Our giving to God is intimately connected with the love of God. Before we know the love of God, we may give of ourselves to others—but our motivation will always be self-centered or self-motivated. But when we experience the love of God, the grace of God, the forgiveness of God, the blessing of God, EVERYTHING changes. Those who have responded to the love of Jesus cannot help but have their motivations radically transformed—why we give, what we give, and even to whom we give turns from self-motivation, and becomes driven by the love OF Jesus, a love FOR Jesus, a love LIKE Jesus, and a love TO BE WITH Jesus.
#1 Our giving is motivated by the love of Jesus: Our giving is motivated by the love OF Jesus. When we put our faith in Jesus Christ, then the love OF Christ begins to control us. There is a difference between believing Jesus and following Jesus. Anyone can believe in Jesus—even demons. Following Jesus means the governing force in your life is the love Jesus has for it. It holds you, restrains you, compels you, and holds your life together. Our desire to give, therefore, is generated by the love of Jesus in us.
#2 Giving is motivated by a love for Jesus: Our giving is motivated by the love FOR Jesus. Once we accept Jesus’ love, we see the world entirely differently. As the hymn, “TURN YOUR EYES UPON JESUS” says: As we turn our eyes upon Jesus, as we look full in His wonderful face, the THINGS of this earth grow strangely dim. Before Christ, we didn’t give because we were afraid of losing everything. But, our hearts are changed and now we do all things out of a LOVE for Jesus.
#3 Giving is motivated by a love like Jesus: Jesus says that the distinguishing characteristic of His disciples will be a love for one another—the people of God, the church. We DO NOT give our time, money, or stuff because it is sinful to have or enjoy our time, money, or stuff. Jesus is not some cosmic kill joy who doesn’t want us to enjoy the good gifts He has given us. WE GIVE because, as disciples, we are overwhelmed with a love for others. Our desire to enjoy is trumped by our desire to bless. We give not because we want to go without, but because we don’t want others to go without—we want to bless. Having been given the mind of Christ, we consider others more needy, more deserving, more important than ourselves.
#4 Giving is motivated by a love to be with Jesus: Finally, our giving is motivated by a love of being with Jesus. Not only is our view of the stuff in this world changed, our view of the nature of this world entirely is changed. We must never forget that this is not our home. The Bible calls us refugees, exiles, and sojourners on earth. We are ambassadors in a foreign land. We are missionaries in the field. We are citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. This should impact how we give. If we LIVE with an eternal perspective, we will GIVE with an eternal perspective. Our giving is motivated by a love of being with Jesus. (SAM FORD)