Summary: Christians in American have an after-tax income of over $800 billion dollars. Unfortunately only 3% of that money is given for Christian causes. Of that 3% only 1.5% goes to the evangelizing of unreached people groups. If we are to complete the great comm
Lay Up For Yourselves Treasures in Heaven
"Heavenly treasures can only be laid up when earthly treasures are laid down." (BBN, Nov 24th, 2003)
Christians in American have an after-tax income of over $800 billion dollars. Unfortunately only 3% of that money is given for Christian causes. Of that 3% only 1.5% goes to the evangelizing of unreached people groups. If we are to complete the great commission so that Christ’s second coming is hastened we must learn how to give according to Biblical principles.
We would encourage you to look at giving as an investment in eternity. “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth where moth and rust doth currupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19-21). You have the exciting privilege and opportunity to be a part of what God is doing in the world. The world and peoples lives can actually be changed by your investments in God’s work. The following Scriptures and comments should give you some thoughts for reflection as you think about the privilege and opportunity you have to be partners with God in the building of His kingdom.
1) Tithing should be looked on as the "bare bones" of our giving. As we look at the Scriptures we find that the tithe is not a law but rather a principle. It is a principle that if followed will do two things for us. First, it is a physical, measurable evidence of our belief in God’s ownership of all we have. In Deuteronomy 14:23 God instructs His people to tithe, "...that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.”
Secondly, tithing gives God some seed to multiply. II Corinthians 9:10-11 says, "Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.” You need to give back to God some seed for Him to multiply (see also II Corinthians 9:6-7 and Galatians 6:7-9).
God is not only concerned about how much we give but also about our attitude and desire to give. "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver" (II Corinthians 9:7).
3) Are you returning a portion of your increase on investments to the Lord? This includes interest, dividends, capital gains, etc. "Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine" (Proverbs 3:9-10).
4) Luke 6:38—“Give, and it will be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."
5) II Corinthians 9:6-8—“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work."
6) Deuteronomy 15:10, 11--"Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto. For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.”
7) Giving can provide a wonderful opportunity to teach your children the principle of stewardship and also to show them your devotion to God. Why not have a family meeting and discuss where to give some of your surplus? Have your children give some input. It will be a tremendous growing and learning time for them.
We have found that most people give where they have a relationship. In other words, you will most likely give to your church and various parachurch organizations that have ministered to you. A recommendation for your consideration would be that you take a vision trip to see firsthand what your church and/or parachurch organizations are doing here and abroad. We have discovered that a trip like this is a tremendous means of expanding one’s vision as well as being motivational and causing one to give cheerfully and abundantly. You will have the opportunity to see firsthand the return of your contribution investment. "...behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest" (John 4:35).