Honoring God With Our Money: Giving Back

In this lesson we have looked at God’s provisions for us.  Today we examine the question, “What should we give back to God in return for all He gives us?

In First Samuel 15:22, we read that God desires obedience above sacrifice.  “But Samuel replied: “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”

God expects His people to obey Him in all things, including giving to the work of the Lord.  The Israelites were trying to keep God’s favor by bringing sacrifices and burnt offerings while disobeying His instructions to refrain from participating in the evil practices of their neighbors.  Samuel was telling them that offerings are not enough.

In 1 Corinthians 16:1,2, Paul instructions Christians to provide for those who do God’s work. “Now about the collection for God’s people…On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income. ”  Furthermore, Paul doesn’t ask that each person give equally, but rather than each person give in accordance with his or her income.  This supports the concept of tithing, in which everyone gives 10% of their income to the work of the church.

 

The Bible provides clear instructions on how are we to give.

 2 Chronicles 24:16  “All the officials and all the people brought their contributions gladly.

 2 Chronicles 31:12 “They faithfully brought in the contributions, tithes, and dedicated gifts.”

Proverbs 3:9 “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”

Exodus 35:2  “And everyone who was willing and whose heart moved them came and brought an offering to the Lord for the work on the tent of meeting, for all its service, and for the sacred garments.”

 

2 Corinthians 8:12 tell us we are to give in accordance with what we have. “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.”

Giving according to what we have—typically 10%, or a tithe, of our income–ensures that everyone is contributing but no one is unduly burdened. 

Furthermore,  2 Chronicles 31:12 (see above) instructions us that we are to give contributions, tithes, and dedicated gifts.  Tithes are the first 10% of our income that belongs to God, contributions are gifts above our tithes, and dedicated gifts are given to meet a specific purposes.

 

 We should give to the work of the church out of obedience to God and in thankfulness for the many blessings He bestows on us.  As if that were not enough, however, God has promised to extravagantly bless those who tithe and provide for His work.

Malachi 3:8-10  “You ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ In tithes and offerings.  You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me.  Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.  ‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.'”

 

2 Corinthians 9: 10, 11 “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God”

 

Our Life Application verse reminds us that God wants us to give cheerfully and that He will bless us in accordance with our generosity to the work of the church and to others.

2  Corinthians 9:6, 7 “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each man should give what he had decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Author: Susan Elizabeth Ball

Author of the Christian fiction series Restored Hearts. Book 1, Restorations, was published in October 2010 and Book 2, Reconciliations, in October 2011.

2 thoughts on “Honoring God With Our Money: Giving Back”

  1. We all need to be made aware of the blessings that follow obedience to God’s laws concerning tithes and offerings, and giving beyond that. But if it is not in a person’s heart to do those things, it is evil to pressure him to give because money is not acceptable to God if the person bringing the money doesn’t really want to do it. It is a matter of the heart, only the heart, always the heart! Where is your heart concerning God and money? That is the only real issue. The Christian tradition of “taking up a collection” is nothing but a tool of oppression. It is of the devil. That godless tradition is not intended simply to provide God’s saints with the opportunity to bring God His tithes and offerings; a simple basket by the door would suffice for that. “Taking up a collection” sprang from the covetous heart of men. It not only pressures people to give when they otherwise would not give but it also consumes valuable meeting time.

    1. Interesting comment, Israel. Of course, the Bible study pointed out that giving should be done (1) gladly, (2) willingly, and (3) as prompted by one’s heart. I agree that pressuring someone to give is wrong and money given grudgingly is not accepted. However, the Bible is very clear that God expects His people to give a portion of what He has blessed them with back to the church to support those who do its work. There may be ‘better’ approaches to collecting the tithes than passing around an offering basket–I haven’t given that any thought. My concern in this study is what my heart and attitude should be in regard to handling the money God gives me.

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