Biblical Priciples for Christian Stewardship
Motivated by Grace
What is your motivation for giving? Everyone has some sort of motivation whenever giving: some give out of love, some out of duty, and others to receive something in return. The Bible has much to say about how we are to approach giving to God. 2 Corinthians 8:7 says, “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”
From a Willing Heart
God does not force anyone to give his work. He desires that we do so from a heart that is willing to obey Him, knowing that He only has our best interests in mind. 2 Corinthians 8:5, 12 says, “And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.”
“Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.” –I Chronicles 29:9
God is more interested in our willing heart, than in the dollar value of our gift.
From a Loving Heart
Giving is almost always an expression of love! At Christmas and on birthdays we give to those we love to express our love. This is also true of our relationship with God. If we love Him, we will give to Him. 2nd Corinthians 8:8 says, “I speak not by commandment, but by occasion of the forwardness of others, and to prove the sincerity of your love.”
As we express our love to God through giving, we are also expressing the true spiritual condition of our heart. The Bible says in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
True love always gives, and as we grow in our love for the Lord, it will be reflected in our giving to the Lord.
Following God’s Order
God is a God of order, and in the Bible He has given guidance on how to give.
“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” –2 Corinthians 9:6-7
“Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him….” – 1 Corinthians 16:2
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house….” – Malachi 3:10
In addition to special offerings, the children of Israel gave a tithe, or ten percent of their substance unto the Lord. How much more should we give, being motivated by a love for Christ and a Thankfulness for all for He has done for us?
With God’s Blessing
God continues in Malachi 3:10 “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
While God does not explain what sort of blessing He will pour out upon those who obey Him, we can trust His promise. He will take care of those who honor Him! James 1:17 says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”
As we obey the Lord and give purposefully, consistently and bountifully from a heart of love, we can trust in God’s promises. Proverbs 28:20 says, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent….”