In the first verse of the hymn “ We Give You But Your Own”, we sing, “We give You but Your own in any gifts we bring; All that we have is Yours alone, a trust from You, our King.”

It is likely that we have sung this hymn many times without realizing the implication of the words. Through faith, we recognize that all we are and all we have come as gifts from our gracious Heavenly Father. We recognize that God owns every thing and that we have nothing, except as stewards of God. We give to sho w our gratitude to compel us to grow in our giving.

As we grow in the grace of giving, we can find four different levels of giving:

    1. At the first level of giving, people give only a token amount, if anything at all. The amount given represents the excess or left-over amounts after everything else is taken care of. Often times, people at this level give to imitate others because they see other people giving. This giving is normally not associated with faith.
    2. The next level of giving could be referred to as self-interest giving. People see the church as compared to paying dues. Giving fulfills a sense of obligation. The self- interest giver sees little connection between faith in God and what he does with his money . Giving is from the leftovers rather than from the top.
    3. The next level of giving could be referred to as a level of spiritual gratitude. At this stage, a person recognizes how God has freely given him salvation through His Son Jesus who went to the Cross for his sins. Out of thanksgiving for Jesus has done, there is a response of gratitude. Jesus has paid the penalty of sin so that we can be made right with God. When someone understands what Jesus did on the cross, there is joy in giving. Giving at this level stops focusing on the church budget and becomes a personal surrender of one’s life and resources. People at this level give regular and proportionate amounts of their incomes.
    4. The fourth level of giving is at s uch a high level of stewardship that few people reach it. At this level, a person gives more than he can afford and far more than his share. The final level is the level of sacrificial giving.
May God grant us loving and giving hearts so we can worship and praise our Heavenly Father as we grow in the levels of our giving.