“…so let him give, not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.”  (II Corinthians 9:7)

The story is told of a Preacher who wanted to see if a Farmer in his congregation was willing to support the Lord’s work.  So one day he confronted him with some very direct questions.  “If you had two farms, would you be willing to give one to God?”   “Certainly!” replied the man.  “No question about it. I only wish I were in a position to do so.”  The minister then asked, “If you had $10,000 would you give $5,000 to the Lord?”  Without hesitation the man responded, “How I’d love to have that kind of money and if I did I’d gladly give $5,000 to the Lord.”  Then the Preacher put this pointed question to his friend; “If you had two cows, would you give one to the Lord?” The Farmer hesitated for a moment and then blurted out, “Hey that’s not fair, you know I have two cows!”

This story teaches a valuable lesson… Talking about giving to the Lord is easy, but when it comes to putting our words into action, we sometimes cringe. Rather than giving with a glad heart, we give with a feeling of obligation, grudgingly.  Certainly this kind of attitude is not pleasing to God and yet I am convinced the reason this attitude is so prevalent is because we don’t fully understand Christian Stewardship from a Biblical perspective.  Following are 15 principles concerning Christian giving that are indisputably revealed in God’s Word…

  1. All you have belongs to God. Psalm24:1, Haggai 2:8
  2. A part of all you earn should be returned to God. Leviticus 27:30-32
  3. The amount you give should be in proportion to what you earn. Leviticus 27:30-32
  4. Your earthly possessions are only temporary. I Timothy 6:17-19
  5. Giving is a profound spiritual principle. Various Texts
  6. Giving must come from the heart. II Corinthians 9:6-8
  7. Giving is a matter of choice, not law. II Corinthians 9:6-8
  8. Giving should be done regularly. I Corinthians 16:1
  9. Giving is an expression of Love and Gratitude. I Corinthians 16:1
  10. Giving puts you closer to the Lord’s work through your church. Matthew 6:21
  11. Giving is the safest investment you can make. Matthew 6:19-24
  12. Giving should be taken seriously. Matthew 6:19-24
  13. Giving will bring you rewards far above what you give. Luke 6:38; Malachi 3:8-10
  14. Tithes withheld are stolen from God. Malachi 3:8-10
  15. It doesn’t pay to rob God. Malachi 3:8-10

In the book of John, we find in Jesus’ words the highest motivation for Christian giving, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”  When you give of self, service and substance to Christ through His Church, love grows and life is enriched.  Give in the Spirit of Love!  Give joyfully! Christian giving reflects your love for Christ, opens your heart to God’s will and makes you a partner in God’s plan for the world.