What God Says About Giving
Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing… Prov. 3:9-10
We cannot out-give God!
A Summary of 1 Co. 16, 2 Co. 8, and Mt. 6:1-4
- We are to give back to God regularly, through our own local church.
- Every church family member is to participate in giving back, whether rich or poor.
- The amount we give back is to be …
– as God directs (personally determined “under grace” – see below)
– proportionate (a percentage of the money God has entrusted to us – our income)
– pre-planned and budgeted, as part of a well-managed income
– sacrificially generous, expressing real love and requiring real faith.
- Giving that pleases God is done discreetly (not done in a “showy” manner),
- and is done with a grateful, cheerful and willing spirit, as an act of true worship.
- Giving money back to God is only one aspect of giving ourselves back to Him.
- Other aspects include our time, our skills, our belongings, and our strength;
- and we are to give ourselves back to God first.
What About “Tithing”?
All who are in Jesus Christ are living under grace. Under grace, there is no biblical basis for requiring 10% giving (a “tithe”) from church members. Believers are not to judge one another with respect to a tithe. At the same time, there is a tithe principle in Scripture, which is not based on the Mosaic Law, as it was clearly in place and in use by God’s people before the Law was given (Gen. 14:20, 28:22). There is also a pre-Law and post-law “firstfruits” principle in Scripture – God’s people giving back to God first, as opposed to giving back to Him after taxes, mortgage payments, food, etc. Therefore, under grace, while our giving percentages may differ, and while one’s own giving percentage is not the business of others, this principle, of returning to God the first 10% of our income, should be acknowledged and personally applied by all believers. Biblically, under grace, 10% giving should be considered a good starting point for determining one’s personal worship through giving.