Giving

God has created the world and everything in it. Since everything already belongs to God, giving becomes an act of faith and as we know, faith pleases God. God is concerned about your heart rather than your money, giving is symbolic of where your heart is. Jesus said "your heart is where your treasure is." In other words, if you are willing to give, it shows what is in your heart.

The reason we should give is not only because it shows your heart, it is also because churches, ministries and charities would not be able to survive if they did not receive tithes, offerings and donations. Ministries have expenses and need income to do God's work, to share the good news and reach people for Christ. To define the words, a tithe is what you give to your local church that you attend where you are being fed. An offering is what is given beyond your tithe.

Money can be a sensitive issue for people and how much to give can be a test of faith. The Bible has guidelines about how much of their income a person should give, it states 10%, or your "first fruits." However, giving should never be a have-to, giving should always be a want-to. No one should feel forced or ever force anyone to give. God will reward your act of faith in giving, he says it in the Bible. Malachi 3:10 "Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house and thus put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing." One point I feel led to write regarding how much to give; if what you are giving means something to you, it will mean something to God. The opposite is also true.

Another important point in reference to that Malachi scripture, we don't give with the motive of getting back. God is concerned about our motives and attitude in giving. Give with a cheerful heart, again, give because you want-to. In 2nd Corinthians 9:6, Paul writes "The point is this, the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not relectantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Another important point regarding giving, is to try to give more than just money. It also means giving our time and our talents. Our time and talents can be given in service to the church or in our own private volunteer works which are ministries unto themselves. If God has given you the talent of relating to the elderly well, you might want to volunteer at a senior center or visit an elderly person in their home. Or if you enjoy working with children, you might want to be a big brother or sister mentor or visit a children's hospital and bring joy to their lives. There are countless ways your time and talents can be given to benefit others. And God loves a cheerful giver!