Giving is a ministry opportunity. I think we forget how frequently discussed the topics of wealth, stewardship and money are in the Bible. Perhaps we forget that because there aren’t a lot of pastors or churches that are comfortable teaching in that area.
We can’t ignore all the Bible has to say about money, just like we can’t ignore all the Bible has to say about relationships, marriage, child-rearing, and hard work. Giving is a big part of ministry for believers.
Paul does a great job outlining the importance of giving, as it relates to all of the ministries in a local church. Let’s take a quick look at 2 Corinthians 8 and 9.
In this passage, Paul is writing to the church in Corinth and bragging up the Macedonian church. He is highlighting all of the trials and tests the Macedonians have gone through, and yet they have remained faithful givers. He says “they are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.” 2 Cor. 8:2
He goes on to say they have given above and beyond what they can afford of their own free will, and how the Macedonians “begged us again and again for the privilege of sharing in the gift for the believers in Jerusalem.” 2 Cor. 8:5
Paul then shifts his focus back to Corinth and encourages them to finish this ministry of giving. He says, “since you excel in so many ways – in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us – I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.” 2 Cor. 8:7
After additional encouragement Paul talks about the “how” when it comes to giving in 2 Cor. 9. He goes on, “Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. “ 2 Cor. 9:6-8
Here is the awesome, gut-punching point; Paul gets into the “why” behind this ministry of giving, “For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, He will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. So two good things will result from this ministry of giving – the needs of the believers in Jerusalem will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God. As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ.” 2 Cor. 9:10-13
So awesome. We get to give not because God needs us (remember – He is the creator and author of ALL things) but because it is one of the ministries every local church should have. We glorify Him and help spread His word with our giving. It is one of the major opportunities to serve Him and serve others.
Which is why I think there are so many attacks from the enemy in the area of finance. The devil does NOT want us to talk about money in church. He certainly doesn’t want us to be good stewards over it, so that we are able to accomplish so much for God’s glory. As Christians, we need to be comfortable talking and learning about money.
If it was important enough for Jesus to devote so much of His written word to it that probably means He knew we would struggle with it.
Let’s get focused and LOOK for opportunities to be a part of the ministry of giving.