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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

"Giving Our Way to Prosperity" (Lesson Three)

The third less in brother Black's book is called, "The Liberal Soul Shall be Made Fat." Romans 12:8 is used as the main text: "He that giveth let him do so with liberality." The stated purpose of this third, very important, lesson is, "To help us understand what liberality is, and also how I may know when I am liberal."

Introducing the lesson, brother Black gives the major question we are to answer: "How much is liberal?" He also mentions that those who oppose a lesson such as this are often those who are guilty of not being liberal, but, instead, are not giving as they should.

The first section of the lesson is, "The Bible says much about liberality." This section is not long, but it introduces us to the fact that we are studying a Biblical subject; not just the thoughts of the author of this book. We are to be liberal in our giving, simply because God told us to be so!

After establishing that fact, brother Black reminds us, "The Lord blesses a liberal giver." This is taught in both the Old Testament (Proverbs 22:9, 11:25) and the New Testament (Second Corinthians 9:6). When we give, get get; and that, from God!

Next, as an example, brother Black reminds us of those at Macedonia (Second Corinthians 8:1-5). While they did not have much in the way of this world's goods, they continued to give, "first of themselves." Brother Black says, "If we had congregations with the spirit of giving that the Macedonians had, we would evangelize the world in our generation" (18). Amen!

To conclude the chapter, V.P. Black gives "some guide lines for liberal giving." While there is nothing extremely specific in this section, the thoughts are needed:
  • Liberality depends on how I have been prospered.
  • Circumstances could be such in the church that my liberality would lead me to sell everything I own and bring the money to the elders that they might use it to help feed the poor.
  • A man's liberality also depends upon his ability to make money.
  • There are men in the church who are making a lot of money...Those of you who have good jobs and make good money, are you using your talent to the glory of God by manifesting liberality in your giving?