Monday, March 12, 2018

The Heart of Giving Series - What It Looks Like When You Give to God

So far we've looked at giving and we've seen that how we give matters. We've seen that it can become second nature but yet we don't always do this regardless of the benefits. In this post, I'd like to explore the mechanics around giving regardless of your income level. I think many struggle with this question: "How do I give to a God I cannot see?"

The universal church is comprised of those who belong to Christ and who have trusted Him for salvation. These members of the universal church should seek fellowship and edification in a local church, which is where our giving typically occurs. Therefore when you give to God, you are giving to His representation here on Earth - the body of Christ.

The actual meaning of the word church is not a building but a group of people. The word “church” comes from the Greek word ekklesia which is
defined as “an assembly” or “called-out ones.” The root meaning of “church” is not that of a building, but of people. It is ironic that when you ask people what church they attend, they usually identify a building. (

The church is not about a building by any means; the church is the people. The building is just what we utilize to facilitate the ministry God has called us to.  

Here are two practical applications in the New Testament of churches whose members were generous givers which may rock your world. First, in the early church, in Acts 2, after Peter gave a fiery sermon the church grew by three thousand members in one day. Many of these members then continued steadfastly in following what was taught, in fellowship, in breaking of bread, and prayers. Out of Godly fear and reverence, they all sold their goods and then distributed to everyone as they had a need (Acts 2:42-45; Acts 4:32-37). Each individual's giving was voluntary, was to meet a need and was distributed by leadership.

The second example of a giving church was the church at Macedonia. This church was very poor yet the members were very generous. Each individual gave because they were filled with abundant joy (an example of cheerful giving) which overflowed into generosity.  "For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more. And they did it of their own free will. They begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem. They even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do." 2 Corinthians 8:1-12

So why tithe? Why give? As we can see from both examples above by giving to God we show that God is our first priority (Deuteronomy 14:22, 23). We also see giving is an act of worship (Psalms 96:8); which brings joy for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7); and you can't outgive God (Luke 6:38). There are many rewards in giving.

What do we give? In practical terms, it's allocating a portion of our income to God before we do anything else. On a personal level, it's freeing to have this as a category in our weekly budget. It's not after the bills are paid but before. It's a shift in how you think about your money and all that you have (Proverbs 3:9). It's recognizing that giving is a part of your stewardship (1 Corinthians 3:9).

What impact does your giving have? Your giving impacts how we are able to help others and by doing so it shows that those who follow Christ are different. It furthers the gospel. This can take many forms: from a building that's in need of renovation so that it can help more people within the community, to providing funds to those in need and anything in between. This is the premise - to meet people where they are and provide the help they need. The church's ministries are supported and impacted by your giving (1 Corinthians 9:13,14).

What if you have limited or no income? Then give what you can until you can give more (Psalms 50:14,15). Give in proportion to what you have and use the tithe of 10% as your benchmark. May this be where you start and not where you stay.

Is it possible to distrust a church's leadership and not give? Of course, it is. Unfortunately, we've all seen instances where our giving was misused by leadership or used for personal gain. If this is the case, perhaps you should be at another church where you can give. Should this be the basis of your giving? I don't think so; whether your money is misused or not, you still ought to give. Do you control your money once given? No. Can you safeguard yourself against your money, now God's money being misused? No more or no less than you would with your giving to anyone or anything else.

There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth, and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself. 
Proverbs 11:24,25

The reality is that supporting the church financially is returning to God what is His and church leadership is accountable to God for the management of those resources. Once the donation is made it is then between that church leadership and God. So whether someone agrees with how finances are managed or not, does not affect that person’s responsibility to sow it. ( As God directs you to give, give and put feet to your faith.

Resources:  God and Money: How We Discovered True Riches at Harvard Business School by John Cortines and Gregory Baumer
Strong's Concordance

Read the rest of the series


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  1. Hi Nylse, such a great post on giving.
    I firmly believe the NT giving should be above the OT tithe. Let me explain. You mention some of it in that the Macedonian church, though poor, gave in abundance. I see it like this, when we purpose to give generously and are able to do so which may just be above the 10% benchmark, it could very well be making up the difference for someone else who is not yet able to meet that benchmark. They are able to give what they can and the difference is made up by others who are able to give more. And yet, when we continually give more than "required", we are blessed in abundance by Father and it could be in any number of ways that He chooses to bless us. This also deepens our reliance on Him as well. He is, after all, Jehovah Jireh and He will prove that to us time and time again.
    Well, I'm rambling now, but I wanted to say that I enjoyed reading this post and your thoughts about NT giving. Blessings to you,
    Visiting from Trekking Thru.

  2. Excellent "Questions and Answers!" And points! I've found this practical series so solid and helpful, Nylse, thank you. This point particularly stands out to me, "when you give to God, you are giving to His representation here on Earth." Amen!

  3. Good information here. I have found that if people are not raised in the faith of giving it is a much more difficult idea for them to grasp and practice. Yet when they do, God is always faithful and meets them where they are at and shows up blessing their obedience. Thank you for these encouraging words. (Your neighbor at #HeartEncouragement)

  4. Giving & fellowship are very important in our walk with the Lord.
    You are most welcome to drop by with your favorite beverage & tasty treat for a time of reflection. Jennifer

  5. Great discussion on a topic that is very sensitive! Giving is important. How we do it matters. Love this series and love your message! Thank you so much for sharing at #MomentsofHope. You are appreciated!
    Blessings and smiles,

  6. Thank you for sharing this very important topic of giving. I am fisrt time visiting your blog. Many blessings and prayers for your ministry. Stopping by from # coffee for your heart link up��

  7. When I read your post Romans 12:1-2 came to mind.
    You're most welcome to drop by with your favorite beverage for a time of reflection,

  8. I enjoyed reading your lesson on giving specifically focused on tithing. The word tithe literally means a tenth. I like that you used the word benchmark. That should be our target of obedience and then because he blesses us abundantly, we should grow to give above the tithe. Failing to tithe is failing to trust God with the resources he has provided. Financial problems or not if we obey him, he will meet our needs. He's trustworthy.

  9. Good thoughts on giving, Nylse. I like your emphasis on it being freeing. Thank you for sharing. ((hug))


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