God Generously Gives His Best For Us.
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Generosity is Central to the Heart of God
In fact, the gospel itself is a narrative of irrational generosity. God payed a debt that He did not owe, because we owed a debt that we could not not pay. The most familiar verse in the Bible is probably John 3:16…this verse describes the overwhelming generosity found in God’s character and nature. The basic premise of the verse states, “For God so loved…that He gave…” God displays His love in His extreme generosity. At Redemption Calvary, we seek to have our lives follow the pattern and example of Jesus…even down to the way that we give.
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly nor of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you always having all sufficiency in all things may have an abundance for every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:7-8
The Bible Has Much to Say About the Subject of Money
Scripture draws a clear association between our relationship to money and our relationship to God Himself. Jesus addressed the issue of money in Matthew 6:24 when He said that, “No one can serve two masters…You cannot serve God and riches.” We have the tendency to serve money, and to try to use God to get money. Instead, we need to reverse our thinking and put money where it belongs, not as our master but instead as our servant and as a tool that we use to serve Jesus.
Giving is an Act of Worship
When we view Jesus as God and not money, then we can use money to worship Jesus. By giving as an act of worship, we display trust in Jesus as our provider and the sustainer of our lives. We acknowledge that He alone is worthy of worship, and use our money as a tool to worship Him.
Giving is an Act of Faithfulness
The Bible teaches that giving is not a one time event, nor an occasional thing, but that it is something that needs to become a spiritual discipline. We are told that our giving needs to be regular and hold priority, as Proverbs 3:9 states, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the first fruits of all your increase.” As God allows us to increase, we have a responsibility to faithfully give.
Giving is an Act of Stewardship
A steward is someone who is responsible for someone else’s possessions. We must view our giving in light of being stewards of what God has given to us. When we can see everything that we have as belonging to Jesus, and simply under our stewardship, then we will have a godly relationship with money. Giving is much simpler and easier when we can see all that we have as belonging to Jesus.
Principles For Giving
Scripture teaches that giving must be by believers, a regular occurrence, sacrificial, worshipful, not grudgingly or by compulsion, cheerfully, and with an attitude of worship to Jesus. The Old Testament teaches the concept of the “tithe” which literally means 10%. On top of this tithe, the people were required to participate in caring for the temple and the priests, as well as participating in annual feasts. Many scholars believe that the people would give upwards of 22% annually or more. The New Testament carries the concept of giving, but does not require a certain amount to be given. The heart and attitude of the giver is targeted more than the amount that they should give. When you consider the irrational generosity of Jesus and His cross, the thought of giving less under grace than under the Jewish law is offensive to say the least. The Law’s 10% requirement is a great starting point, but let’s strive to be even more radically generous like our great God and Savior Jesus!