Give Your…Treasure

Why do you give your money?

I have found there are many reasons why people give to the church or other organization. I have heard many messages on the topic of giving at church and how it is very important to the ministry. I have also heard many times that if we give to the church God will give back to us. So I ask the question again…

Why do you give your money?

Do I believe the Bible teaches God is our provider and will meet all our needs…YES! Do I believe giving money is very important to the ministry or cause receiving the money…YES! Without money it would be very difficult to do anything to help others. With this understanding I believe it is important that everyone gives to their local church and other causes that are making a difference around the world. But once again…

Why do you give your money?

I found a few lists of why people give money and maybe you can better answer this question from this list…

  1. Personal values

  2. Belief in the cause

  3. Religious beliefs

  4. Personal experience

  5. Desire to make a difference

  6. Someone else’ experience or story

  7. Tax break

  8. Personal satisfaction

Do any of these seem to fit with why you give your money? I believe it is not good enough to simply give, but we must have a reason behind our giving. I believe there is something that is not on that list, but should ultimately be our reason for giving.

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need,you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:6-8

This passage is a very important place to start when talking about giving your treasure. We find two main points about giving in these verses.

1. Be a Generous Giver

The concept of sowing and reaping is common in the Bible; as an agricultural society they understood the concept well. We too can understand this concept. There is an element of risk and reward here. The more you put in the more you have the potential to get more out. If we are willing to risk more than there is a higher outcome (possibly). Just like a farmer who sows seeds on the ground if he only sows 10 seeds he may only get 5 plants, but if he sows 100 seeds he may get 50 plants.

In this passage Paul is making the connection that if we want a high probability for greater benefit from our giving we need to be willing to give more. Here we find the idea of being generous in our sowing or giving. We often find this passage in connection to giving money to the church; as well it should be, but I believe we often lose our true reason behind giving in this passage.

The idea of sowing and reaping is the illustration that if we put in we will get out. Taking it from their context to ours; we can look at a bank. If we put in $1000 a savings account with 2.05% interest and come back a year later we will expect to get more money than we put in…specifically $1020. But if we choose to “sow more generously” into the same account $100,000 we will come back a year later and get $102,069.

This is simply math…the more you put in the more you will get out.

So is the church like a bank account? No! As it is true God will show favor to His children, but if that is the reason you give you are missing what the Bible is trying to teach about giving. We must continue in this passage so we don’t stop at giving to get.

John D. Rockefeller Jr. Said… “Think of giving not as a duty, but as a privilege.”

If you do not know who John D. Rockefeller Jr. is; he was a great businessman in the mid 1900s. The Rockefellers where a family in New York. John Jr. inherited a fortune and a business from his father. He (like his father) believed in giving not out of duty but because it was an honor and a privilege to give. In his life time he gave about 537 Million dollars away for many different causes, but the one he gave the most to was his local church.

We should not be giving in order to get, but we should look at our gift as a seed planted into someone else’ life. It is not our duty as it was for Israel in the Old Testament, but it is our privilege to give and not simply what we are required to give, but generously. Not looking to get back a bigger blessing, but to see more people be blessed. Instead of looking at the law of giving look deeper to the privilege of giving.

An example of this is seen in Mark 12:41-44

41 And he (Jesus) sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he (Jesus) called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.

At the time and in the Temple; all were required to give a tenth of their money. Throughout the time Jesus was sitting there he saw many who were, we can assume, following the law and giving their tenth. But Jesus points out the woman who did not give out of her abundance, but out of her poverty. She did not see giving as a duty, but a privilege.

How can we know this? 

She gave “ALL she had to live on.” Why would she have done this unless her motives were not duty or to simply follow the law, but she gave MUCH more than she was required to give.

This woman, was sowing generously, why? Was it from that list of reasons?

  1. Personal values

  2. Belief in the cause

  3. Religious beliefs

  4. Personal experience

  5. Desire to make a difference

  6. Someone else’ experience or story

  7. Tax break

  8. Personal satisfaction

Possibly these could have been part of it, but I believe again their is a greater reason to give and be a generous giver; which leads to the next point we find in the passage Paul writes.

2. Be a Cheerful Giver

Verse 7 says…

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Instead of living a life under the Law of it must be this amount we should think of giving as a privilege and be cheerful.

There are many times we give out of a feeling of duty or feeling like we have to give. This is why Paul says not reluctantly or under compulsion. We should not feel like we have to give simply because we were told we had to give. Just like the woman gave all she had not because she was told that is what she had to do, but she “decided in her heart” to give that amount. In this next part Paul makes it clear that giving should not be a duty, but with a joy. Here is what he leaves out that I believe should be our #1 reason we give…

But before that one more example of someone who gave for this reason.

19 And he (Melchizedek) blessed him (Abraham) and said,

“Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!”And Abram gave him a tenth of everything Genesis 14:19-20

After Abram had won the battle he came to Melchizedek, who was God’s high priest, and Melchizedek blessed Abram. Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. This was before the Mosaic Law was established requiring a tenth of the Israelites. We see from this story that Abram gave to the Lord, not out of compulsion or reluctantly, but out of his great Love for God.

I believe Love is the #1 reason we give. This is the understood emphasis in Paul’s writing. It is not a duty to give, but it is because we are in this great love relationship with the Creator of the Universe. Just as Abram gave because he simply wanted to thank God and show his love for God; we must not give because we feel we have to or because we feel as those we will get something out, but out of the overwhelming love we have for God.

When we look at the reasons people give we find a great love isn’t one of them, however many on that list stem from love.

We can often get caught up connecting “God loves a cheerful giver” to “Reap generously”. If we do that we are missing the underlining point Paul is making. We give out of love for God not out of a desire to get from God; because He already Gave ALL for us.

We are cheerful about giving and giving generously because He generously gave His all for us on the cross.

When we give reluctantly or only a little we show where our love is. Jesus said…

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

I believe it also vital we don’t forget about the beginning of verse 7…

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give

Because if we overlook this we can create a culture of pride, arrogance, guilt, shame, and jealousy. How does this happen? In an effort to encourage and lift up we can sometimes make others feel better than or less than in giving.

If I give $200 a month, you gives $500 a month, but someone else gives $20 a month we can quickly fall into a pattern of one person is better than another because they are more generous.

This is why we must not overlook the idea of giving what you (individually) have decided to give. Now if you are feeling like God wants you to give $100 and you only give $50 then you are not being a cheerful giver. You are not showing that you are giving to God out of love because that is where your heart is, but out of reluctance.

This is why it is important to determine between you and God what you should give and if you are in a season of stretching and God is calling you to be more generous follow His leading.

Whatever you determine in your heart to give do it with Joy because of your Love for God not out of a desire to get back, but knowing that that seed will be planted in peoples lives for His good work.

Because...

“remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35

So…

Why do you give your money?

If the answer isn’t because of your heart full of love for God then ask Him to help you get your priorities in order and He will help you grow in your love for Him.

God Bless and BeTheLIGHT

#Money #giving #Faith #Life #giver #church

Phone: 724.588.1276

E-mail: nbccgreenville@gmail.com

New Beginnings Christian.Church

73 Hamburg Rd.

Greenville, PA 16125

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