“God so loved the world that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16 ESV). This Bible verse portrays the greatest gift ever given … God’s son Jesus! Jesus did for man what only He could do … sacrifice His perfect life as the payment for ALL of man’s sins.
Following the giving example of God and Jesus and the teachings found in both the Old and New Testament, we as Jesus Followers are to give back to God of our time, talents and possessions. Giving to God is an act of worship just as are singing, praying, preaching/teaching, Baptism and The Lord’s Supper. Our individual and collective giving support the ministry of the local church and mission efforts across the earth. Our giving is not just an act of obedience, it is a testimony of our love for the Lord. And in particular, our giving is a representation of our thanksgiving and praise for God’s blessings. Paul encouraged the church at Corinth to “be generous in every way” as they gave their offerings in support of their local church body and other’s missionary efforts.
2 Corinthians 9:10-12 (ESV) – He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.
Ron Kelly in his LifeWay article “Our Giving is an Act of Worship” appearing in the periodical Mature Living lists six points that Paul makes to the Church at Corinth regarding Christian giving in 2 Corinthians 8-9.
- Those who follow Jesus should excel in the grace of giving.
- Giving is an expression of the love one has for Jesus.
- God loves willing and cheerful givers.
- A willingness to be generous in giving is more important than the amount given.
- Our giving will result in praise and thanksgiving to God.
- Our giving should be a natural response to God’s gracious gift to mankind.
Using an agricultural metaphor that would be well understood by those within the Corinthian church, Paul told them “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6) God’s mathematics are at work here. When we give willingly, cheerfully and generously, God will multiply our gifts just as he does with the seeds we plant in His ground. Think about how He transforms one seed of corn planted in the earth into a number of ears, each containing a multitude of seeds. It is not so much that we will receive bountifully, but that what we give will be multiplied for God’s purposes and through others our gift will bring about thanksgiving and praise!
So Christian, when it comes to your giving, be generous in every way. Not only you will be thankful, but many others will be filled with Thanksgiving Praise as a result of your gift!
Gracious Father, thank you for giving us Your most precious possession, Jesus, our Savior. Help us to be generous in every way as we worship You through our giving. Amen and amen.