The Cost of Giving
How do you determine how much your contribution to the work of the church will be? Is the amount you give determined by your total pay for that week? Maybe you base your giving on how much is left after you pay your bills. However you determine what your contribution will be it should be in a manner that will please the Lord.
Perhaps the best example of giving is found in Luke 21:1-4. There scripture tells us that a poor widow was amongst many giving into the temple treasury.
Jesus said this widow gave "more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had."
That we are to give at all is made clear by several places in the Bible. One of those scriptures, 2 Cor. 9:7, includes what our attitude should be in giving:
"Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
This scripture also shows us that giving is something that is planned ("as he purposeth in his heart") and not some last minute thought as the collection plate is going around.
When trying to determine how much our contribution should be we may get a starting point from the Old Testament. There the children of God were expected to give a tenth, or tithe, of all that they had (Gen. 28:22; Lev. 27:30-32; Deut. 26:12). The wise man Solomon also provides us an example of how we should give:
"… neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing" (2 Sam. 24:24).
Our contribution is another way in which we serve our God. It should be something that we look forward to doing and not as something that is a burden. The amount should be based on how much we gain each week and planned before we get to worship service on Sunday.
To be pleasing to our Heavenly Father, our giving should be not from our abundance but from all we have. Certainly God does not expect us to neglect the needs of our family (1 Tim. 5:8) but neither should we neglect the financial needs of the church. The more we give the more our God will bless us:
"Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again" (Luke 6:38).
In Christ, Steve Preston
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