I am going to take a minute and step in a hole. Many people don’t like talking about this subject, as it relates to God and His Word to the Church. What am I talking about? I am talking about giving. I am talking about tithes and offerings. Well, I will be spending most of my time talking about offerings.
However, let’s quickly talk about the tithe for a minute. I would like to quickly dis-spell the myth that tithing is Old Testament Law and not valid in the New Testament. For starters, How in the world would we want to, or believe it to be sufficient, to give less under grace than under the Law? That one just doesn’t make sense to me.
Second, many people say that Jesus never spoke about tithing, but that is not true either. When talking to the Pharisees, Jesus said:
23 ” Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!
Did you catch that? Jesus said, “You tithe but you neglect the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. You should have done these things without neglecting the others.”
Translation: We are to tithe, but also to strive for justice, mercy, and faithfulness. Grace does not take away our responsibility to tithe. It takes it to another level.
Okay, now that I got that out of the way, I want to move on to the subject of giving/offering.
I want to share a few things about giving.
1. Our giving is to be private.
6 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. 3 “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
We are not to give so as to receive recognition on earth. To do so, shows that we have impure motives in our heart. Also, we see in verse 1 that the person who gives for a reward on earth will not receive a reward from the Father in Heaven.
Also, it is important to notice that Jesus says “when”, not “if”. It is not a question of should we or shouldn’t we, but a question of when we do it.
2. Giving is not easy. It is meant to be a sacrifice.
2 Cor 8:1-5
8 Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, 2 that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. 3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.
Wow! How many churches do we have like that one today? Why is it that people think things in the Christian life are always supposed to be easy? The life of Christ wasn’t easy. We are not about our teacher, are we? Sometimes giving is not easy. However, the sacrifice is absolutely worth the reward in eternity.
3. We are to be cheerful givers.
2 Cor 9:6-7
6 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
What greater reason to give and give cheerfully do we need than to know that God loves this? I want to do the things that God loves and do not want to do the things that God does not love. God loves a cheerful giver, and as I have grown in Christ and my understanding of Him, it has caused my heart to be happy and full as I give, even when my wallet may not be so much.
My hope and prayer is that we may all grow in our giving to God.