Summary: This is the first in a four part series on a disciplined Christian.
The GPFS Factor (part 1)
(Mark 12:38-44 NASB) In His teaching He was saying: "Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, (39) and chief seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets, (40) who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation." (41) And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. (42) A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. (43) Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; (44) for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on."
Warren Buffet floored many with his donation to the Gates’ Foundation of $31 Billion Dollars last year. That is 75% of his worth. The Gates Foundation was praised for the gift of $287 Million to find a cure for AIDS. However, that was less than 1% of the $32 Billion in the Foundation and the $50 Million he is reportedly worth. Sir Richard Branson has pledged $3 Billion of the profits from his Virgin train and airline business to fight Global Warming. I don’t want to seem like these aren’t worthy gifts, however, they are far from sacrificial and are well publicized. Many believe it will get them a good place in the here after.
(Matthew 6:1-4 NASB) "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. (2) "So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. (3) "But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, (4) so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.
Mandate of Giving
The Bible is clear that we need to give to God. Throughout the Old and New Testament, the people of God are known for their giving. Would you say the church today is known for its giving? Are you known as a “giving” person?
Method of Giving
Some say you must give to the local church. While that is a fine practice, God simply says give to Him! We minister to many in need through our missionaries in the field. We give 30% of all income to missionaries. We have assisted families in need in the past. We have adopted families at Christmas. We reach out to those in need all of the time. We welcome your gift. In the Book of Acts the church sold its possessions and gave to the disciples to distribute as needed, as well as helping their neighbors in need. However, there are many Christian ministries that could use your support. Although you don’t have to give to us, you do have to give! How much should you give? What is God worth to you? What is His salvation worth to you?
Motive of Giving
Are you a People Pleaser or a God Pleaser.
(2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NASB) Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. (7) Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (8) And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; (9) as it is written, "HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER." (10) Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; (11) you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. (12) For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. (13) Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, (14) while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. (15) Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!