Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Hamburg
Topical Bible study material on financial stewardship
The riches of giving cannot be over-emphasized. Giving touches and blesses all the components of human lives and existence. It blesses all the spiritual, physical, material, social and mental components of our lives.
Social blessings of giving
Giving establishes reputation in the believer’s life. In Malachi 3:11, God points out clearly that if Israel would tithe and give offering, the surrounding unbelieving nations would be impressed with Israel. Both God and man would find delight in Israel’s obedience. Thus, our giving efforts determine whether we are to be counted or not in the society that we belong.
Physical and mental blessings of giving
Giving shows trust in God. It shows that our good health and sound mind is not dependent on us: the good food you eat; our disciplined lifestyle; our regular exercises; our body nor good national health insurance scheme. John’s prayer for Gaius is an example to this (3 John 2).
Psychologically and mentally, giving creates an atmosphere of expectancy. Abraham believed that offering Isaac was not the end and assured his servants that they would return (Genesis 22:5). He did not lose sight of God’s ability to provide him a son again. Jesus taught that bountiful returns are found in our offerings (Luke 6:38). Paul wrote about similar issue that whoever sows bountifully shall reap also bountifully (2 Cor 9:6)
Some spiritual blessings of financial giving
Giving assesses our level of spirituality
Our spirituality is assessed partly by our financial commitments especially to the local church (Luke 16:10-12). For your reputation check-up, ask yourself, how will the local church testify about me after I am no more with them especially when it comes to financial giving? In this instance, financial giving serves as an indicator of an intimate and continual bond of relationship with God. Our giving spirit also shows that our faith rests on God and not in the substances we have.
Giving shows our trust in God
What we do with our money or income shows that we trust in God. The rich man in Jesus’ story in Luke 12:13-21 died before he could begin to use what he had stored in his big barns. The interesting attitude in this man’s life is that he excluded God in his planning neither did he attribute the source of his produce to God. It is important to point out that the items he produced were not evil per say, however, God who is the source of his life and his strength to produce the items was not recognized nor acknowledged as he planned to spend the resources.
The rich man in the story did not think beyond earthbound goals to use what he had been given for God’s Kingdom. Instead, he planned to spend all on himself. Not giving or offering to anyone whosoever. Faith, service and obedience are the way to become rich toward God (Luke 12:18-20). The man’s heart was not in God but in his items and thought the items could sustain him. This is an example of a deceptive mindset.
God honours a Giving Faith
The fact remains that financial giving evidences faith in God. God honours faith that is seen in giving. Positive examples of this abound in the scripture. Those who walked with God in faith demonstrate what it is to offer something to God. These were even before offering was introduced as part of the law. Some examples can be seen in the lives of Abel, Noah, Abraham and Jacob. The first record of offering brought to the Lord is in Genesis 4:3-7. Cain brought offerings of the produce of the ground, while Abel brought first thing of the flock. By faith Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than Cain. Each one’s offering pointed out his faith. Noah was a just man who walked with God (Genesis 6:9). He built an altar and offered burnt offerings on the altar. Then the Lord smelt a sweet savour (Genesis 8:20-21). Abraham acknowledged his allegiance and trust in God and offered tithe unto Melchizedek, King of Salem, the priest of the most high God (Genesis 14:18-20). Jacob vowed to the Lord saying, of all that thou shall give me, I will surely give the tenth unto you (Genesis 28:22).
Giving shows lives and wills that are fully surrendered to God
Financial giving is a way of saying that as Christians, we have trusted God not only in word but have also made surrender of our lives and wills. Giving then demonstrates to God that our lives are in God’s hands, unlike the rich fool in Luke 12:13-21. It is also a way of living a humble life by acknowledging our insufficiency and thereby trusting in God’s sufficiency.
Giving affirms our consciousness of God’s presence
Giving is a way of saying to God that God is present with us even in the darkest hour of the world and all spheres of life. It shows that the one who sustains us in the midst of international and national economic hardship is not our secured employment, our rich family background, our reliable bank account nor our wise financial planning but God (Deuteronomy 8: 18).
Determine each day, week, month and year to offer valuable part of your income to God as thanks offering. For where your treasure is, there your heart would be.
Our financial giving proves our faith in God. It is a great indication that all that we have comes from God and also our future depends on God. Underlying this is the biblical truth that giving creates atmosphere of expectancy. This can be seen as an expectant faith. How much we give to God with our substance shows how well we expect God to bless us in future. To this, we will agree with William Carrey that: “Expect great things from God and you will attempt great things for God.”
- With reference to Malachi 3:11, how is giving connected to our reputation and social blessings?
- State and explain any three spiritual blessings of financial giving.
- To Jesus, “life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.” How far is this true in your life?