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  The Pre-requisite of Christian GivingThursday, July 25th, 2024  
by James A. Fowler

Christian giving has both a divine side and a human side. We have been considering what God does, and now we turn to man's response.

Of the Macedonian Christians Paul writes, "they first gave themselves to the Lord" (II Cor. 8:5). In terms of human responsibility the first order of business for genuine Christian giving is that we give ourselves to the Lord. We must submit ourselves as available vessels to Christ's Lordship.

God is not interested in your gifts until He has you! Until we are available vessels of God's grace, having given ourselves at His disposal, then we cannot participate in Christian giving. In one sense, the only "offering" we have to give is the offering of ourselves to God.

Francis Havergal states in that familiar hymn,
"Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to Thee..." "Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold."
Major W. Ian Thomas writes:
"Godliness in action -- presenting all that you are -- nothing, to all that He is -- everything, you are committed to the Lord Jesus Christ exclusively, for all that to which He is committed in you; and you may be supremely confident that He who dwells in gloriously adequate for all that to which He is committed!

...It is no longer necessary for me to ask you whether you are prepared to go to the mission field! It is now no longer necessary for me to ask you whether you are prepared to put your bank account at Christ's disposal, or your time, or your home...

If Christ is committed in me to use the very last dollar I possess, and every other dollar I shall ever earn, I am already committed to Him for this. ...There are no more issues for me to face -- only His instructions to obey! 5

Having "given ourselves to the Lord," then the Lord Jesus Christ can "call the shots" in our lives. This is the pre-requisite of Christian giving.

5 Thomas, W. Ian, Ibid., page 21.

©1999 by James A. Fowler

This is a sequence of articles. Though they were intended to be read in order, each article also stands alone. We've numbered them below so that you may choose to read them in sequential order.

1. The Grace of God in Christian Giving
2. The Divine Character of Christian Giving
3. The Will of God in Christian Giving
4. The Means of Christian Giving
5. The Overflow of Christian Giving
6. The Pre-requisite of Christian Giving
7.The Choice of Christian Giving
8. The Follow-through of Christian Giving
9.   The Attitude of Christian Giving
10. The Privilege of Christian Giving
11. The Ministry of Christian Giving
12. The Equalizing-factor in Christian Giving
13. The Return of Christian Giving
14. The Supply of Christian Giving
15. The Purpose of Christian Giving
16. The Integrity of Christian Giving

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The Divine Character Of Giving
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The Pre-requisite Of Giving
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