What we gave, we have; what we spent, we had; what we left, we lost.
Giving is a “grace” as it demonstrates that God has met your needs and that His grace has inclined you to give to others.
[According to 2 Cor. 8-9, financial] stewardship with integrity, then, is marked by voluntary, faithful giving, proportionate to what one has, in submission to godly pastors who silence the critics by handling the money faithfully. It is motivated by exemplary love for God and others, and is completely free from selfish greed and covetousness. All giving must be measured by those noble standards.
There are many hearing me who now know well that they are not Christians because they do not love to give. To give largely and liberally, not grudging at all, requires a new heart.
The moment someone begins to give for the sake of receiving more back from the Lord, or he stops sowing bountifully in order to increase his own possessions, the river of God’s bounty will no longer continue to flow.
The Autobiography of George Muller, 1984, p. 196. All quotations taken from books published by Whitaker House are used with permission of the publisher. Whitaker House books are available at Christian bookstores everywhere. Get this book!
The Christian should never worry about tomorrow or give sparingly because of a possible future need. Only the present moment is ours to serve the Lord, and tomorrow may never come. Money is really worth no more than as it can be used to accomplish the Lord’s work. Life is worth as much as it is spent for the Lord’s service.
You will always spend your money on what is most important to you… If your giving to the church of Jesus Christ is poor, it is a clear sign that you’re not excited about the things that God takes delight in. And, if you truly do take delight in the growth and success of Christ’s church, put your money where your heart is.
According to 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, truly biblical giving that pleases God is dependent on His grace from start to finish. God’s grace:
1. Enables us to give generously.
2. Causes us to consider giving to be a privilege.
3. Assists us in viewing collections as gracious works.
4. Inspires us with Christ’s gracious example.
5. Helps us give by means of human leadership.
6. Graciously rewards us with an abundance of money to meet all of our personal needs and to give to others.
God doesn’t want you to give out of a sense of pressure or guilt. God wants you to give with eager joy. If there is joy in your heart when offering time comes, you know God is pleased. Do you look forward to writing the offering check? Do you feel like bursting with joy at offering time in your church? Do you get excited when you receive unexpected money that you can give to God’s work? If so, you have entered into the true spirit of giving.
Stingy, selfish people who don’t give to God and their church are often the most unhappy, joyless people. You’ve seen a selfish child gripping a toy in both hands, refusing to share with her little brother, crying and screaming, “Mine, mine, mine!” She’s definitely not a happy child. Many Christian are holding their wallets in both hands and as they hear a message on giving they begin screaming, “Mine, mine, mine!” They are not happy people.
The only people who don’t like sermons on giving generously are people who don’t like to give generously.
The world has a “go-getter” mind-set. The Christian has a “go-giver” mind-set. The world says, “Give to get.” The Christian says, “Give to get to give.” The Christian always stops with giving.
When…people begin to give generously, they will enter into intense spiritual warfare. Satan knows how life transforming it is for believers to give obediently. He also know how God uses the financial resources we give to further His work on Earth. So, using fear and covetousness, our adversary fights ferociously to cripple our giving. That is why, in the context of spiritual warfare and the armor of God, we are commanded to pray for each other (Eph. 6:18).
Ultimately, the Bible makes the argument that the sacrifice does not come when we give our money away, but rather the sacrifice comes when we hold on to it believing it will bring us greater happiness with worldly treasures.
Our giving is but a reflex of God’s giving.
Summary of Principles for Christian Stewardship: 1. Giving is to be in proportion to wealth – 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8:3, 11, 12; 9:8-11 (precisely what percentage that might be is never stated by Paul). 2. Giving is to be regarded as a privilege; indeed, it is an act of worship and praise – 2 Cor. 8:4; Phil. 4:15-18. 3. Giving is to be voluntary, not forced – 2 Cor. 8:3,11-12; 9:5,7. 4. Giving is to be preceded by the dedication of oneself to the Lord’s work in whatever capacity possible – 2 Cor. 8:5. 5. Giving is to be characterized by a spirit of reciprocity – 2 Cor. 8:13-15. 6. The administration of Christian giving should take into consideration the principles [of integrity] that governed Paul’s approach to the collection [he assembled] – 2 Cor. 8:16-24. 7. Giving is to be characterized by forethought and prayer – 2 Cor. 9:7. 8. Giving must never be characterized by sorrow over money lost or by covetousness – 2 Cor. 9:5, 7. 9. Giving should always be cheerful and joyous – 2 Cor. 9:7. 10. Giving should not be undertaken with a view to personal enrichment; rather, one should give with the expectation that God will supply the giver with abundance for additional giving – 2 Cor. 9:8-11. 11. All giving is to be understood as finding its source, power, and pattern in the grace of God in Christ – 2 Cor. 8:1,9; 9:14-15.
Christian giving is to be marked by self-sacrifice and self-forgetfulness, not by self-congratulation.
I do not think I exaggerate when I say that some of us put our offering in the plate with a kind of triumphant bounce as much as to say: “There – now God will feel better!” I am obliged to tell you that God does not need anything you have. He does not need a dime of your money. It is your own spiritual welfare at stake in such matters as these. You have the right to keep what you have all to yourself – but it will rust and decay, and ultimately ruin you.
When it comes to giving until it hurts, most people have a very low threshold of pain.
He who gives when he is asked has waited too long.