Giving is a matter of:
Character – 2 Cor 9:7; Prov 22:9 – it’s a matter of who you are. Some people are naturally more charitable and to give comes easy for them. Others are more naturally miserly and to give comes harder for them. In time, as you grow, your character changes and you become more giving.
Obedience – Lev 27:30 [Gen 14:20; Gen 28:22]; Lk 6:38 – it’s a matter of obedience to the Lord’s command. The tithe is the Lord’s so give it to him. And beyond the tithe, Lk 6:38 says, “Give.” You cannot out-give God. The measure you use to give to him is the measure that he will use to direct men to give to you. And he will let your measure overflow [Prov 11:24-25; 19:17].
Faith – Rom 12:3-8 – it’s a matter of faith. But it’s not so much your faith but the measure of faith that the Lord gives you. This passage mentions “grace” but we will cover that in the next point. People get the idea sometimes that your giving is your “seed faith.” In other words, you give and then God gives you the faith and the money [that’s the fallacy of prosperity preaching]. No, God gives you a measure of faith and then you give. And as he increases your faith you increase your giving.
Grace – 2 Cor 8:12; 2 Cor 9:9-10; 2 Cor 8:1-3 – it’s a matter of grace. Now, in these verse that we have read, you see that giving is first a matter of provision. That is you give based on what you have. And you realize that what you have is a provision from God. It is God that “giveth thee power to get wealth,” [Deut 8:18]. But when God’s grace kicks in, you are able to give even beyond your own power, as the Macedonians did in a time of great affliction and poverty. And because of God’s grace they gave with joy and an abundance of liberality. They weren’t capable of that kind of giving but God’s grace was [2 Cor 8:9].
Love – 2 Cor 8:8 – it’s a matter of love. The more you love God, the word of God, the people of God and the work of God the more you are going to give. The disciples in the early days of the church [Acts 2, 4] were able to give all they had and I believe that their giving was a demonstration of their love.
Conclusion: if you think about what you have heard today, you can see that these elements of giving are progressive. You start out giving as a matter of character and obedience. Then as your faith grows according to God’s measure, your giving increase. And then you give according to God’s grace. Until ultimately your giving is measured and motivated by love, which is the greatest. When you consider the gift of the widow who gave 2 mites, I believe you can see a woman who had plenty of experience in all of these elements of giving.