We need to purpose in our hearts what we will do with our money. We need to plan. Some attempt to worship God, in the act of giving, with haphazard giving. They hurriedly reach into their billfolds and pocketbooks as the collection plate is being passed. It is almost as if they have forgotten that a collection is taken upon the first day of the week. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2).
Furthermore, we need to give as we have been prospered. God does not expect us to give what we do not have. (1 Corinthians 16:1-2; 2 Corinthians 8:11-12; Acts 11:29). Our giving must be in proportion to what we have or how we have been prospered. There is much written in the Word of God concerning our money and our giving, but we hear too little about it in our Bible classes and from our pulpits these days. In fact, when the preacher preaches a lesson concerning this important Bible topic, some say, "Now he's stopped preachin' and gone to meddlin'!"
The fact of the matter is we brought nothing into this world and we will certainly not take anything out. (1 Timothy 6:7). One of the responsibilities of a gospel preacher (an evangelist) is to preach to folks about their money and about their giving. He must tell rich folks, for instance, not to be "... highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." (1 Timothy 6:17-19). He must warn all that a willingness to be rich can cause one to "... fall into temptation and a snare, and into foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition ..." (1 Timothy 6:9). A man's life does not consist in the abundance of the things which he has. (Luke 12:15). Men must be told that they should indeed "... labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth." (Ephesians 4:28).
God expects us to be like Him, i.e. godly. Through the Word He teaches us how to be godly. (Titus 2:11-12; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). God is a giver, and, if we are to be like Him, we must also be givers. (John 3:16; James 1:17). We need to remember the words of Jesus, who said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35). The Lord certainly knew what He was talking about. (2 Corinthians 8:9).
So, brothers and sisters, let us do better in purposing or planning to give back to God. The members of the church of Christ at Corinth planned to give a year in advance. (2 Corinthians 8:10-11). The churches of Macedonia abounded in their giving (2 Corinthians 8:2), for they first gave themselves to the Lord. (vs. 5).
Most of us know what we will make each week. We can and should plan our weekly giving based upon how we are prospered. Remembering, of course, that we will reap as we have sown. (2 Corinthians 9:6-9). Compare Luke 6:38; Malachi 3:8-10). -P.O. Box 285, Crum, WV 25669.
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