Paul is writing to the church of Corinth about the giving practices of the Macedonian Church.
Seven Principles That Can Govern Your Biblical Giving
Giving is motivated by God’s grace
Verse 1, “Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia:”
Grace—means divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the light. The most significant things that a believer receives are given by God’s grace. The same grace that saves us, justifies us, empowers us and makes us who we are—is the same grace that motivates us to give. We are not naturally generous. We don’t naturally lean toward giving. It takes the grace of God.
Giving transcends difficult circumstances
Verse 2, “That in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.”
The poorest of us by international standards are rich. Out of poverty, you can give liberally. We cannot think of giving based on our circumstances. Circumstances will come. Just because you and I have a relationship with God doesn’t mean we won’t have circumstances.
Giving is proportionate, sacrificial and voluntary
Verse 3, “For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing,”
You don’t have to worry about what your neighbor is giving; it’s according to your circumstances. There are times when God will pressure you for the extra. He wants to see if your plan will prevail over His.
Giving is an act of worship
Verse 5, “And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.”
Giving is not the intermission between the music and the message. First give yourself to the Lord. You have to have the act of surrender before anything else. If you have given yourself to the Lord—giving your resources is second nature. We have to grow to that place.
“The first thing I do is give myself to God—that is my worship.”—Dr. D’Ann Johnson
Giving is as important as gifting
1 Corinthians 4:1-7
The grace for giving is as important as the grace for gifting. We have been led to believe that if we are gifted—we are more spiritual. We are drawn to gifts because they are spectacular.
Giving is proof of our love
Verse 8, “I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others.”
Sincerity is the truth of love. When you love, you give. When you love something you invest in it. If you say you love God then you will give to Him. Where your treasure is—that’s where your heart is.
Giving demonstrates Christlikeness
Verse 9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.”
Reference scriptures: Read the scriptures below every day in this order.
John 3:16 (NLT)
Galatians 1:4 (NLT)
Titus 2:14 (NLT)
Galatians 2:20 (NLT)
God is the leader in giving. God is calling us to true biblical giving.