Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-11
It’s always awkward to talk about giving in the context of a local church. It seems that once you bring up the idea of asking people to donate their hard-earned money to a church, walls get put up and you can feel the tension growing. When you ask people to excel, as Paul states in our reading, in the giving of their money and not just be generous in spirit, it’s a tough ask.
I have been blessed to have a behind-the-scenes view at Grace Church for many years now. For the last several years being on staff, I have the privilege of seeing the life change happen constantly as a result of the faithful giving here. I see the blessing that we are in our community and the needs that we meet as a result of faithful giving. I see families healed and people walk through painful seasons of their lives, surrounded by faith friends, as a result of faithful giving. I see generational curses broken and kids, weekly giving their lives to Christ as a result of faithful giving.
When you give to a local church, you fund life change.
In our reading today, Paul brags to the Corinthian church about Macedonian and how, in the midst of severe trial:
“…their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.”
Generosity is a lifestyle. Giving is an action.
“But since you excel in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you-see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”
What does it look like to excel in giving?
The first way to excel at giving is to do so faithfully. I know there are many things that you would rather do with 10% of your income, trust me, the thought crosses my mind often. However, God commands us to give 10% back to the church as a tithe. This goes above generosity and into giving.
There have certainly been times where finances have been tight with Kelly and I. I remember looking over our budget and thinking of ways that we can save money but, no matter what, I knew that our tithe wasn’t going to be touched. It simply cannot.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Kelly and I give faithfully because we see the fruit of our giving.
Secondly, excel at giving by doing so above and beyond when you are able. Just the other day, I had a conversation with Kelly about our financial dreams. Being in the middle of Financial Peace University, we are dreaming of what it would look like to be outrageously generous. We are setting ourselves up for financial freedom so that we can give above and beyond when we are able. Kelly and I both cannot wait for that!
Are you faithfully giving to your local church? If not, simply put, you need to. Your giving funds life change.
Are you in a position where you can give above and beyond? Outside of your tithe, what are some opportunities that you have to be generous in your giving?