“But just as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” (2 Cor. 8:7)
[Session 17] Introduction Generosity and giving are key themes throughout the Bible, as well as being a central part of the life of the Early Church (1 Cor. 16:1-2). Giving also plays a significant part of our worship and serving (2 Cor. 9:12-15).
Why is giving so important? -
Giving is an attribute of God (James 1:17) (Matthew 7:9-11). Giving is a demonstration of love (John 3:16) (1 John 3:16:18). Giving is an expression of honour (Proverbs 3:9-10). Giving is taught in the Bible as an example for us to follow (Lk 6:38) (2 Cor. 8:7). Giving and generosity pleases God (Acts 10:1-4) (Hebrews 13:15-16). Giving is necessary for the life of the Church (1 Cor. 9:13-14) (Rom 15:25-27).
How should we give? -
With a spirit of generosity (Prov 11:24-25) (Mark 12:41-44) (Prov 22:9) not grudgingly, or because we feel guilty (2 Cor. 9:5-7) (Gal 6:9). Without fear of losing what we have. We can never out-give God: He will supply all our needs (2 Cor. 9:6-13) (Philippians 4:19). Out of love and obedience to God (Acts 10:1-4) (2 Cor. 8:5) (2 Cor. 9:12-13). To be a blessing to God’s church and others (1 Timothy 6:17-19) (2 Cor. 8:1-5) (2 Cor. 9:12-15). With the right attitude (Matt 6:1-4) (Matt 5:23-24) (2 Cor. 9:7).
[Session 17] [Session 17]
How much should we give? -
Our tithe: • • •
A ‘tithe’ is a tenth, the first 10% of our income (Deut 14:22) (Lev 27:30). Our ‘tithe’ belongs to God (Malachi 3:10). We bring our tithe as an act of worship and thankfulness to God (Proverbs 3:9-10). Tithing is a Biblical principle (Genesis 14:20) (Malachi 3:8-12).
Note: the Old Testament law of tithes is no longer binding on the Christian Church. However, the principle behind this law remains and is incorporated in the gospel (1 Cor. 9:13-14). If anything, we have greater reason to be generous in our giving than in Old Testament times. We should go beyond the ‘law’ in freely and willingly giving of ourselves and our material possessions, including finance, to God.
Our offering: • Generally, an offering is what we give over and above our tithe (Philippians 4:14-19). • An offering might be for a specific need, for example a ‘missions offering’ for a particular local or overseas project (Rom 15:25-27) (Acts 4:32-35).
Conclusion Financial giving is a vital part of our lifestyle of worship to God. Generosity, in every area of our lives demonstrates our love for God and each other, It is a great ‘witness’ to those who don’t yet follow Christ (Matt 7:16-20). At Life Church we have the opportunity to bring our tithes and offerings in most Sunday services. Whilst we are giving to God, this money is used to support the work of the church, both locally and overseas. No one is under any obligation to give, but members/partners are encouraged to give regularly as part of their commitment to church. For further reading, read 2 Cor. 8 & 9.