At the commencement of the Gospel, Antioch was the great central point from where missionaries to the Gentiles were sent forth while Paul was chief of the missionaries. However, the church at Antioch sent him forth without the requisite support.
He alluded to this, saying, Philippians 4:15: “Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.”.
The word, communicated in the above text, originates from the Greek word Koinonia, which also connotes to come into communion or fellowship with, to become a sharer, to be made a partner.
Put in context, Philippians 4:15 reads, No church Koinonia (Partnered) with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.” Note that Paul, by the inspiration of the Almighty, labelled this process “giving and receiving.”
The Kingdom of God operates on the principle of ‘giving and receiving’ (sowing and reaping)… Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).
The only way to increase is to release. In order for God to have a family, he gave his only begotten son… that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:23). Abraham offered up his only son, Isaac and became the “Father of Many Nations”… And in a sense, Abraham did receive his son back from the dead. (Hebrew 11:19).
But a lot of believers are yet come to grasp this kingdom principle of “giving and receiving.” They see giving as ‘losing,’ a reduction or depletion of their resources — a one-way traffic — instead of recurring process. Thus, they are stingy and become cheap or economical in giving.
Scriptures declare, Give freely and become more wealthy; be stingy and lose everything (Proverb 11:24). English Standard rendering says one gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Remember, when Peter began to complain about what they had given up for the Gospel, he said, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee. Responding, Jesus affirmed, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s. But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time — houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (Mark10:28-30).
1st Corinthians 10:26 declares: for the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. Everything we need in life — including money, cars and clothes are all here on this earth; not in heaven. God does not have US dollars, British Pounds or Nigerian Naira in heaven. They are all here on this earth in the hands of men. If God were to open up the heavens and rain down money, they would be considered counterfeit and God is not a counterfeiter…For God is not a God of disorder (1Cor 14:33). The silver belongs to me, as does the gold, declares the LORD of the Heavenly Armies. (Haggai 2:8). But the duty to print and mint belongs to men.
In the words of Jesus, It is more blessed to give than to receive”(Acts 2-:35). The prerequisite to receiving is giving: Give and it shall be given unto you — good measure, pressed down, and shaken together and running over shall men give into your bosom (Luke6:38). Note who it says shall give into your bosom: “men”, not God.
New Living Rendition says, Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap.
Continuing, Luke 6:38 declares, For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again. Otherwise stated, the amount you give will determine the amount you get back (NLT).
In his missive to the church at Corinth, Paul corroborates the claim espoused by Luke …Remember this: the person who sows sparingly (frugally) will also reap sparingly (frugally), and the person who sows generously (bountifully) will also reap generously (bountifully) (2Corinthians 9:6).
The widow of Zeraphat gave her last meal (a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug). She received enough to last through the famine, which lasted for three and half years… For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah (1 Kings 17:16).
By Emmanuel Emeke Asiwe