Giving is Worship
The Bible teaches that Christian giving is an act of worship. In connection with the previous point, we see this truth stressed in another way in Paul's word's "On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save" (1 Corinthians 16:2). Paul here teaches the Corinthians that their taking up of the collection is an act of worship which is to be a part of their regular Lord's Day worship. When we put our money in the plate, we are worshiping Almighty God in accordance with His Word. Note well, Paul is speaking here of a "collection for the saints" - this is giving by the Church to the Church for the Church. Did you realize that giving is a part of worship? Is your worship in this area abundant or inhibited? Is giving to the Church a priority with you?
Scriptures on giving
- 2 Corinthians 8:9-15 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake, He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. I give my opinion on this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this but also to desire to do it. But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability. For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality - at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality; as it is written, "HE WHO gathered MUCH DID NOT HAVE TOO MUCH, AND HE WHO gathered LITTLE HAD NO LACK."
- 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
In a review of New Testament passages, a few principles for Christian giving are listed below:
1. The Lord Jesus expects and requires us to give. Jesus said to His disciples, "when you give" not "if you give" (Matthew 6:2)! Hence, Christian giving is not optional, but rather essential. We often hear folks say: "in the Old Testament they had to give, but not in the New - now we only give if we want to." This is clearly not Jesus' teaching. He expected all His followers to be givers. Christians will give. Are you giving?
2. The Lord Jesus wants us to give for the right reasons. Jesus warned His disciples not to give for the sake of being admired by men. "Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them," He said (Matthew 6:1). When we give, we must be careful to examine our motives. We ought to give for the glory of God and the good of His people. We must desire His approval of our giving, rather than the praise and admiration of people. Are you giving for God's praise or man's?
3. The Lord Jesus wants us to practice benevolent or charitable giving. Jesus said "When you give to the poor . . . ." (Matthew 6:2-3). Jesus is specifically teaching about "alms" in this passage: aid, charity, or benevolent offerings for the needy. Do you give amply enough to the Church that she can be generous in benevolent giving?
4. The Lord Jesus reminds us that our giving is ultimately to the all-seeing heavenly Father. Jesus said "When you give . . . ; your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you" (Matthew 6:3-4). When we give, we are not simply adding to the Church budget, we are giving up a thank offering to the Father Himself. Thus, we must all give "as unto the Lord." Our ultimate goal in giving is to please Him. Are you conscious of the fact that your giving is to the Lord and seen by the Lord?