What Does Your Giving Say About Your Spirituality
What Does Your Giving Say About Your Spirituality?
2 Corinthians 8:1-9
When we speak of spiritual growth we tend to focus on things such as prayer life, devotional life, and church life. When someone asks me what they can do to grow closer to God, the answer is simple but loaded. Spend more time with Him. I have to admit that I generally do not equate giving to spirituality. But in reality, our giving tends to increase as our walk with the Lord becomes more real. The closer I get to the Lord, the less important wealth and material things become. Giving is linked to our spiritual growth, because it is a form of worship. One of the most consistent components of worship found in the Bible is that of an offering or sacrifice. Giving is an offering. I even consider tithing a part of our worship. But you say the tithe is required, so how can something that is required be worshipful? Well, the heart of the Bible after redemption is obedience, and if you are willing to be obedient, you have an essential part of worship down. If you believe that God must be worshiped in spirit and in truth, obedience must play a role. Now it is possible to give tithes and offerings without a heart of worship, and that is harshly dealt with in Malachi chapter 1. Mal 1:6-14.If our attitude is giving leftovers, or something that is not our best, then our giving is not worshipping, and it is definitely not spiritual.
Consider the heart of those Macedonian churches that gripped the soul of the Apostle Paul. We see that they had afflictions and deep poverty. They were a troubled group of believers. They literally had to beg Paul to let them be a part of this offering for the saints at Jerusalem. They had the heart that as they gave to this cause, they were in fellowship with the other believers. They also were willing to give themselves. This is the lifeblood of New Testament discipleship. Take up your cross and follow me.
Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. That is worship: Offering yourself, your time, your talent, and your treasure. American Christians gave less than 3%. They spend more on entertainment. Only 8-14% of those that claim to be born again actually tithe. Do you know that the money is there to meet the needs of churches and missionaries to see the Great Commission march to the ends of the earth? If every income earning church member tithed, the amount would be an additional 168 billion per year.
Now the Bible says that it would be nice if we could see the grace that the Macedonians experienced become real in the lives of the Corinthians (6-7). There was no reason that it could not. It was the same God, same Saviour, same Holy Spirit, and the same unified cause.
What does your giving say about your spirituality?
1. It proves the sincerity of our love. You probably have heard the phrase, “You can give without loving, but you can’t love without giving.” God puts the sincerity of our love, and commitment to the test by allowing us the opportunity to give. God says let’s compare the words of your mouth to the reality in your heart. I love my church; do you attend faithfully? I love my ministry; do you put your heart in it? I love the lost; do you witness? I love the Lord; does your giving back up your claim? Luke 16:8-13.
2. It follows the pattern of Christ. Most people agree that we do not understand the sting of poverty unless we were rich at one time. Christ knew poverty because He came from the splendor of glory. John 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
He came because of grace. We are to give because of grace. He became poor for our sakes. He was born in a stable, laid in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. He never owned a home, He had no place to lay His head. But the poverty of Christ refers to more than His economic status.
Galatians 4:4-5 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
When Christ was made a little lower than the angels.
We become rich through the poverty of Christ.
He does not make us materially rich but gave them all the blessings of salvation—forgiveness, joy, peace, eternal life, light, and glory.
Matthew 5:3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
1 Peter 1:4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Do we really need any more motivation to give? What does your giving say about your love and for appreciation of the work of Christ?