I once heard a story about a little boy who followed the church treasurer around every Sunday morning as he carried the offering plates out of the auditorium. Then the boy intently watched the man count the offering and put it in the safe. At first the man ignored him, but after several weeks he finally asked, “Son, why do you follow me around every Sunday?” The boy looked up at the treasurer and said, “The preacher says that the offering is for God, and I want to see you give it to Him!” This simple illustration caused me to wonder what it would be like if we could see the Lord Jesus and had to place our offerings directly into His hands.
(1) Would our motives have to change?
(2) Would we give any more than we do now?
(3) Would we be more cheerful in our giving?
In David’s day, the people rejoiced because “they had offered willingly to the Lord” for the building of the temple (1 Chronicles 29:9). My friend, we have received an abundance of blessings from God’s gracious hand. Now we have the priceless privilege of returning part of it directly to Him by giving to His work. Whether your money goes to support your local church, a missionary, or a Christian ministry, always give with one thought in mind, “This is for the Lord!”
How much money does a person need to be considered rich? How much money does a person have to give away to be considered generous? It’s hard to say, isn’t it? In fact, it may be impossible to give a specific answer to these questions. The apostle Paul didn’t set a percentage as a rule for giving, nor did he say that only the rich should give. Instead, he challenged the Corinthian Christians by telling them about the Macedonian believers who gave out of their “deep poverty” and “beyond their ability” because they “first gave themselves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:2-5). He reminded his readers of their Savior, the Lord Jesus, who exchanged the riches of heaven’s glory for poverty on earth so that they might be rich for all eternity (2 Corinthians 8:9).
Whether we consider ourselves rich or poor, our love for the Lord should provide us with all the reason we need to be generous in our giving. So, my friend let’s commit ourselves to being as generous with our money, time and resources as the Lord has been with us. None of us can match the Lord’s standard of giving. He gave up everything He had to bring us redemption. So, keep that in mind as you prayerfully plan to give to your church and to the Lord’s work.
(1) How does your giving compare to God’s giving standard?
(2) Do you give sacrificially to your church?
(3) What does your checkbook say about your financial priorities?
2 Corinthians 9:7 puts it this way, “Let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver”
As a born-again believer in Christ, your standard of giving is just as important as your standard of living.