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Very often, people ask or wonder “what are the basic biblical principles for Christian giving?” As we seek God’s answer to that question and as we contemplate our own giving to the Lord’s church in response to the clear teaching of His Word, perhaps it would be wise and helpful to review those principles here.
” Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 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” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7New International Version (NIV)
Here are 10 principles of Christian giving:
1. The Lord Jesus expects and requires us to give. Jesus said to His disciples, “when you give” not “if you give” (Matthew 6:2)! Hence, Christian giving is not optional, but rather essential.
2. The Lord Jesus wants us to give for the right reasons. Jesus warned His disciples not to give for the sake of being admired by men. We ought to give for the glory of God and the good of His people.
3. The Lord Jesus wants us to practice benevolent or charitable giving. Jesus said “When you give to the poor . . . .” (Matthew 6:2-3). Jesus is specifically teaching about “alms” in this passage: aid, charity, or benevolent offerings for the needy.
4. The Lord Jesus reminds us that our giving is ultimately to the all-seeing heavenly Father. When we give, we are not simply adding to the Church budget, we are giving up a thank offering to the Father Himself.
5. The Bible teaches that Christian giving is an act of worship. In connection with the previous point, we see this truth stressed in another way in Paul’s word’s “On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Paul here teaches the Corinthians that their taking up of the collection is an act of worship which is to be a part of their regular Lord’s Day worship.
6. The Bible teaches that Christian giving should be done in light of the incarnation. Many Christians argue about whether the tithe (10% of our income) is still the standard for our giving to the Church (disputants usually want to show that less than 10% is fine). Paul scuttles the whole debate in one verse. He says: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). Christ’s self-giving is now the standard for our giving!
7. The Bible teaches that Christian giving should be done in accordance with our means. Paul is quite clear on this: “For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have” (2 Corinthians 8:12). Put another way Paul is saying that you should give in proportion to what God has given you.
8. The Bible teaches that the liberality of God’s blessings to us is connected to the liberality of our Christian giving. Though it may seem strange, both Jesus and Paul emphasize that there is a relation between our giving to the Lord and the Lord’s giving to us. As Paul says in 2 Corinthians 9:6 “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” “The desire to be generous and the means to be generous both come from God.”
9. The Bible teaches that Christian giving must be willing giving, free giving. True Christian giving is both mandatory and voluntary. It is required by God, but always willingly given by the believer.
10. The Bible teaches that Christian giving ought to be cheerful giving. As Paul says “God loves a cheerful giver.” This is a truly amazing assertion. Giving makes us happy.
We have not come close to reaching our potential for giving. Won’t you pray that we will give as we ought? That we will give for the right motives? That we will give joyously? And that we will give extravagantly.
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Our Giving Projects:
Below you will find a number of projects that we support. Please use the link to their website page to make donations.
St. John’s Hospice North Lancashire And South Lakes. Charity Number: 1157030
Charitable Objective: a) The relief and care of persons of either sex (without regard to race or creed) who are suffering from any chronic or terminal illness or from any disability or disease. B) for such other charitable purposes or charitable objects associated with the residential establishment as the trustees in their discretion see fit.