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God Cares How You Give, Not What You Give
By Rick Warren

“By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings.” Hebrews 11:4 (NIV)

It’s interesting that the first person who gets mentioned in Hebrews 11’s “Faith Hall of Fame” is Abel, one of Adam and Eve’s sons.

What did Abel do that caused him to be included alongside Moses and Abraham and other significant biblical heroes in Hebrews 11? As far as we know, Abel never did anything great. He never took any major risks. But he gave an offering in faith, and that pleased God. It’s not what Abel gave; it’s how he gave it. Abel gave with an attitude of faith.

Hebrews 11:4 says, “By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings” (NIV).

Giving and faith go together. God couldn’t care less about the amount you give. God doesn’t need your money. He wants your heart.

In fact, if you're not giving in faith, don't give. The Bible says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV).

There are two ways to give: You can give by reason, or you can give by revelation. 

To give by reason is to sit down, look at the numbers, and figure out reasonably what you think it makes sense to give. But that approach doesn’t require any faith at all.

When you give by revelation, on the other hand, you let God reveal to you what he wants you to give in faith. You stop and take time to pray, asking, “God, how much do you want me to trust you for this time?” Then you do whatever he tells you to do. This is the kind of giving that stretches your faith because it’s not necessarily reasonable. It’s giving based on revelation.

In the Bible, there were a group of early Christians that gave by revelation, not by reason. They lived in Macedonia, the same part of Greece that Alexander the Great came from. The Macedonian church had been through hard times and was extremely impoverished. Yet, when they heard that the church at Jerusalem needed help, they gave a sacrificial gift. Though the Macedonians had very little money themselves, they gave in faith to help their fellow Christians.

Paul says this about them: “They have been tested by great troubles, and they are very poor. But they gave much because of their great joy” (2 Corinthians 8:2 NCV). 

Did you notice why the Macedonians gave? Did they give out of guilt? No, they gave “because of their great joy.”

When you give in faith, you give with joy. And, as a result of your joyous, faithful giving, you grow and ultimately become more like Christ!

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