Giving in trust and faith

Then [Jesus] took the five loaves and two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed them, and broke them, and gave to the disciples to set before the multitude. And they did eat, and all were filled, and there was taken up of fragments that remained to them twelve baskets.
-Luke 9:16-17

The disciples worried, “We only have five small loaves and two fishes! Whatever will we do? Five loaves and two fishes could never feed the multitudes gathered here.” They should not have worried; we have a God that is in the multiplication business! His math is entirely different than our math – He takes what we offer and turns it into more than we can ever imagine.

With God at the helm we can be generous; we don’t need to worry that God will stop providing for us. We trust His promise to take care of us; He will multiply the bread and fish. When we give to the Lord, He brings forth an abundance. We can trust Him to take care of us.

Our generosity begins with understanding that what we give is not really “ours.” Everything we are and have belongs to God. He is the owner of all things. We are simply stewards (managers) of what God entrusts to our management.  All-in disciples want to be great stewards.

How is this done?

  • Cheerfully – 2 Corinthians 9:7 says it all, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
  • Proportionately – 1 Corinthians 16:2: “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income.” We give in proportion to the resources with which God entrusts us.
  • Regularly – That same Bible passage says to give, “On the first day of the week . . . .” We have a plan to give to God, which is based on consideration of our blessings, not last minute or casual—the firstfruits, not the leftovers.
  • Sacrificially – 2 Corinthians 8:3 says; “For they [the Macedonians] gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord.” The sacrificial love of Christ for us, moves us not to ask what the least is that we can do, but rather, what is the most.
  • Trustingly — Malachi 3:10 says “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” This verse does not teach that God is a vending machine; that when we give, we’ll get more back. Rather it is God’s call to us to trust Him to continue to take care of us, even when the times are difficult.
  • Rethink giving out of obligation, or because it’s expected of me—The Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) shows us both that what we have we receive from the King (God) and that He wants us to manage what He gives us for His purposes while we await His return. When the Word says, “It’s God’s,” do we think “It’s mine,” or do we pray that God helps us to manage what is His to His glory?
  • Our offerings are a cheerful worship of God—Do you like giving gifts at Christmas as you see the joy it brings to others? Our offerings are expressions of our love to God, given cheerfully in keeping with our income as an act of worship and love.
  • Give regularly—If you don’t worship God regularly (or not at all) with an offering, get started. You can request a box of offering envelopes that provide an envelope each week. It is now quite common to set up your bank’s bill pay service to send an offering automatically, either weekly or monthly.
  • Complete a pledge—When Zacchaeus was touched by the love of Christ, he made a generous pledge on the spot (Luke 19:8And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”). Pledging is not a contract; it’s just expressing your goal in giving. You can complete it at any time and change it at any time on our giving page. If you are concerned about pledging because your income is uncertain, consider pledging a percentage.
  • Increase your giving as your income increases—Especially these inflationary times that we are entering, keeping our offering the same over many years is actually reducing it. The great part is that God will always give you more than you need and promises that you can’t outgive Him (Malachi 3:10Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.)!
  • Tithe and more—A tithe is an Old Testament term, that referred to the gifts, or really the tax, that the Israelites were required to pay. Today we use the term as a way of saying that we give 10% of our income to the Lord.

    There’s nothing in the New Testament that requires us to give 10%. Even loftier is the goal to give generously and sacrificially to the Lord for the relief of the poor, the support of the ministry, and the spread of the Gospel. Often this is more than 10%.