: it came all from God. It is His blessing; it is not my merit.

Job 31:24-25 Have I made gold my hope, or have said to the fine gold, Thou art my confidence? 25Rejoiced I because my wealth was great, and because my hand had gotten much?

No, he did not. He took it as a blessing from God’s hand but he did not say: I accomplished this and he did not put his confidence in his wealth, but only in God. He also said: God can make with his possession whatever He wants:


Job 2:10 What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this Job did not sin with his lips.


Job had riches but had the attitude as described in 1Timothy 6:17.

As for the rich in this world, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on uncertain riches but on God who richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy.


Another example is Abraham. He also was very rich. In Genesis 14:19 Melchizedek meets Abraham shortly before he is going to meet the king of Sodom and says: And he blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth. In many translations like KJV, NAS, ESV and many others it reads not maker or creator, but possessor of heaven and earth. What message does Melchizedek have by saying this to Abraham before he meets the king of Sodom? He basically warns or reminds Abraham not to take anything from the king of Sodom. There is no need anyhow. God is the God of Abraham and God is the possessor of all, and He is the provider for Abraham. Abraham got all his riches from God and His blessings. Abraham relied on God and not on his own strength nor on anything else. God blessed him. So there is no need to take anything from the king of Sodom.


Abraham got the message as we see in verses 14:22 and 23 after the king of Sodom offers him all the goods:

22But Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I have sworn to the LORD God Most High, maker of heaven and earth (possessor of heaven and earth), 23that I would not take a thread or a sandal-thong or anything that is yours, lest you should say, `I have made Abram rich.

So Abraham was well aware from where his riches came. After this happened God revealed this word to Abraham:

Genesis 15:1 "Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great."


We see many experts talking and explaining the problems of the world on TV and the internet. They talk about the war in Ukraine and why it came and who is guilty. They explain all the different crises. They talk about food shortages, the coming famine, the truckers in Canada, the farmers in the Netherlands, the coming war between Israel/USA and Iran, China and Taiwan; they explain about the crisis in Sri Lanka and Somalia and Eritrea and Sudan and Ethiopia; they talk about the gas supply from Russia and about exploding pipelines in the US, about fertilizer production and why this does not work anymore, the climate change and melting ice on Greenland, the Antarctica, in Switzerland and everywhere and not to forget corona and monkey-pox and so on and so on... The list seems endless.


But never do we hear one of these specialists talk about the real reason behind ALL the problems of the world. They explain well and draw connections, but if they do not know the real reason, they know nothing.


Why do we experience all these problems? (And it will become much worse!) Why are we not blessed? The earth could supply so much that we all could live in abundance. So why does it not work?

Well, we can name it in only one word: SIN.

And then we can explain this: what is sin? Sin is transgression of the law of God (1John 3:4).


What does the law require of us? We should love our neighbor and God as we love ourselves (Mat. 22:37-40).


We have to keep the 10 commandments, Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.

-The Sabbaths and New Moons and God’s feasts. Leviticus 23 and many other places.

-The food laws. Leviticus 11 and Deut. 14 etc. (see the Food Laws (No. 015).

-We have to tithe and generally give. Deuteronomy 15:10, Malachi 3 and others (see Tithing (No. 161)).

Obeying all this is not difficult (Matthew 11:30; 1John 5:3).

When we keep God’s law we will be blessed. As Deuteronomy 28, and many other places in the Testimony demonstrate.


God blesses nations if they live according to His word and He blesses individuals.


All these experts and our politicians name all the existing problems and discuss a lot of what we could do, but no one names the real cause - the cause behind all of this.


Not keeping the Law of God is the real cause of all misery and all problems. If we only kept it we would be blessed.


Let's look at only some verses in Deuteronomy:

Deut. 4:40 Therefore you shall keep his statutes and his commandments, which I command you this day, that it may go well with you, and with your children after you, and that you may prolong your days in the land which the LORD your God gives you forever."


Deut. 5:29 Oh that they had such a mind as this always, to fear me and to keep all my commandments, that it might go well with them and with their children forever!


Deut. 6:3 Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them; that it may go well with you.


Deut. 6:18 And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the LORD, that it may go well with you.


Deut. 6:24 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as at this day.


Deut. 7:12-15 "And because you hearken to these ordinances, and keep and do them, the LORD your God will keep with you the covenant and the steadfast love which he swore to your fathers to keep; 13he will love you, bless you, and multiply you; he will also bless the fruit of your body and the fruit of your ground, your grain and your wine and your oil, the increase of your cattle and the young of your flock, in the land which he swore to your fathers to give you. 14You shall be blessed above all peoples; there shall not be male or female barren among you, or among your cattle. 15And the LORD will take away from you all sickness; and none of the evil diseases of Egypt, which you knew, will he inflict upon you, but he will lay them upon all who hate you.


Deut. 8:1 "All the commandment which I command you this day you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply


Deut. 10:12-13 "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul,   13and to keep the commandments and statutes of the LORD, which I command you this day for your good?


Deut. 11:13-15 "And if you will obey my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul,   14he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil.   15And he will give grass in your fields for your cattle, and you shall eat and be full.


Deut. 32:47 For it is no trifle for you, but it is your life, and thereby you shall live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to possess."


These are now only some verses from Deuteronomy. The Bible is full of them. They all say that we will be blessed if only we keep His commandments. Then we will have rain in due season. Jeremiah 5:24, 25; 12:4, everything will grow in abundance. We will grow old and see children and great-grand children. We will be healthy and there will be no war and so on.


All the problems we face arose and arise because we do not keep the law. But we do not want to. We do not want to listen. Look these verses up in Jeremiah. They are all about the fact that we do not want to listen: Jeremiah 2:19; 5:3; 7:26,28; 8:5,7,12; 12:17; 25:4,6,8; 35:15; 42:21; 43:7; 44:16. We find many more of these verses everywhere in the Bible. One more example: Ezekiel 3:7. Please look them up.


And here are the verses that God will send rain in due season if we keep His commandments and that He will send us fire and wind of fire if we do not keep them. All this we experience today. Leviticus 26:3,4,19; Deut.11:13-15 and 28:12,22-24; Psalm 11:6; Hosea 4:3 and 8:14; Amos 4:7; Jeremiah 5:24,25 and 7:20 and 12:4 and 23:10,19; Micah 7:13; Habakkuk 2:13; Haggai 1:10,11 and 2:17; Isaiah 9:18 and 24:4 and 29:6 and 66:16.


God has destroyed nations because of their sins. He did so with Sodom. He would not have done so if there would have been at least 5 or 10 righteous people within the city (Genesis 18:32). There was only one, and him He took out - with his family as we are told in Genesis 19.


God destroyed many nations like the Babylonians and Chaldeans and Maya and Inca and many others and also all the nations He drove out before Israel when they entered the Promised Land. He made an end to these nations and cities.

Psalm 9:7 their cities thou hast rooted out; the very memory of them has perished.


Why did He do this? There is a law. These Scriptures are very important and apply especially to this current time. It says in Numbers 35:33:

You shall not thus pollute the land in which you live; for blood pollutes the land, and no expiation can be made for the land, for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of him who shed it.


Genesis 9:5,6 For your lifeblood I will surely require a reckoning; of every beast I will require it and of man; of every man's brother I will require the life of man. 6Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.


This is also part of God’s law and this law cannot be broken. The law comes from God’s nature. It is His nature and He sticks to His law. This is very good, otherwise we would not know on what to rely. The nature of God never changes and His law will not change.


So if we take these verses above, we need to come to the conclusion that God has to make an end to a nation or a people or population when they come close to the number of their population with the number of those they killed.


When it says that the land can only be cleansed by the blood of him who shed blood, this can also mean the descendants of him who shed blood. My children and grandchildren are my blood up to the fourth generation according to the Bible.


Over the last decades our western nations shed a lot of blood when we count all these innocent aborted babies apart from all the other murdered people. But not only our western nations, also China, India, Latin-America; basically the whole world with some exceptions. So we have sinned and we are awaiting retribution.


God will give the land to the righteous who are the Holy Seed (Isa. 6:9-13; Amos 9:1-15). He did this in the past many times. He did it to the people of Israel when they entered the Promised Land. See Psalm 44:4-8. Later He had to take it away from them again, because they committed the same sins as did the nations they drove out. In the end He will restore them (Amos 9:15).


Very hard times are to come. They are right before us. Nearly the whole world will be destroyed. Many will die. And we know why: because mankind does not keep God’s law, nor do they want to do so. They go on sinning. They call good evil and evil good.


God destroyed the whole world beforehand. This was in the great flood at the time of Noah. We all know this story; therefore it is not necessary to bring Bible-references. And all this was because of sin. They all broke the law. No one cared for the transgression of the law - like today. There was only one – Noah, who was taken out with his family, as He did with Lot.


So should we worry? No. Jesus said basically: do not worry: not for food, nor for clothing - see Matthew 6:19, 20, 25:31-33, nor about wars - Matthew 24:6.


We also have the example of Joseph. Many bad things happened to him. He was sold as a slave by his own brothers. See Genesis 27 from verse 12 on. But he had, deep inside of him, the attitude not to sin. He said: how can I sin against God? Therefore God blessed him in everything he did (Genesis 39:2, 23). When the wife of his master wanted to commit adultery with him he had this attitude: how can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? (Genesis 39:9).


He was falsely accused and thrown into jail, but again God blessed him because he did not sin. He did not even make any allegation against those who did harm to him. So soon he was the chief of the whole prison. Genesis 39:19-23. Finally God put him over the whole of Egypt and he saved even those who sold him. And this was all because he did not sin. Sin was no option for him. God’s law was engraved into his heart.


The way of giving:

If we give away we have more and if we want only for ourselves, we at the end will have less.


This is a strange principle and for our human mind so difficult to understand. How can it be that we have more when we give? This is the opposite way to which we normally think.

Proverbs 11:24,25 One man gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. 25A liberal man will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.


2Corinthians 9:6-11 The point is this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that you may always have enough of everything and may provide in abundance for every good work. 9As it is written, "He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." 10He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your resources and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in every way for great generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God;


There are many who always want. They ask, they demand, they claim. Especially poor people used to do this. The homeless go to the social welfare places and demand what they need. And they get it. Tents and sleeping-bags, clothing and food. But they are poor. They are even homeless. How is that so? Could it be that it is all the other way around? Could it be that they are poor because they do not give and always only want?


Even worse is it with those who steal. They think they have more, but at the end they have less:

Proverbs 10:2 Treasures gained by wickedness do not profit, but righteousness delivers from death.


Exo. 22:1  "If a man steals an ox or a sheep, and kills it or sells it, he shall pay five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. He shall make restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft.


Exo. 22:9  "For every breach of trust, whether it is for ox, for ass, for sheep, for clothing, or for any kind of lost thing, of which one says, 'This is it,' the case of both parties shall come before God; he whom God shall condemn shall pay double to his neighbor.

See also The Law of God (L1)


This is also true with many of the poor countries. You can pour a lot of money in and it all does not help. This is because they always want. They always claim or demand and at the end they have less. This is because they do not give. We see this in many poor countries and could name many examples.


Now, should we worry? No. If we only keep the law we will be safe - look at Psalm 91. And everything we need will be provided for.


A very popular verse is Matthew 6:33: Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

See also Luke 12:22-34.


In Proverbs 1:33 we see also that there is no need to worry: but he who listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of evil.


If we really keep God’s law and walk in His ways - this is to say: if we sin not - we should be blessed. We should be like Joseph. Whatever we do should work because it has the blessing of God. Wherever we stand or walk it should blossom around us like is written in Psalm 84:5-7, 11-12:

Blessed are the men whose strength is in thee, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 6As they go through the valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. 7They go from strength to strength; the God of gods will be seen in Zion.

11For the LORD God is a sun and shield; he bestows favor and honor. No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly.

[(Psalms 84:12) O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in thee!]


We should be blessed: Proverbs 10:22

The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.


Ecclesiastes 2:26 For to the man who pleases him God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy; but to the sinner he gives the work of gathering and heaping, only to give to one who pleases God. This also is vanity and a striving after wind.


Isaiah 58:11 And the LORD will guide you continually, and satisfy your desire with good things, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.


1Chronicles 29:12,16 12Both riches and honor come from thee, and thou rulest over all. In thy hand are power and might; and in thy hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.

16O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building thee a house for thy holy name comes from thy hand and is all thy own.


We should never experience hunger:

Psalms 34:10-11 O fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want! 11The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.


Psalm 33:19 that he may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine.


Psalm 37:19-20 The LORD knows the days of the blameless, and their heritage will abide for ever; 20they are not put to shame in evil times, in the days of famine they have abundance.


See also John 10:10 and Psalm 23 and Isaiah 33:16.


Therefore we do not need to worry about all these price-risings now of food and energy and everything. We need to be only in God's hands and His provision and His blessings...


If we are blessed by Him - so what?   Are we one of the blessed ones?



Where we stand and go it will blossom around us.


Psalm 84:7

If it is not like this, something is wrong and we should find out what.


Matthew 10:25 it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.


Matthew 5:48 You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


1John 3:7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous.


1John 2:1 My little children, I am writing this to you so that you may not sin; but if any one does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;


Do this and you will live.       


The greatest reward we can receive is to be among the sheep in the First Resurrection (No. 143A). See Matthew 25:31-46.