“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And 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. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13 verse 1)
Some secular writers define love, as the most potent force in the world. As believers we should see love as the perfect way to do the purpose for which we are born to fulfilment, in other words, is the commandment that Jesus left us.
However, it is necessary that love be present in us, in what we do, in what we think. It is essential that love has a significant influence on our whole life. Love is an excellent lever for us not remain in the comfort zone, and love transforms us from ordinary people to extraordinary people.
An extraordinarily believer is the one who does more than what is scattered from him. To do more than that is already spread from us, requires sacrifices, and therefore it is necessary that we do things with love. It’s crucial that we have love in our hearts if not, it will be a burden, or we will do it for religiousness.
The art of giving
All the Israelite men and women who were willing brought to the Lord freewill offerings for all the work the Lord through Moses had commanded them to do (Exodus Chapter 35, verse 29)
As Christians we are used to the practice of tithes, offerings, this law is sustained in the scriptures. Indeed, with more emphasis on the Old Testament and New Testament, Jesus also taught us about the importance of giving, in what comes numerous blessings.
Although in this chapter the "art of giving", I will not talk about tithes and offerings. I will talk about the art of giving using our financial resources and hearth as believers. We should provide beyond tithes and offerings, in our daily lives. Often, we are faced with several situations in which we need to act using our financial, material resources or heart compassion, but we must give with love, our heart must be willing to give.
Everyone who is willing will bring gold, silver, and bronze as an offering to the Lord (Exodus Chapter 35, Verse 5).
We should adopt the spontaneously give lifestyle as believers, for instance, buying a Christian book on marriage and offering a non-believer couple neighbour, you never know after a while if the couple get their marriage saved due to the Word.
Money is spiritual, and the spirituality of a believer is measured by his ability to set free from his pocket, not by the stunts he makes when he prays at a Sunday service. Therefore, as there is this liberation of any amount for the purpose of helping somebody that makes us enter the presence of Jesus, and there is no way He does not watch over you.
More than money too
Once, I witnessed a testimony when the pastor was preaching about fellowship, how important it was for us to visit our brothers, to have a fellowship beyond the church environment, that this might even be the most important act to Jesus Christ.
I decide to pay a visit to one of our fellow sisters. I bought her a book and three chocolates for her two daughters and nephew. I was there with a heart full of love. For my astonishment and surprise the next day at the Sunday service, the baby’s grandmother came to me thanking me for the chocolate and told me that the chocolate I offered her son was blessed because the son does not accept in any way to eat sweet candy, he rejects, and surprisingly he accepted my chocolate.
I was pleased to hear this, because I knew it was a sign of God, blessed by the action, and saying that His presence was there that day. God did something supernatural, making the boy that from birth had never agreed to eat something sweet, eat that chocolate.
Jews are the richest people in all of history, and they have a very strong giving culture, passed from generation to generation. It makes sense because God's business is people, if we take care of our money in his people, He certainly will take care of us.
From the heart
However, there is a danger! That we gave without love, falling into the trap of giving automatically, or always waiting for a reward. It is necessary that our act of giving be with love, love is greater than all things
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing (1 Corinthians Chapter 13, Verse 3)
No matter what value you will draw, it matters that you give with love, for love has a divine powerful, and can transform a simple donation into something supernatural in somebody life, something that only the power of love of Jesus can do.
Liliana Ferrão is from Mozambique, currently living and studying in Queensland at James Cook