So goes an objection of many people whose religious experience has been jaded by the desperate pleas and manipulative ploys of churches or TV preachers. There is some merit to this suspicion, but if you’ve been around the church for a while or read the Bible much, you understand that there is some obligation to give to the Lord. Two HUGE truths will shape your thinking about money and what the Lord “gets.” First, the Lord Jesus owns everything (Psalm 24:1). Christ’s lordship of your life means that he wants every bit of you including your pocketbook. You are just a manager of whatever
material resources he blesses you with. Second, we give because Christ gave (2 Corinthians 8:9). So…. We’re supposed to give as much as Jesus gave us? “Impossible!,” you might say. These timeless truths don’t give us the formula for giving that we often crave. Our mentality often is: “God, just tell me what I need to do or how far I can (or cannot) go without sinning against you.”
David A. Croteau’s booklet Tithing after the Cross steered me away from the “How much” question to the: ‘“Where can I cut my budget so I can give more to God’s work?”’ question. Many causes are lining up for our limited resources (especially this time of the year). Why should we dare even think of giving more to the Lord? In one
word: grace. If we spend time “soaking” in our Lord’s and his apostles’ teaching, we will discover that saving grace empowers us to serve and fuels us to generously give. The grace of God, in other words, produces an abundance of joy, generosity, and sacrificing
ourselves to God and for others.
1. Study the following Scriptures— Matthew 6:19-34; 2 Corinthians 8-9; 1 Tim 5:17-18; 6:6-10, 17-19 (and there are many others!). Then, read Randy Alcorn’s tiny book The Treasure Principle to further challenge you about giving.
2. Rejoice continually in God’s grace to you!
3. Remember that you are eternally indebted to love God with all that you are.
4. Repent of your greed and/or misuse of God’s money.
5. Radically yet responsibly re-direct your spending so that God is honored.