As we have studied Scripture, we are under the conviction to help people understand the value of being a giver. Below are some guiding principles and various biblical passages that can help believers grow their convictions…
Some guiding principles:
- Give at least a tithe (10%) where you worship/serve/feed.
- Pray about sacrificial monthly/annually giving to: missionaries, ministries, child sponsorship, etc.
- Get debt free; stay debt free (therefore, the more you have the more you can give).
- Create room in your budget for spontaneous giving to meet random needs of others.
- And the final guiding principle is: the plan should serve the man; not the man serving the plan. Meaning, sometimes you’ll need to be flexible and adjust.
Bible passages and principles:
2 Corinthians 9 – Sow sparingly or sow bountifully, you’ll reap accordingly. God gives so we can give; then people will glorify God, be enriched, be thankful, and be sufficiently provided for. “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way” (v.11). Here’s my paraphrase of verse 8: God wants us to succeed in everything He has for us, so He provides more grace that we may lack nothing all the times.
1 Chronicles 29 – David recognized all resources come from the Lord. He rejoiced to lead by example and give himself as well as seeing the response of the people to give willingly and freely.
Proverbs 3:9 – We acknowledge God’s provision and blessing by honoring Him with giving back. His glory is revealed when we trust Him in response back to His giving to us.
Acts 17 – God made everything and gives life to all living (vv.24-25).
Psalm 37:21 – “The wicked borrows but does not pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.”
Numbers 18 – God set the Levites apart from the rest of the tribes for service in the tent of meeting. They were to receive the other tribes tithes (10%) and they themselves were to also give a tithe of the tithe to the LORD (key verse:21). **(Also interesting to note: the Levites were to receive the best of the best. v12 and Ezekiel 44:30.) Paul puts a New Testament twist on this in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14.
Luke 8 – As Jesus was bringing the Gospel to cities and villages, those He ministered to and made disciples of used their resources to provide for Him and His disciples…even the wife of Herod’s household manager was on His support team (v8)! Why did Jesus choose this method of being provided for?
Luke 10 – Jesus sent out his disciples training them for ministry. When He did, He instructed them to find a home where they’ll receive hospitality. He is setting up a system where ministers of the Gospel shall be provided for in saying “A laborer deserves his wages”(v7). Additional reference in 1 Timothy 5:18. The Apostle Paul also added this astonishing statement in 1 Corinthians 9:14.
Philippians 4 – Paul was excited for the church of Philippi. Not only did they help support him and meet his needs, but Paul knew what this was doing to their heavenly account! Their giving was storing up treasures in Heaven! But what’s also worthy to note is he says God will supply their every need (v19)…but this is after they had already given in faith! In other words, they didn’t wait to have before they gave; they gave and God will resupply them for their needs.
1 Samuel 30 – David sought for God’s direction for a certain battle. After God approved and David and his army pursued, some of his men got tired and stayed behind. The ones that kept pursuing thought they should keep all the spoil because they “worked” for it. However, in v23 David saw all spoil was a gift from God and knew that God won the battle for them (If they fought without God they surely would have lost and therefore no spoil). David saw all God’s people as one and therefore were to share in the spoil – whether they were on the front lines or played a supporting role, each were to receive a reward simply out of identity of being God’s people (v24).
Psalm 112 – The characteristics of the one who fears the Lord are full of blessings to others…gracious, merciful, righteous, and generous.
Matthew 6 – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (v21). Investing in earthly things will reap temporary rewards; investing in eternal things reap heavenly rewards; where you invest reveals your values.
Galatians 6:6 – In the Apostle Paul’s closing letter, he rattles off a set of moral exhortations for Christian living. In verse 6 he instructs believers to help provide for their spiritual teachers, “Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches.” If followed, this would help pastors, teachers, missionaries maintain their focus on ministering the Word (like the Apostle’s focus in Acts 6:4).
3 John 5-8 – The Apostle John encourages his readers to support missionaries well in sending “them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.” Fellow workers: some go, some send, both work as a team.
1 Corinthians 9 – This is chalked full of cultural examples, Old Testament examples, and even a command from Jesus about ministers of the Gospel receiving support.
1 Timothy 6 – “Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction…but as for you, O man of God, flee these things…as for the rich…they are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share.” (vv9, 11, 17-18)
2 Corinthians 8 – The Apostle Paul talked up the Macedonian church for how God’s grace helped them give even though they were in poverty. They even begged for the opportunity to help. The church in Corinth needed encouragement to give, even to increase their desire to be givers; so he challenged them to prove their love. Paul gave at least 10 reasons for the Corinthian church to be givers:
- Grace has been given to them, they should give.
- To be excellent in this grace of giving as well.
- To prove their love.
- Jesus became poor so other might become rich.
- It benefits them.
- Following through (completing) on what they started (with their desires).
- It’s being fair (others have need, they have resources).
- Other churches will help them when they are in need.
- And a complex principle quoted from Exodus 16:18 is two fold – their needs will be met;
- However, their personal abundance will not carry over for themselves.