Why should we give? There are several answers to this question. Here are 5 Reasons to give:
Excerpt from Tim’s forthcoming book The Good Steward
Reason 1: We Give Because God Gave.
When we give, we become more like our Heavenly Father. In John 3:16, we read, “For God so loved the world, that he gave…” Consider what it means that God gave His one and only Son. It was not a tithe; it was not a mere 10 percent. No, God gave His best and most precious gift. He gave us the life of His Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He paid the debt that we could not pay so that we could have the life that we could never earn, both now and for eternity.
Let’s take this line of thinking one step further. If God would go through such pain to secure our salvation, what else is He willing to provide for us? Pause and meditate again on Romans 8:32, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (emphasis added). In the context of this verse, the “all things” that Paul the author of Romans refers to is anything that we might need to withstand the attacks of Satan and fully know the love of God. Wow! This means that we are secure and fully supplied with all that we will ever need.
Matthew 7:11 is also an interesting text about giving. Here, Jesus reminds us that the goodness of our earthly fathers is a dim reflection of the goodness and generosity of our Heavenly Father: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” This truth leads us to the next reason for giving.
Reason 2: We Give Out of Gratitude.
When we see all that God has provided for us, our hearts should swell with gratitude, leading us to give back to God. Paul reminds the church of Corinth of this truth in 2 Corinthians 9:7, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Likewise, he reminds Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:17-18, “as for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.” Notice that generosity and sharing are motivated by gratitude to God who “richly provides us with everything to enjoy.”
Reason 3: Giving breaks the power of money in our lives.
This is a truth that was driven home to us by Ron Blue, a thought-leader on Biblical Financial Stewardship and the founder of Kingdom Advisors. Solomon, perhaps the richest man who ever lived, said in Ecclesiastes 5:10, “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income.” Solomon understood that the more we have, the more we want. He then explains that giving is a powerful antidote for money’s power over us. In Proverbs 11:24, he says, “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.”
Also, consider Jesus’s words to the rich young ruler found in Matthew 19:21–22, “Jesus said to him, ‘… go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.” This young man was possessed by his possessions, and Jesus knew that giving would break the power of money and possessions in this man’s life.
Finally, let’s recall Jesus’ words in Matthew 6. Jesus commands us to lay up for ourselves “treasures in heaven” (vs 20). He then goes on to say that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (vs 21). The message is clear: Our heart follows our money. Giving helps us focus our hearts on matters of eternal significance.
Reason 4: Giving is an act of obedience.
Proverbs 3:9 says, “Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce.” The word “honor” is a command for us to use our wealth for His glory, not our own. “Firstfruits” takes this concept of honoring even further as it explicitly brings to mind the offering of firstfruits that God commanded of the nation of Israel in Deuteronomy 26:2-4.
In the Old Testament, giving as part of the regular sacrificial system was required. God commanded in Deuteronomy 16:17 that “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.” Later, in Malachi 3, the prophet Malachi speaks for God, calling the nation’s lack of giving “theft”. However, it’s interesting that in Malachi 3:10, the charge to give is followed by a promise of blessing. “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse… And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
In the New Testament, the concept of giving is further commanded. Let’s consider two passages that we’ve already examined in this chapter: The first is Matthew 6:20, where Jesus commands us to “lay up” treasures in heaven. The second passage is 2 Corinthians 9:7. Paul commands the church in Corinth that “each one must give as he has decided in his heart.” Generosity and giving are not optional for the believer.
Reason 5: Giving is an act of worship.
1 Timothy 6:9-10 teaches that money can be a cruel taskmaster. In contrast, Ephesians 4:28 teaches that it can be a wonderful tool. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money” (Matthew 6:24). When we give to God, we are saying (to ourselves, to God, and to the world) that God means more to us than money. We proclaim that we truly trust in God, and not in our money. We place our lives and our futures in the gracious hand of God when we give a portion of our income to the church.
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