SKILLS AND GIFTS – PART 3
PROVERBS 18: 16 - A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great (NIV)
Brethren, the ushering of a giver of gift into the presence of the great is not only referring to man but also to God. Of course, we know that our God is greater than the greatest. So, it means that just as your gifts can usher you into the presence of great men, it can also usher you into the presence of the Almighty who is the greatest. Gifts can be given to men, a cause and, more importantly, to God. Giving is a very important aspect of Christian service and you cannot proclaim to be a true Christian if you do not give cheerfully into all of the aforementioned causes. You would find it difficult to convince anyone that you are a Christian if you find it difficult to give gifts either to God or to man or to a cause. Matt. 7: 16 say “by their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?” (NIV). Giving gifts is a sign of surrenderness unto God all and the willingness to spend and be spent for the cause of the things of the kingdom.
Interestingly, giving has great gain which is what is emphasised in out text for the month. If your gifts can give you access into the presence of great men, it can do much more. For instance, your gifts can usher you into the presence of the great God, who is the creator of the heaven and the earth. A good example of someone whose gifts enabled him to enter into the presence of God is Solomon. We are told in 2 Chron. 1:6 that “Solomon went up to the bronze altar before the LORD in the tent of meeting and offered a thousand burnt offerings on it” (NIV). That was an unprecedented gift by a man that has become a memorial today. There was no record of any such acts of giving before or after that is recorded in the bible or even in real life.
Beloved, as we see in our text, that an act of giving made Solomon to have an access to the presence of God. In 2 Chron. 1:7, we read that “that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, "Ask for whatever you want me to give you." (NIV) Of course, that marked the beginning of his greatness. Solomon’s gift took him to a level that no one has attained and perhaps would ever attain in terms of riches and splendour. Brethren, many atimes, the key to our breakthrough lie in our gifts. For instance, the bible says in Lk. 6: 38 “give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (NIV) The unprecedented riches of Solomon after the offering of a thousand burnt offerings unto the Lord confirm the truth and the sacrosanct of Lk.6:38. The bible makes it clear in Exo.23:19 that God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (NIV) This means that His promises concerning gifts and giving is “Yea and Amen.”
When you give gifts either to God or to man, you are implicitly positioning yourself for a supernatural and monumental promotion and blessing. In Heb. 13:16 Apostle Paul wrote “do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God” (NIV). This means that giving gifts shows that we practice what we learn and read about our God. We are by implication confirming to the world that we are His children. People say, like father like son. No wonder the bible says in 2 Cor. 9:7 that “each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (NIV). If you are a cheerful giver, then you can be rest assured that sooner rather than later, God would smile at you and give you your deserved reward. Why is God interested in cheerful giver? God is interested in cheerful giver, because giving of gifts is a show of love. Our God is a cheerful giver also. The bible says in John 3: 16 that “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (NIV).
Giving gifts to God is a command that we should not take very lightly at all if our desire is to please Him. The bible says in Exo. 23:15 "Celebrate the Festival of Unleavened Bread; for seven days eat bread made without yeast, as I commanded you. Do this at the appointed time in the month of Aviv, for in that month you came out of Egypt. "No one is to appear before me empty-handed (NIV). My prayer is that the Lord would open your eyes of understanding if you are one of those who have been failing God in the area of tithe and offerings according to God’s command in Jesus name.
Dr. Yinka Okude
RCCG Jesus Sanctuary, Northampton
Hymn: All to Jesus, I surrender