Tag Archives: giving

The Christian’s Giving and the Church’s Treasury #1960

1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:1–2, NKJV)

The goal of Paul’s “orders” to the churches was to have funds prepared to apply to the “collection for the saints” – a gift that was being gathered from among Gentile churches to relieve needy Jewish Christians in Jerusalem (Rom. 15:25-27; 2 Cor. 8:4; 9:1, 12). This order of readiness necessarily implies treasuries existed in each local church. Freewill offering continues to be how each local church of Christ funds its work of benevolence, evangelism, and edification. Verse 2 gives concise answers to essential questions about our giving. 1) When? On the first day of the week. 2) Who? Each one of you. 3) What? Lay something aside. 4) How? As he may prosper. 5) Why? That there be no collections when I come. Their gift would be collected and ready to send to Jerusalem when Paul arrived (1 Cor. 16:3-4). A treasury into which each one lays something aside accomplished this then, and now (see the church’s treasury in Acts 4:34-5:4). With singleness of heart, Christian give bountifully, cheerfully, and thankfully to fund the work God gives local churches (2 Cor. 8:1-5, 12; 9:6-11).

Being Filled with the Spirit #1901

18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God. (Ephesians 5:18–21, NKJV)

Filling oneself with wine (intoxicants) dulls the senses. But, being filled with the Spirit enlivens the heart with thankful songs of praise. Being filled with the Spirit leads Christians 1) To speak to one another in songs of worship. Worshipful singing is not entertainment, but engagement. In it, we communicate teachings and admonitions that are consistent with the word of Christ (Col. 3:16). 2) To sing and make melody in our hearts to the Lord. We pluck the chords of our hearts to produce musical sounds of grace from our lips. Christians cheerfully sing praises to God from the heart (Jas. 5:13; Heb. 2:12). 3) To give thanks for all things. The Spirit of Christ teaches us to find blessings in everything, even in trials of pain and suffering, for they purge and purify our faith (Matt. 6:10-12; 2 Cor. 12:7-10; 1 Pet. 1:6-9). 4) To submit to one another in the fear of God. This submission to each other is not slavery, but service that is activated by a fear of God. Thus, we accentuate the welfare of others before ourselves (Phil. 2:3-4; 1 Pet. 5:5). Being filled with the Spirit is not a miraculous event. It means to put yourself under the Spirit’s guiding influence by following the truth He revealed (Jno. 16:13).

Charitable Deeds #1870

1 Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 3 But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly. (Matthew 6:1–4, NKJV)

Giving to the poor is undeniably a way Christians “do good to all” (Gal. 6:10). The rich are reminded to be “ready to give” (1 Tim. 6:17-18). (In today’s world, most of us qualify as rich.) We should look for and use our opportunities to help others. When we do, God sees the motive of our heart. Jesus said we ought to seek God’s honor and not the praise of men for our acts of charity. To announce our charitable deed is like blowing a trumpet before us so they will know how generous we are. It is selfish hypocrisy to help others out of a heart that wants others to honor us for it. Though honored by people, such will not be rewarded by God. Let us do our charitable deeds from a heart of compassion. In due time, we will reap what we have sown (Gal. 6:7-10).

Giving with Faith in God #1845

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: 9 “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.” (2 Corinthians 9:8–9, NKJV)

Christians do not give seeking renown or repayment for their acts of kindness (Lk. 14:12-14). The Lord sees unselfish giving, and He will repay it (Matt. 6:1-4). In today’s passage, Paul exhorted the Corinthians to give bountifully, purposefully, and cheerfully to the relief of needy saints in Jerusalem (2 Cor. 9:1, 6-7). He did so by assuring them God would abundantly supply their ability to participate in this good work. Reminiscent of Malachi’s admonition to Israel, Paul implies we cannot out give God (Mal. 3:8-10). We are to trust God to provide our own needs as well as our ability to give to others (2 Cor. 9:10-11). And so, like God, the pious person disperses to the poor without thought of return (v. 9; Psa. 112:9). Let us be bountiful, purposeful, and cheerful givers who trust God to provide our needs even as He supplies our ability to give to others.

Willing Hearts Give According to Ability #1636

10 And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; 11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. (2 Corinthians 8:10–12, NKJV)

Christians in Jerusalem were in desperate need of relief, and the Corinthian church desired to serve them. Their desire to help had prompted them to begin to help a year earlier (v. 10). Apparently, they had not yet completed this work. (Paul had previously instructed them on this matter, 1 Corinthians 16:1-3.) Now, Paul counsels them to bring their actual giving into harmony with their desire to help (2 Corinthians 8:16-9:15). Paul explained God did not expect from them what they were unable to give (v. 12). God would accept their giving based on their willingness and their ability to do so. We thus conclude that a willing heart plus one’s ability produces giving that Gods accepts. The Macedonian churches had set an example of willing hearts plus generous giving (2 Corinthians 8:1-5). Giving without a willing heart becomes coercion. Readiness to give without following through becomes empty rhetoric. With willing hearts, may we fully give according to our ability, we may be confident of the Lord’s acceptance.

“He Ran and Worshiped Him” #1630

When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. (Mark 5:6, NKJV)

Quite a number of people believe every part of their daily life constitutes worship. Today’s verse (it is not the only one) shows that is not so. Worship (“to pay homage to, to prostrate oneself in homage”) is a particular action by the worshiper given to the object of worship. Please notice the man was not worshiping Jesus when he saw him from a distance. The man was not worshiping Jesus when he ran to Jesus. It is when he arrived that he “worshiped Him.” Christians are instructed to worship God “in spirit and truth” – such are true worshipers (John 4:23-24). Worship involves particular actions directed toward God (prayer, singing praises, the Lord’s supper, giving, and preaching God’s word (Acts 2:42; 1 Corinthians 14:15-16; 11:23-26; 16:1-2). Therefore, worship is more than just going to the lake or mountains and communing with nature. God has revealed the worship He accepts. It is our obligation to offer it to Him without our subtractions or additions. Let us live holy, devoted lives every day, and let us worship God as Scripture directs, with right hearts (“spirit”) and God-approved actions (“truth”).

Warning Against Charity for Praise from Others #1602

1 Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. (Matthew 6:1–2, NKJV)

Giving to those in need is nullified before our heavenly Father if our motive for giving is impure. Charity given from a desire to be seen and praised by others will not be rewarded by God. When recognition from men is one’s motive for giving, that is the only reward the giver will receive. The trumpet of the hypocrite is sometimes heard on social media, where it has become rather routine to “share” the charitable deeds one does. The trumpet is heard in boastful announcements of what one has done or how much one has given to a worthy cause (see the contrast in Matthew 6:3-4). We must have pure motives when we give, for even “though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor,” if I “have not love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). Pride warps our motives for doing good. Yes, it is possible to pretend righteous motives when we give, but God knows our hearts and He will reward or withhold His blessing accordingly. Let us purify our hearts and do good to others so they will be blessed and so God will bless us, too.

The Church is not a Business #1414

1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: 2 On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. (1 Corinthians 16:1–2, NKJV)

The church is not a business. Yet, most churches around the world are organized and operated as if they are. Businesses exist to make money. Churches exist to do the God-given work of evangelism, spiritual edification, and to address benevolent needs of the saints (Acts 2:42-46; 5:12-14; 11:27-30). Churches are given one Scriptural way to gather funds to accomplish their work: Voluntary giving on the first day of the week. This is the one passage in the New Testament that teaches the churches when, who, and how to gather funds, and also why to do so this way. When do we give? (The first day of the week.) Who gives? (Each one of you.) How do we give? (According to our prosperity.) Why give this way? (So that the collection is in readiness for use.) There is no business and investment revenue, no board of directors, and no chief financial officer in the Scriptures. May we add our own ways? No. Does this matter? Yes, because the church belongs to Christ, it is the house of God, not our business to arrange and control according to the latest business model. God’s word, not man’s wisdom, must direct the organization and work of the local church.