The kingdom of God is made visible through the local church.
The God of the Bible made everything with a word. He has an unending supply of resources. He isn’t needy and has no needs, nor will he ever (Acts 17:24-25)! And, even if he did, we wouldn’t be the ones he came to for help (Psalm 50:12-15)
So, what does God want with us? I can’t overemphasize this enough:
He desires for us to be so stunned and in awe of how great our salvation is and respond to it accordingly!
This is exactly why we need to keep re-testing ourselves and our church. If we don’t constantly pray to God to re-examine and re-shape our habits about money and giving, we’re going to end up making an idol out of it. No one falls into biblical giving and generosity by accident.
That’s why at the Tower View, I pray we’re constantly recalling to ourselves this sinful drift by saying, “Live abundantly, give hugely.”
But the encouraging thing is that biblical generosity can be contagious, too. When we see people consistently giving to the Lord who owns all things with joy, it makes generosity fun and pleases Him (2 Cor. 9:6-8). God loves a cheerful giver. So, if you don’t like being generous, give away as much as you can until it makes you happy.
People have real questions about money and the Christian life. As pastor, I am often asked: “How much should I give?”
But our giving-balance should tilt more toward generosity than anything else.
This is an overlooked element in giving—the involvement of the Holy Spirit. When you look at a lot of the biblical stories about giving, you find statements like, “God stirred up so-and-so’s heart to give” (Exo. 36, 2 Cor 9). Giving is supposed to be a Spirit-thing, a Spirit-driven thing, in which the Spirit moves in your heart and you listen to him and obey as he directs.
No, not just giving at the moment you have a “warm, tingly, and fuzzy” feeling. Paul also told the church at Corinth to be intentional and disciplined in their giving (1 Cor. 16:2). I think the reason a lot of us don’t know what to give God is because we’ve simply never asked him what he wants us to give. Have you?
The question is not “How much is enough?” but, rather, “What do our spending decisions show that we trust in and live for?” You can give away 90% of your income and idolize that 10% more than you love the God who saved you. That’s just as sinful as loving all 100% of it.
The bottom line: God isn’t like the tax people of today. He doesn’t care how much you gave…but why you gave (2 Cor. 9:7).
We aren’t under compulsion to give. Nowhere in the New Testament does it command tithing as is practiced and commanded in the Old Testament. However, tithing is larger than the Mosaic Covenant. Abraham and Jacob both demonstrate tithing prior to the Mosaic Covenant.
Actually, the standard for giving is higher in the New Testament. We are told to give cheerfully, not out of compulsion, but because we want to give. To give cheerfully, we need a new heart for change.
As we seek to live out all God has for us at TVBC and in our families, may we remember is part of our discipleship. To live abundantly and give hugely, we need to ask ourselves:
How baptized are our pocketbooks?