“This is pathetic. I got a promotion and a raise in pay, but there’s no difference in my take-home pay. There must be a mistake in the calculations. I know deductions are bad, but this bad? Give me a break. Government pension, company pension plan, employment insurance, income tax, registered savings plan, union dues, health plan – you name it! It all comes off and leaves me with practically nothing. I think my take-home pay is decreasing. And the minute I arrive home, I’m confronted with our car payment, my student loan, our mortgage payment, our utility bill and the list goes on. How am I supposed to get excited about buying a friend a wedding gift!”
To quiet your anxious mind, you pick up your Bible and begin to read:
On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper. 1Corinthians 16:2
If you check out one of the marginal references, you will read:
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2Corinthians 9:7
How much of your paycheck or your weekly allowance do you give to the Lord? Does He get the left-overs – the loose change in your pocket or the $5 bill you were surprised to see remaining in your wallet? Are you in a scramble on Sunday morning (the first day of the week) to find something to give?
If every Christian gave the same percentage of their income as I give on a regular basis, would the local New Testament church I attend be able to pay its monthly utility bills?
If all the believers gave like I give, would the assembly of believers be able to support the poor, the spread of the Gospel at home and on the mission fields as well?
The Bible plainly teaches our duty to give and to not only give, but to give generously. If tithing under the Law in the Old Testament was ten percent, some say that should be the bare minimum under grace.
The Bible teaches devotional giving. How much we give from where it hurts (the pocket book) is a strong indicator of our true devotion to Christ. That’s the teaching of 2Corinthians 9. Our giving should be in response to the fact that Christ gave His all for us. He became poor for our sakes.
The Bible teaches personal giving. Each person is to decide in their hearts how much they will give.
Our giving should be systematic – not spotty or sporadic. A weekly plan to give. Putting aside something for the first day of each week. A weekly payroll deduction.
Our giving should be proportional. How much I give should be proportional and be adjusted with every increase in my pay. That’s the thought behind “as he may prosper.”
We should give cheerfully. Christ willingly and joyfully became poor for our sakes. God loves a cheerful giver.
How’s your track record so far? Many of you are young people. Start now. Bow your heart before the Lord and purpose in your heart to always give generously. Be known in Heaven as a generous and giving believer – its Christ-like. It’s God-like. Be known on earth as a generous Christian – one who loves to give.
It may mean you will want to open the Lord’s Account at your local bank – an account where you can automatically and systematically transfer the percentage. Take the Lord’s portion automatically off the top of your pay before you spend any of it.
What I do with my money, says more about what I think of Christ than any words of worship or prayers I say with my mouth.
Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.
Warmly in Christ
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