Giving is rooted deep in the Bible, not as an individual act of worship, but a shared act for the purpose of doing ministry and spreading the gospel.
The Bible teaches that giving is a means of supporting the life and work of the “house of God”- the church. The church’s purpose is to bring people to a saving and growing knowledge of Christ.
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.” (1 Cor. 16:1)
In this wonderful verse, God teaches us:
Giving is an act of worship.
Giving is expected of all believers together.
Giving is to be proportional to our living.
The Method of Giving
The earliest example of giving was a tithe – a tenth of one’s income. When God gave the law to Israel, he clearly said he wanted the tithe for his work. When Christ came, he said we should not forget to tithe. And Christ’s apostles taught that the heart of giving was our thankful, proportionate response to God’s abundant blessing on our lives. How can we not give a tenth of what God blesses us with?
The Spirituality of Giving
Sometimes people say they prefer to give spontaneously. Actually, the Bible teaches us to give both spontaneously and regularly. We can do both! The secret is to walk with God so closely that we are always amazed at his goodness and always prompted spiritually to give generously to the Lord’s work. There is nothing more spontaneous and spiritual than a giver who is “cheerful” (2 Cor. 9:7).
The Purpose of Giving
If anything drives our giving, however, it is the commitment Christians have to the purpose of God: that believers should seek to know Christ and make him known in the world. That statement describes everything the church does in ministry and missions. And giving together – cooperative giving – is the key to getting these things done in the most effective way.
When your Southern Baptist church does a simple thing like taking an offering, it isn’t just to pay church bills; it’s to support teaching, ministry, and missions, not just around the corner, but around the world.
Written by: Robert Simms