We prefer not to talk about money, but Jesus did – quite a lot! He taught that giving is part of discipleship and everything we have is a gift from the Father.
Start with the heart: though the Old Testament system mandated giving one-tenth as an act of worship and as practical support for the priests and those unable to support themselves in Hebrew society, God has always been more interested in the heart than the amount (Micah 6:8).
It’s fun for the whole family. A special piggy bank for designating money for God makes giving concrete for children, provides an opportunity to teach about the larger picture of money management – and reminds the parents of financial priorities.
Give without seeking recognition. The Bible talks about not even letting your left hand know what your right hand is doing (Matthew 6:3).
Even if you’re struggling financially, you can set aside some money for an offering and follow the Spirit’s prompting to give; you may be surprised by the ways God provides for your basic needs.
God invites us to partner with him: by giving him lordship of our finances, we are blessed and can be a blessing to others and ministry flourishes.
Remember that all your money and resources belong to God, not only the gifts and offerings you give away. Wisely steward all that he has given you.
Give cheerfully. This isn’t protection money or bribes to earn God’s favour; however, Jesus urges us to store up treasures in heaven instead of amassing earthly wealth (Matthew 6:19–21).
Give off the top and trust God to meet your basic needs (Matthew 6:25–34). Giving reminds us that God comes first in our lives and he alone deserves that priority.
God is more interested in justice and righteousness than hypocritical offerings. (See Amos 5:21–24 and Micah 6:8.) Jesus chastises the Pharisees for giving “a tenth of your spices” but neglecting “the more important matters of the law – justice, mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23–24).
God doesn’t need our money – we give for our own sake, to cultivate generosity and gratefulness. Our God is generous, having lavished his love upon us through Jesus Christ, and he continues to give his Spirit to us daily! Let us emulate that generosity in our daily living with our wallets and our watches.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of heaven’s armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” (Malachi 3:10 NLT).