TESTIMONY for the Church Bible Seminar 19 March 2016 by Wee Bo Hao

Thank God for the English Bible Seminar held on 19 March 2016 on “The Theology of Giving”. Rev (Dr) Quek Suan Yew was the speaker. This is a most pertinent topic since all Christians are commanded to give our tithes and offerings to God. As the Bible teaches much concerning the theology of giving, the Bible Seminar was not meant tailored to address the key points of the subject to provoke all of us to study more into the subject.

Rev Quek started laying the foundations by teaching us the right perspective and basis with regards to giving. Before we can give our tithes and offerings, we must give ourselves as living sacrifices. His first message is thus aptly titled, “The First Gift” with the Scripture text taken from Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

For our giving to be accepted by God, we must first be genuine believers. God will not accept the gifts of unbelievers. Unbelievers, will give with the wrong motives and understanding as they are devoid of any spiritual understanding and discernment. On the other hand, giving is our natural response as believers. We will give our bodies to God voluntarily as a logical response to the great salvation we have in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Our lives must be given over to God completely and wholeheartedly. We must strive to be holy and be acceptable before God. This involves a continuous and constant transformation by the renewing of our mind. Indeed I am much rebuked and reminded that I must forsake the world, follow the Word of God, and fulfill the will of God.

When we know our place before God, we will have the right motivation of giving. Giving must not be for physical gain or reward. We must beware of materialism and the health and wealth gospel that is so prevalent today. A selfish pursuit of material gain is not godliness. Rather, godliness with contentment is great gain (1 Tim 6:6). The Lord blesses the church primarily with spiritual blessings and not material. Only when we have a right understanding that our lives belong to God will we know how to properly use our possessions. We own nothing. All we have belongs to God. We are just stewards of God, commanded to be faithful in service (1 Cor 4:2).

The second message, “The Way to Give” teaches us how we ought to give. The Scripture text is 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, “But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:”

All Christians must understand the importance and urgency of giving. Our time on earth is fixed, so we must sow while we can. It is the only time where we can serve God and lay up treasures in heaven. Our time to serve on this earth is short and precious. As such, we ought not to be lazy or procrastinate. We must not be stingy with our service but should strive to do our best for the Lord. We must keep in mind the spiritual purposes of all that we do. This Bible Seminar was therefore a good opportunity for me to examine my own life to see how I have been spending my time, energy and substance.

How then should we give as believers? We should give from our hearts, cheerfully, sincerely and willingly. We are not to give what we do not have; neither are we to give until it hurts. Giving must also be done wisely and not blindly, or we risk doing more harm than good.

We learnt that the tithe refers to the 10 percent that we ought to give back to the Lord to support the work of God. When we give the tithe unto the Lord, we are to give with joy and understanding of the wonderful privilege the Lord has granted us to serve him by giving.

When we give cheerfully and wisely, the Lord is pleased to use our giving to build His kingdom. We must also understand that God does not need our giving to bring His work to pass. Rather, it is our loss if we do not contribute to God’s work.

In conclusion, God does not intend giving to be a burden but a blessing. We will be blessed spiritually when we give with the right understanding, motives and attitude. Our gracious Father delights in our giving and will reward us out of His own good will. Furthermore, we will never lack even when we give. God will provide sufficiently simply because it is God’s work. Ultimately, giving is an exercise of faith. I pray that the Lord will increase my faith to trust in Him and His promises, and to give my life for Him.

Malachi 3:10, “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.”