Giving is an expression of ultimate trust in a faithful God who cares and provides for His people. The Scriptures speak of both tithes (our regular commitment to support the ministries of the church) and offerings (that which we give above our tithes sacrificially for the reach of the Gospel). God’s heart for us is to be able to give with joy and without fear.
Whoever sows (gives) sparingly will also reap (receive) sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
This scripture simply means that the cheerful giver gets as much blessing as the receiver. God promises to give from His limitless resources to those who trust Him through joyful giving. In turn, our glad and generous giving helps release the people of Beltway Park to fulfill their mission to reach out all over the city and this world so that people have the best chance to grow in love and knowledge of Jesus.
Living a life of faith in God means choosing purpose over popularity. The follower of Christ is called to a righteous standard, much higher than worldly standards. Because of this, many times the believer is challenged with making a decision that goes against the grain of societal norms. If faith is seen through the choices we make, then our life must reflect our faith. This oftentimes leads to a life filled with unpopular (by worldly standard) but purposeful (by Kingdom standard) decisions.
Generosity enables us to grab hold of true life (1 Timothy 6:17-19). When we give generously, we develop a greater love for God and experience the intense satisfaction of knowing His heart and presence more. Generous giving also produces a deep, lasting joy in seeing others come to know Jesus and strengthens our faith. It allows God to bless us with more financial resources to enjoy and to do His work, and it releases great eternal reward.
We vaccinate against affluenza and other pitfalls of wealth with generosity. Andy Stanley, in Fields of Gold, lays out three key elements of generosity: priority, percentage, and progressive giving. Priority giving means developing an intentional plan to be generous, while percentage giving involves setting a specific amount to contribute (e.g. tithing). Progressive giving means increasing the overall amount or percentage of giving over time as our financial situation changes. In each of these elements of generosity, we affirm that everything belongs to God and that we trust Him.
True riches come from being rich well. Most Americans, even the poorest, are far richer than most of the world’s inhabitants. Yet with all that we possess, there is a danger of holding a distorted view of reality, of being haughty, and of placing hope and security in our wealth and ourselves. God calls us to give generously, to step over the line of self-preservation and self-comfort, in order to experience true life and to give others the opportunity to take steps of faith towards Jesus.
Through the truth of Scripture we have been discovering why the handling of money is so important to God and how we can walk in real freedom with our finances.