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July 23, 2003
I have heard so many teachings on giving that I am pooped. I tithe (never miss) and give offerings. I give alms and then some. But I heard if you need a car give a car. Sow a seed for a need. Etc. Give out of your lack. Give your way to prosperity. They use the widow woman who put in her last mite. I see Cornelius who did not work to do all said to do today and God heard him. Can you please give me some handy hints. I have sown for some needs and not reaped the harvest. I respect you and what you have to say. In the old testament they automatically gave plus they gave tithes now the pastors today take it ten steps up. HELP
You can never out give God, but today’s prosperity philosophy is built around making someone rich and it's not you. Too many ministers are asking you to give your last dime to God because they stand to benefit financially from your faith offering. They have become salesmen trying to make a bigger commission or salary.
Take a look at Matthew 6:19-34. This talks about how God will take care of your needs but never promises to make you rich or even comfortable. A lot of people today are speaking of prosperity but God has never promised us riches here on earth. That's why He tells us not to hoard our money down here on earth but send it on ahead so we can benefit from it in heaven (Matthew 6:19).
Another example many of these prosperity ministers like to leave out is found in Matthew 19:16-22. Read what the Lord said Himself:
16] And, behold, one came and
said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal
 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.
Many would have you believe that this command was specifically made to this man only because he loved wealth more then the Lord, and actually it does in part. But the other half of the story is this. After telling this man to give all of his wealth to the poor Jesus said that He would have riches in heaven. He made no mention of greater riches on earth due to his benevolence, as many today would have you to believe (need a car give a car, sow a seed reap one hundredfold). The same happened with the widow. Jesus said she gave more money than all they who had cast into the treasury or offering plate (Mark 12:42-43). But still, no mention by the Lord of her receiving a huge earthy financial windfall as a result of her great sacrifice. You would have thought that Jesus would have interjected that in as an example of giving and receiving but He didn’t.
You may ask, what about Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” Or Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Aren’t they valid promises for today? Certainly! But you must remember, God likens us as children in His sight and He is much more interested in us growing up to be holy than happy. You wouldn’t possibly give your children the desires of their heart if it were going to harm them. As responsible parents you know the pitfalls of immediate gratification versus responsible Christian nurturing. You wouldn’t allow a six-year-old child to play with a venomous snake just because he/she throws a temper tantrum. Nor would God give you anything that you are not ready for (although you may think you’re ready) or that might bring unforeseeable harm. He loves you as His children and only wants the best for you despite what you may think at the time (Romans 8:28). Many times His love may call for difficult and painful measures to bring about His perfect will for you.
Let’s take the Apostle Paul for instance. If anyone delighted himself in the Lord or sought first the kingdom of God it was he. He epitomized what it meant to be a sold out Christian and should have reaped one hundredfold as many today claim (he did in heaven). But the truth is found in II Corinthians 11:24-28:
Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.
 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;
 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.
 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.
Don’t get me wrong, Paul wasn’t complaining. He would have given his very life if it meant that one person would receive the Lord. But this is an example of God molding Paul through his persecutions to be more like Him and to bring about His perfect will. He wasn’t always crazy about the struggles either (II Corinthians 12:7-10), but grew to realize that God meant them for his good.
God knows that it is through trials, persecutions, and turmoil that we grow the most in Him. That’s his way of growing us up and drawing us closer to Him as we grow in faith. For without faith it is impossible to please God and to be in the center of His will (Hebrews 11:6).
I don't know why God hasn’t met your need. I don't know what your need is, but I certainly wouldn't give away a car to get a car unless the Lord told you to. That doesn't even make sense nor can you twist God’s arm into going outside His will for your life (I John 5:14). What I do know is that when you are in service to others trying to meet their needs either spiritual or physical God will make a point to take care of your needs.
I would pray and ask the Lord what His will in this situation is and submit to what He may tell you. He may not tell you anything, but let Him know that you will allow Him handle it. It is through these times that God is able to stretch your faith not during times of prosperity.
Keep giving to the Lord in tithes and offerings for it is His will and your privilege as a Christian. He will take care of your needs and then some in time.