Energize your Life with Giving
The spiritual discipline of giving moves us from greed to generosity. Our selfish bent is challenged as we give, and we become more selfless as we grow in giving. Jesus talked a lot about money and possessions because He knew it would be a big stumbling block for us. Outside of the Kingdom of God, stewardship of money and possessions was His favorite subject.
How does God want to change you and grow you in this area of giving and money? I want to challenge all of us to step out – and see faith increase, fear decrease, and growth flourish as we engage in active generosity.
- Key verse: 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
- CHOOSE to be generous (Jesus chose to give His life).
- PLAN your giving (Jesus followed a plan to come and give His all).
- GIVE with joy (Jesus kept His eyes on the prize with joy).
- TRUST God in all things (Jesus lived a life of obedience and trust).
- BELIEVE God is at work (Jesus wants to use you and grow you).
How Much Should I Give?
- You have heard it said, “You cannot out give God,” which is true. Our issue is more about under-giving and self-centered living. We must remember that giving bends us towards godliness.
- Scripture teaches that tithing is the minimum responsibility and then we are to grow from there in grace giving.
- Key verses: Mal 3:10, Matt 23:23, Matt 5:17, Deut 14:22-23.
- In the New Testament, Jesus takes the tithe from being an Old Testament tax and moves it towards grace giving and generosity. Reread 2 Cor 9:6-8. We start with the tithe and then grow beyond that in grace giving.
- Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Giving changes our perspective, outlook, and life trajectory. Jesus is trying to move us away from focusing on ourselves to focusing on His Kingdom and others.
Key Principles Jesus Teaches About Money
- Key verse: Matt 25:14-30. There are 4 important guiding principles here:
- God is the owner! He has entrusted money and resources to us – but it all belongs to Him.
- Ps 24:1, Matt 25:14-15
- I am responsible to manage according to His wishes.
- 1 Cor 4:2, Matt 25:16-18
- God is counting on us to choose well and invest well.
- 1 Tim 6:9-10, 1 Tim 6:17-19, Matt 25:19-25
- We don’t give to get, but God rewards obedience.
- Col 3:23-24, Matt 25:21, 23, 26-30
- Important observations:
- Fear condemned.
- Disobedience condemned.
- Laziness condemned.
- What are you doing with what you have?
- When it comes to expenses, tithing and giving are usually the last thing on people’s list. Jesus says it should be first (Matt 6:33)!
- God needs to be first in all things… including money.
- I’d like to challenge you to make 4 personal giving commitments
- Commit your financial life to God.
- Begin/continue giving your regular tithe – and stretch yourself toward generous/grace giving.
- Take the necessary steps to live debt-free for the rest of your life.
- Continue your stewardship education (read what the Bible says about handling money, books on personal finance, attend Financial Peace University. etc.).
I want to encourage you to pray about where you are in your giving, and ask the Lord what steps He would have you take to step out and engage in active generosity. I challenge you to put God first in this important area in your life.