Yesterday the sermon was about being happy through giving. I really liked this quote: "You can be giving without loving, but you can't be loving without giving."
God gave us His Son as a sacrificial gift for the sin of mankind. In our giving, if it's not sacrificial, what are we really giving? Unless it costs me something - time, money, talents, energy, etc. - I'm not truly giving in the way God wants me to give.
It's pretty easy to throw money at a problem or need if I have plenty of money. The sacrifice comes when I don't have the money. It's pretty easy to volunteer my time to something if I have plenty of time to spare, but if I give up my much-needed time and take it away from something, giving it towards someone or something else, then I am giving it sacrificially.
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you. Deuteronomy 16:17
There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered. Proverbs 11:24-25
And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44
Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return. Luke 6:38
Not only must we give sacrificially, but we should also give with a pure heart and with the right motives. Love is the motive that should be the cause of all of our giving. Without love, our motives will never be pure. When we give of ourselves with love, God will bless us. We serve Him because we love Him...not out of duty, but of love. That's the best gift we can give Him. That is what sacrificial giving is all about.