Recently, at Restoration Church, we’ve been walking through a series called Wisdom and Wealth. This series has already been fruitful. Each day I’m hearing how the Lord has used it to shape the hearts and minds of His people. Therefore, as one of my mentors has done, I decided to develop a guide to help our people know what gospel-giving looks like. I’ve decided to share it with you here:
- Gospel-Giving is Joyful: We are commanded to give to God joyfully. 2 Cor. 9:7 tells us “God loves a cheerful giver.” This means, when we give, we should do so joyfully. God treasures cheerful giving.
- Gospel-Giving is Sacrificial: It shouldn’t always ‘make sense”. 2 Cor. 8:1-3: “They gave according to their means and beyond their means…” It didn’t make sense how much they were giving. Additionally, Acts 2 and 4 record those in the church selling all their stuff and giving it away. This is sacrificial giving. How do you know when your giving is sacrificial? You know it’s sacrificial when it starts to hurt. Cayla and I committed to give 10% as a base early in our marriage. We committed to start at 10%. Today, we give around 18%. Do you know how I know if our giving is generous or not? Cayla does our family finances, and each time she comes to me and says, “Trea, if we could cut back 2% of our giving that would allow us to have a little extra to ____.” That’s a clear indicator to me – it hurts to give. We’re being generous.
- Gospel-Giving is Consistent: Generosity should be a part of your steady diet. It shouldn’t be haphazard giving, or giving by impulse. 2 Cor. 8:7: “See that you excel in practicing generosity.” As you receive from the Lord, be sure to excel in giving back. Oh, by the way, they also gave weekly.
- Gospel-Giving is Prayerful: 2 Cor. 9:7: “Give as you have prayerfully decided in your own heart…” This means you should pray about it (married couples need to pray together and discuss it) and do what the Lord leads you to do. Warning: You may not like what He says.
- Gospel-Giving is Local: Now, I do encourage you to give globally. In fact, we should do this. But, our primary demonstration of generosity is to our local church family. At Restoration, you are our family. You are our community. This is OUR church. God has called us to be faithful to one another. So, our primary demonstration of generosity should be to you, our local church. Galatians 6:10: “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
- “Do good” is a generosity term.
- “Especially” shows us our primary demonstration
- “household of faith” is our local church
We fight the idolatry of money in our culture from entering into our hearts by giving the way God has called us to give – with glad and generous hearts!