Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. – I Corinthians 16:1-3 (NIV)
I have done some figuring. If I had in my pocket what I have given to the Lord’s work over the years I could pay cash for a nice piece of property. I could buy myself a new car, truck, boat, or even that Honda Gold Wing motorcycle I’ve had my eye on for some time! I could pay cash for both of my children’s college and buy them a new car to drive off to school.
But, I don’t do those things. Why? Because over the years my wife Debbie and I have learned that we can live much better on 90% than we can on 100%! What we really learned was the joy of making an eternal investment by giving to the Lord’s work!
There is one Biblical principle that is often overlooked in our materialistic world today: we, as Christians, are “stewards!”
That’s a Biblical word that means “caretaker.” A steward does not own a thing; he simply manages the possessions of another. In our case as Christians, we simply understand that God owns it all and we are simply caring for His possessions! All we have: our possessions, our abilities, our energy, our time and our talents belong to the Lord! Therefore, we should not be offended when He directs us on how to use what is His.
God’s Word has a lot to say about money. In Matthew, Mark, and Luke one out of every six verses deals with money. Of the twenty-nine parables told by Christ, sixteen of them deal with a person and his money. The Bible has a lot to say about generous giving as well.
Allow me to share with you six biblical lessons about giving:
1. Giving is a universal practice.
Paul said this was not just for the believers in Corinth, but for the churches of Galatia also! Jesus said in Matthew 10:8, “Freely you have received, freely give.” Because every believer has received so much from the Lord, every believer should give back to the work of the Lord.
2. Giving is to be a weekly practice.
Paul said that we are to give on the “first day of the week.” Early Jewish believers moved their day of worship from Saturday to Sunday to commemorate the resurrection of the Lord. Therefore, Paul said to give on that day of the week. We are not to give spasmodically, or when we feel that we can afford to give. The bible indicates that giving is to be a part of our weekly worship!
3. Giving is to be a personal act.
I Corinthians 16:2 says, “Let each one of you…” Giving is not just for the comfortable and the wealthy—everyone should give—even kids! Why? Because giving is part of our worship to God. Continue reading