God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving.
A preacher paid a visit to a farmer and asked, “If you had 200 dollars, would you give 100 dollars to the Lord?” “Sure would,” said the farmer. “If you had two cows, would you give one cow to the Lord?” “Yeah, I would.” “"If you had two pigs, would you give one of them to the Lord?” The farmer replied, “That’s not fair. You know I have two pigs.” There is no other time for giving but now. It will never be easy.
I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.
In my opinion, the idea that we should postpone generous giving (to the church) until our debts are paid or until we get a raise or until the children are grown up or until we have bought a house is contrary to Scripture. We may be able to give more then, but we ought to give generously now.
There are three kinds of giving: grudge giving, duty giving, and thanksgiving. Grudge giving says, “I have to”; duty giving says, “I ought to”; thanksgiving says, “I want to” (Robert Rodenmeyer).
In light of God’s promises, believers who refuse to give obediently don’t have a money problem – they have a trust problem.
God is pleased when you give beyond your ability to give. The point is God is pleased when you give sacrificially. Salvation is free, but stewardship is costly. Few of us really give sacrificially. Most of us adjust our standard of giving to our standard of living. Instead, we should adjust our standard of living to our standard of giving.
Four common sinful attitudes keep God’s people from giving:
1. Perverted Priorities.
2. Lack of Contentment.
3. Lack of Faith.
When we come to the end of life, the question will be, “How much have you given?” not “How much have you gotten?”
If this love of Christ, so magnanimous in its motive and so self-sacrificing in its execution, is an active force in the believer’s heart, how unnecessary…any command to practice giving ought to be. What, without that love, might seem a cold moral duty has been transformed by it into a joyous privilege.