The earth is the Lord’s,
and everything in it,
and all who live in it.
We give Thee but Thine own,
what e’er the gift may be;
all that we have is Thine alone
a trust, O Lord, from Thee.
Scripture has much to say about monetary giving. Consider four New Testament principles primarily based on St. Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 16:2: “On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.”
God expects our giving to be…
Personal | Each follower of Jesus is responsible for setting aside some of their earnings to support God’s work through the ministry of the church. Giving is a personal expression of love and trust to God.
Planned | When we have income, plan to give in close proximity to receiving that income. Don’t let it be a last minute thought. In today’s technology-filled world it is easier than ever to give in a prayerful and planned manner.
Proportional | We are not told how much to give. Many see the Old Testament tithe (10% of one’s income) as a good guideline. But some desire to give a larger percentage, still being able to live comfortably on what remains. Scripture teaches us that we are merely managers of what we have and that God is the owner of it all (Psalm 24:1).
Pleasing | Give with a joyful heart. This last principle is drawn from 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, where it tells us that “God loves a cheerful giver.” Our “heart” decides what to give. This is a personal, willful decision — not a pressured or manipulated one. Give eagerly with a smile on your face to express your love for the Lord.
God’s expectation is that our giving is a well thought-out, willfully determined spiritual decision of managing what God has allowed to come into our hands. We give because God has first given to us. We give with a thankful heart. We give to invest in God’s work in the congregation, the community, and the world.