Let us proffer a working definition for sacrificial giving.
Practical Definition: Sacrificial giving is the act of strategically giving something that is precious and costly or something one
barely can afford as an act of worship and devotion to God with an express purpose of getting an extraordinary breakthrough. It is a well considered, but painful giving.
To fully understand the nature of sacrificial giving let us appeal to the Law of Precedence and carry out a Scriptural survey of Sacrificial Giving.
1. Exhibit One. Abraham Gen 22
In those two verses Abraham’s destiny is altered and his seed guaranteed a place in God’s plan for mankind. Theologically speaking by Abraham offering his son as a sacrifice to God, he opened an opportunity for God to be able to offer the Lamb of God on the Cross for our salvation. The language of the spirit in sacrifice spoke louder for Abraham. Sacrificial giving can be painful. But it strategically opens a door for greater breakthrough.
Sacrificial giving often requires that we give up something we love dearly and cherish as a demonstration that we are more committed to God and His purposes than to things. Sometimes God may ask you to give up your dreams for His.
Sacrificial giving involves giving your time, talent, life and treasure.
Exhibit Two. Solomon 1 Kings 3:4-10
Sacrificial giving is often marked by extravagant and reckless abandon. This kind of giving raises an altar that silences the
sacrifices of ancestors to idols. By its very nature it cannot be frequent. It has been said by an eminent African prophetic minister, ‘Unless our sacrificial giving exceed the sacrifices made by our ancestors to forces of darkness, our worship would still be in vain.” (paraphrased). I contend that as Africans we should raise altars of sacrificial giving that speak louder than the sacrifices made to the devil before we can cleanse our continent.
1Kings 17:9-16 Widow of Zarepath.
This exhibit shows that sacrificial giving may come out of scarcity rather than abundance.
Giving sacrificially sometimes gives out of the preciousness of your scarce resources and when directed by God,
often results in abundant supply and financial breakthrough. It may hasten God’s assignment through a man of God.
2Sa 24:24 David
A sacrificial offering will cost you something. If your sacrificial giving is not costly then it is not sacrificial. However God does not require that we giving sacrificially all the time. Sometimes sacrificial giving stops plagues and iniquities in our lives.
It is unfortunate that people who have not realised the different types of offerings have made God’s people feel guilty by asking them to give costly offerings all the time. Sacrificial giving is by nature infrequent.
There is a seed that is so precious and costly that it can only be sown in tears. And yet ignorance cause people to speak of cheerful givers for all kinds of offering. If you give a sacrificial offering cheerfully then more likely than not, it is not sacrificial and painful. It does not cost you anything. I have had once in a while give in tears.
Mar 12:41-44 Widows Mite
This passage has often been misunderstood. Jesus did not say that you should give all you have. I have heard preachers make the saints feel guilty as they state that when you give God does not look at what you gave but on what you have kept to yourself. This is not true for normal offerings. It only applies to sacrificial giving. Jesus and not condemn those who gave out of their abundance. There is a place for giving out of need and a place for giving out of abundance. I have often said that while sacrificial giving makes a huge difference in the life of the giver, it does not make much difference in funding the work of God. The widow’s mite was strategic and critical to her but did not make a significant dent in funding the work of the temple.
The story of the widow’s mite also busts another church myth that says that your giving should be in secret. It is clear that Jesus was watching this public act of giving and commenting on it. The secret giving is mostly about alms.
Sacrificial giving may be measured by giving all or a significant portion of your source of sustenance.
Consequently if one gives sacrificially all the time they will become negligent on some of their responsibilities.
Sacrificial giving maybe a demonstration of extravagant love and devotion. This kind of sacrificial giving will immortalise your memory and create a legacy. The strategic nature of this giving is shown in how she was anointing his body for burial.
Sacrificial giving once initiated of eth Holy Spirit may have a higher prophetic significance that is known by the giver.
Exhibit Seven God Gave Sacrificially.
Sacrificial giving can and should be giving for a specific return in harvest. It is a type of giving intended for uncommon harvests. It is driven by an intense love.
2Co 8:1 -5 The Macedonians
Sacrificially giving is giving willingly and voluntarily out of a deep desire to be a blessing. It should never be coerced or forced. Sacrificially giving may include giving beyond one’s means – and hence should not be done lightly or to
Sacrificial giving seems to be strategic, God-directed times when one gives abnormal and painful offerings to provide unbelievable breakthroughs. These are not frequent small givings. From the examples given above from scripture it appears to me like sacrificial giving is quite rare. In daily usage we have cheapened sacrificial giving to anything even that which costs nothing. Sacrificial giving is costly giving. It causes an ache inside.
Sacrificial offerings unlike free will offerings, are strategic offerings, given at specific times, to break something in the
spirit. They therefore are not as frequent as freewill offerings. The Scripture does not require a Christian to offer sacrificially regularly as it considers his life a sacrifice offering. (Rom 12:1).
It is however critical that at strategic times a believer will be led by the Spirit to offer sacrificially.