We serve a loving and giving God. He gave His only begotten Son for us (John 3:16) when we did nothing to deserve it. Our nature, however, is to be selfish and we tend not to “look on the things of others.” As Christians, we have a new nature, but we still have much to learn about giving. We often feel obligated to give for reasons other than faith. We also limit our concept of giving only to money. As with everything in our life, God’s work in us is a process and giving is no different. 2Corinthians 9:7 provides us a great outline for our lesson on giving:
- Our Motivation
- Our Means
- Our Maturity
Our Motivation - "not....of necessity"
Giving is initiated of the Lord
- God’s very nature is one of giving. John 3:16, 2Corinthians 8:9, Ephesians 2:8
- We are not under the law (the tithe), but grace, so God’s grace must govern our giving. Galatians 5:18, 2Corinthians 8:4-7, 2Corinthians 9:7-8
- Our giving should not be motivated by self or others based upon necessity or obligation. 2Corinthians 8:3-5, 12
Our Means - "as he purposeth in his heart"
Our resources in giving are grounded in our relationship with the Lord
- We belong to God and anything we possess is His. 1Corinthians 4:1-2, 1Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 14:8
- Giving is a proof of our relationship with God and His priority in our lives. Matthew 6:19-21, 2Corinthians 8:1-5, Exodus 22:29-30, Proverbs 3:9
- Our giving should be “as he purposeth in his heart” or based on our own faith before the Lord. 2Corinthians 9:7, 2Corinthians 1:24, Romans 12:8, Exodus 25:2
Our Maturity - "cheerfully"
As we continue to grow in our relationship with God, the way we view and approach giving should also mature
- Our giving is considered fruit and can have an eternal effect in the lives of others Romans 15:26-28, Philippians 4:14-17, 2Corinthians 8:7-10, Galatians 6:6-10
- Our giving should be done “cheerfully” knowing its author and its purpose. Acts 20:35, Romans 15:26-27, 1Chronicles 29:6-9
- Our giving should grow when we begin to understand the “big picture” or the eternal impact. 2Corinthians 4:17-18, 2Corinthians 9:6, 10-15
Digging Deeper – Where does or should the money go?
The family 1Corinthians 9:3-6, 1Timothy 5:7-8
The church 1Corinthians 16:1-2, Galatians 6:10
Administration 2Kings 22:3-7, 2Kings 12:4-16, 1Corinthians 11:20-22, 1Corinthians 14:23
Preachers, teachers, missionaries 1Corinthians 9:11, 13-14, Galatians 6:6, Philippians 4:15-16, 1Timothy 5:17-18
Ministries of the church Acts 4:33-37, 2Corinthians 8:1-8
Poor, widows, orphans, etc. Job 21:12-16, Acts 6:1, Acts 11:27-30, Galatians 2:10, 1Timothy 5:9-10, 16, James 1:27
The government Matthew 22: 17-21, Romans 13:6-7
Meditating on the Word:
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart,
so let him give;
or of necessity:
for God loveth a cheerful giver.