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Financial giving and deception (Part I) | Back to articles | Articles sitemap |

In Part one of this series I want to discuss financial giving. First however, let’s get our minds around this truth: all of mankind is blessed, both male and female, sinners and righteous, because of God. Even those who do not believe in God or that He exists are blessed by God: “for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45) What I am getting at here is that we owe God. We owe God big time.

Some may think to themselves “oh what do I owe God for, God’s not blessing me! I haven’t seen a blessing in my life for a long time.” Though sometimes it may not feel like it, God constantly blesses us throughout our lives in many different ways. Sometimes we are blessed in a small way and sometimes in a big way. If God were to stop blessing us however, we would definitely notice the change in our lives.

Many of us have become accustomed to the blessings of God and have begun to take several things for granted. Things like the basic necessities in life: food, clothes, shelter etc. If God were to really stop blessing us, the ones who cried before about God not blessing us would become silent. Sadly however, in reality human nature is to take things for granted. As soon as something becomes routine in our lives we begin to almost expect it. I believe it is safe to say that the blessings of God are taken for granted more then anything else on this earth.

Why do we have to give?

We truly owe God, and that is why we are obligated to not only give our time to Him, but some of our finances as well. Remember as Christians we were bought with a price: “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1 Corinthians 6:20) Since we were bought with a price (by the precious blood of Jesus) our possessions and money are not our own to begin with, let alone our soul. We must acknowledge that everything we have is a gift from God and be willing to give what God requires of us at any moment. Giving to others as the Lord directs, is giving to God. As Christians it is our absolute obligation to give as the Lord directs.

Who exactly do we give to?

The Bible chiefly directs us to give to the following: The church, the poor, Christian Leaders, fellow Christians and non-believers. To begin with, just like everything else, the church needs money to operate. Donations to the church allow the church to pay staff wages, utility bills, building costs, activity fees, program fees, missions etc. In other words, donated money helps spread the Word of God and maintain His temple! Furthermore, remember the anointing that the church has. The church will sanctify or bless the money coming in, so that that very same money will accomplish much, much more going back out into the world.

We should also be supporting the ministries that bless and support us. It is always a good idea to support the ministry that is providing you with your spiritual food. If there is a ministry that is feeding you just as much or even more then your church you should support them as the Lord directs. If you let the Holy Spirit guide you in giving you can never go wrong. Also keep in mind the great commission of Jesus: “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) Not every one of us can literally go into the entire world and preach the gospel, but by financially supporting those who do, we become a vital part of that ministry.

As Christians we are to be generous, especially when it comes to the poor. Today’s society shuns the poor looking down upon them as if they were the scum of the earth. Do not forget that these people are human beings; they are also God’s children. God is not a respecter of persons; the poor means as much to him as the rich, the uneducated as the educated, the sick as the healthy and the disabled as the able. Some of us have not had a great start in life. We should even help others who have had a good start but need a second chance. We are obligated to be charitable regarding the poor. We should be helping in whatever way we can. Remember “Blessed is he (or she) that considereth the poor: the Lord will deliver him (or her) in time of trouble.” (Psalm 41:1)

Also keep in mind that helping the poor extends beyond that of financial help. While financial help is good, we should be witnessing to the poor as well. Just like the saying “You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, or you can teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime”, guiding them to the path of salvation is better then a one time money fix. If we can be a witness to the people in need, give some financial gifts when we can, and lead them to the Lord they will eventually be able to stand on their own two feet again.

True Christian Leaders in our communities and abroad need to be supported as well. Many a time they are a single voice representing our entire body (the church). Endorsing Christian leaders will bring Christian values to our communities, enrich our quality of life, and help bring others to Jesus. I believe that not only should we be supporting Christian Leaders, but Christian companies with our business also.

When we can, we should help out fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as well as non-believers who are in financial distress. Keep in mind what the Bible says: “Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” (Matthew 5:42) When possible, give to those are in true need of financial help. Make a true effort to “love thy neighbor as thyself.” (Matthew 19:19)

If someone is in need, and you can help them, then help them. Be a testimony of the Lord by your love. Giving is one of greatest expressions of love there is: “But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” (Luke 6:35)

How Much Do We Give?

In the days of the Old Testament the Jews were commanded to give 10% of their income to the temple; a tithe. Some today argue that because we are now under the new covenant we are not under any obligation to give or tithe to the church. What these people do not understand is that the first mention of tithing was before the law was instituted. These individuals misunderstand the reason for giving. It is not the law that should motivate us to give, but rather love; understanding what is needed.

Now I want to make a distinction here, there is a difference between a tithe and giving. As it was just stated above, tithing has been around before the law was instituted and therefore should still take place today. The church must be supported; there is no discussion when it comes to that. Giving is when donations are made to the church that exceeds that of the required tithe amount. It’s my conviction that 10% should be more of a guideline then an absolute rule for tithing. Give and tithe with a happy heart, look forward to giving, it’s honoring our Lord!

Again, while 10% is good, it is better for us to really listen to God and give as He directs. The Bible tells us that: “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) If you sow, or give financially with the right attitude you will reap more abundantly.

When you give, give out of love. Give from the heart, and become humbled before the Lord. I realize talking about financial giving makes some Christians cringe, however we have to learn to fight against our flesh and give back to the Lord what is already His. When it comes to blessings from God, understand that a financial gift is not always rewarded by a financial blessing. This is not to say however that giving will not bring you out of financial distress or debt. Giving in generosity is one of the first steps to financial freedom. Also we should not be giving or sowing only to receive something back. Sow or give in love, be a cheerful giver and you will be rewarded. Finally give not to gain glory from others, but from God only. (See Matthew 6:2-4)

When to give:

God deserves the first very fruits of our income. (See Deuteronomy 26:2) In the days of the Old Testament, not only was money tithed, but food or crops as well. When a part of a harvest was tithed the very first fruits of the harvest were to be given. This was because the first fruits are the best, and that’s what God deserves. You would not take the last part of the harvest, the leftovers, and give it to the Lord. In the same manner this is why we tithe and give the first fruits of our finances to the Lord.

Giving will ensure God’s blessing; it will prove His Word to be true. God has promised an abundant blessing for those who trust Him by giving. To the cheerful giver God will fulfill His promises of provision, protection and blessing!

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