Ministry Resources

Why Give?

Why Give?

Although most Christians do give either to the church they attend or to other worthy organizations, it is important to know scripturally why and where God instructs us to give our resources. Gil and I have been given the “gift of giving” that is mentioned in Romans 12:8. This is not an often mentioned gift in teachings by most pastors and church leaders. It was some years after Gil’s encounter with God at the Missions Conference at Church on the Rock in Rockwall, TX, October, 1982, that we even discovered it in scripture.

This gift along with several others is accompanied by grace, God’s ability to perform His will in our lives.

Romans 12:5-8 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another].

Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith;

[He whose gift is] practical service, let him give himself to serving; he who teaches, to his teaching;

He who exhorts (encourages), to his exhortation; he who contributes, let him do it in simplicity and liberality; he who gives aid and superintends, with zeal and singleness of mind; he who does acts of mercy, with genuine cheerfulness and joyful eagerness.

The King James Version states “he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity”. This is in harmony with what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:3-4, exhorting His followers to not be like the hypocrites who sounded a trumpet before they gave in the synagogues, trying to bring glory to themselves.

Matthew 6:3-4 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

But when you give to charity, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

So that your deeds of charity may be in secret; and your Father Who sees in secret will reward you openly.

To answer the question of “Why give?”, in my opinion, the reason we give is because we love. The Apostle Paul said that “the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us”. Romans 5:5. We are made in the image of God and God is love. It is no surprise that a Christian who has God’s spirit living within him or her would be a person who loves, gives, and loves to give.

In fact, without love, we are nothing. Without giving or acting from a heart of love, the action is worthless.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

If I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God’s love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God’s love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).

Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God’s love in me), I gain nothing.

The greatest need any person has is the need to know Jesus as their Savior. We believe that providing financing so more people can come to know Jesus is a profound way of showing our love for them. The last thing Jesus told his followers to do was to “Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Teaching all nations to observe all he had commanded them.” Matthew 28:19-20 Going and teaching requires money. This is our calling.

When Gil was touched by the Holy Spirit and responded to the altar call given by Rev. Syvelle Phillips at the Missions Conference, he thought he was surrendering to be a missionary. However, as he heard others at the altar praying for specific nations, he was aware that many of them did not have the money to travel and live in another country. It was then that the Holy Spirit spoke to him that his job was to provide the finances others needed to fulfill their callings.

At that time, our whole family was quite ill because of living in a relatively new home in which there was an undetected gas leak. Gil was on half pay from the phone company on medical leave. We had started selling an air filter made by a company in Tennessee to other allergy patients, but we were not making any money at the enterprise. For us to provide financing for missionaries was quite unlikely.

Our medical expenses for multiple allergy shots were a monthly challenge. Because of breathing polluted air in our home, and other areas of exposure to pollutants, our immune systems were marginally functional. However, we knew we had to continue to give our tithes to our church. It is a testimony to God’s grace and mercy that we were able to keep our house, keep the bills paid, and manage to provide for our two children.

As the business we started in our garage and a neighbor’s garage began to grow, we continued to have a desire to give to missionary efforts.

When Dr. David Shibley, one of the elders at Church on the Rock, started a new independent ministry, Global Advance, we were impressed with the vision and potential of that organization. Dr. Shibley put into practice a unique and very efficient way of spreading the gospel message by holding conferences for ministers in third world countries and by providing Bibles and study materials to these “frontline shepherds” in their native languages.

Even though our weekly contribution was not a large amount of money, Dr. Shibley has told us it was significant to the survival and growth of their new ministry. Since 1990, this organization has trained over 800,000 native pastors, church, and business leaders in 101 countries. They have expanded their service into training native business people and women.

Through the years God has connected us with several other missionary organizations. Some like God Loves Kids take care of and educate orphans, another trains pastors in Bible schools in Latin America, one provides wheel chairs and ministry to disabled persons, some minister in prisons and on campuses, one has an internet ministry in Israel, one does Bible translation, and others do teaching through television, conferences, and books.

A few years ago, we learned more about the very effective internet ministry of Network 211, sharing the 1st century gospel using 21st century technology. Their success rate is outstanding and from a businessman’s perspective, they produce a tremendous return on investment. On the average, for every dollar received, 15 people come to know the message of Christ as their Savior through contact with Network 211 on the internet. They are in sixteen (16) languages in 242 countries and territories. To date, they have had over 1,600,000 evangelistic responses.

The latest addition to the Network 211 website is the Warrior’s Journey, designed to serve the needs of military personnel and their families. This is particularly vital considering there are currently 22 suicides among military personnel per day.

We can truly testify to the truth of what Jesus said about giving. It is a blessing to give to others. Gil and I have been graced with success in three different careers. When we write checks to the different ministries, we are humbled by all that God has done for us, and we are extremely grateful to be able to give to each ministry.

Jesus taught the parable of the good Samaritan. He also gave importance to small gifts, such as a cup of cold water. James defined pure religion as visiting the fatherless and the widows. Solomon wrote that one who gives to the poor shall not lack. Paul gave the reason for working was “to have to give to him that has needs”. Ephesians 4:28.

Success has been defined as having enough to finance your dreams and enough left over to finance the dreams of others. We encourage every Christian to discover the joy of being a part of making the dreams of others come true. Ask God to empower you and give you the gift of giving.

Written by Gil and Jane Burnett

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