Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Why should we be generous people? | Reasons for giving

People give for a variety of reasons. Some give out of fear, afraid of God's punishment in their lives if they don't give. Others give because they desire to be obedient to God's Word. And some give because they understand the principle of sowing and reaping.

For me in my own journey of generosity, I don't have just one reason I give back to the Lord. I give for a multitude of reasons such as:
  1. Loving God. Jesus said in Matthew 22:37 that the greatest commandment was to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." God wants us to love Him with everything we have, including our money. We should give because we love Him.
  2. Obedience. In John 14:15, Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey what I command." If we believe that God has asked us to give, then we should obey.
  3. The principle of sowing and reaping. God has placed into this world a natural law of sowing and reaping: we reap what we sow. In modern day language, we harvest whatever we plant. In 2 Corinthians 9:6 we read, "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously." I desire to sow generously in order reap generously.
  4. Growing in faith. Through giving, we grow in our faith in God to live on less than we make and for Him to supply our needs. "But just as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving" (2 Corinthians 8:7).
  5. God's blessing in meeting our own needs. In Philippians 4:14-19, the Apostle Paul tells the church at Philippi that if we want God to meet our own material needs than we should give. "... you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account... And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus."
  6. Joy. Joy in the Lord and giving are interconnected. If I'm truly joyful, I will give. If I give, I will be joyful. "Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability" (2 Corinthians 8:2-3).
  7. Meeting the physical needs of my church and others. From its beginnings in the book of Acts, members of the body of Christ have given in order to meet the needs of each other. "All believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared evereything they had... There were no needy persons among them. From time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need" (Acts 4:32, 34-35).
  8. The treasure principle. I have blogged about the treasure principle extensively in a previous post. In summary, God wants us to give in order to lay up for ourselves treasure in heaven for all eternity. "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6:19-20).
So, why do you give?

1 comment:

  1. Great post. I think most Americans don't give because they are blinded by debt and materialism.