End of the Year Giving

Here we are in the final month of 2016 and virtually every known foundation, society, mission effort, humanitarian assistance services, battle against various diseases, and on and on people make a request that you and I contribute here at the end of the year. I have received requests from hospitals and schools, foundations and mission efforts, and many more — all good works. They do that because we need to be reminded, just coming out of the Thanksgiving season, that we are tremendously blessed and there are many needs that need to be addressed. End of the year giving usually comes about because people are coming to grips with the fact that they have been enormously blessed and they wake up and realize that, while working hard, many blessings have come their way.

Another motivational factor that often hits people is that they may not have given to charitable organizations or mission efforts or church or kingdom needs as much as they thought, so at the end of the year they begin to process all this information and they individually think about end of the year giving. It is important that we think about all the blessings God has given us, and out of those blessings to be a blessing ourselves. It is also important for us to think about significant needs that exist around us through which we can contribute and make a difference.

Often those needs stir inspiration within our hearts that extends all the way to our pocket books. Some people come to the end of the year and are confronted with Scripture and realize that when God said, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Mal. 3:10), that they had failed to be faithful and they want to do that before the year is up. There is kind of a nudge of catch-up motive that grabs hold of them and they want to write or give a significant gift.

Honestly, there are people who experience a combination of both being blessed and being inspired by some special need and wanting to be a faithful steward following God’s instructions. Out of all of that, they want to have a double portion of blessings coming back to them as well as going out from them. It was Jesus who said, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom” (Luke 6:38a). Jesus is telling us is that we can give, but we cannot out-give God so if we give, we’re going to be blessed again. You are blessed in receiving. You are blessed in giving. You are blessed as you see what you give blesses others.

You can take inventory, for nobody else knows exactly what your condition is but you and the Lord. Pause here at the end of the year and let God guide you.  To what causes should you give? There are so many fine causes that are blessings and make a difference in some area of our society, but I would encourage you to remember your church. I know that you will remember your friends or family and bless them if you can. Maybe you just feel unusually led to bless someone that you’ve never blessed before and just send a gift to them.

It’s amazing how God can use us to do a little thing like that or a big thing like that. While remembering your church and friends and family, don’t forget the entire world. A special gift to international missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering
(imb.org/lottie-moon-christmas-offering) is a tremendous thing, and from one end of our country to the other there will be others who are thinking about, praying about, and offering to God a willing heart to give more than they’ve ever given to see the world come to know Christ. Your gifts are needed.

My intent in this article is not just to get you to give something here at the end of the year, but more importantly my honest intent is to get you to be blessed here at the end of the year. If you can do something and you will do it led by the Spirit of God, whether it’s helping your church to reach its budget or some special need that exists in the congregation or your area of work in the kingdom, or whether it’s simply wanting to lay on that altar a gift that will undergird our missionaries and extend the Gospel being preached around the world, God is going to reward you tremendously. 

So here at the end of the year take all these things and put them together in a kind of configuration that says, “Lord, I want to do what you want me to do. I want to give an end of the year gift that will make a difference in someone’s life and I ask you, dear God, to lead me.” If you will ask Him, He will guide you to be that blessing to others and you will receive a blessing in return. Listen to Him and give as He guides you.

The author can be contacted at directions@mbcb.org.

Jim Futral

Executive Director-Treasurer