A pastor recently spoke in chapel about giving as explained in 2 Corinthians 8:1-15. This passage highlights three incentive for giving which amount to one.
1. God gives grace to give (1-2)
2. God gave himself to us (9)
3. God can supply the needs of others through us (14-15)
These 3 incentives amount to one overarching incentive -
GOD is the incentive for giving
At the outset of the message, he made the observation that this topic is normally not addressed in colleges or seminaries - due to the general lack of funds possessed by students. I also noticed that the topic is rarely addressed in churches because the pastor may feel guilty about "asking for money." Both of these reasons - lack of funds or guilt -are tragic. They are robbing believers of the benefits of giving!
An example of a giving spirit is found at Desiring God. I truly appreciate the work which they are doing making many books available for free download at their site. They also have Desiring God audio book as a free download. I understand that this is not possible for all authors, but their desire to further the Gospel and not the bank account has challenged me.
Am I willing to give freely of what could financially profit me? The statement "If you want to know what someone loves, look at their bank statement" does have merit.