This Sunday we have a ‘Giving Sunday’, where I’ll teach on the biblical principles of financial giving, and why giving to a local church is a good idea. In this blog post I want to talk about 3 freedoms that come from giving.
You see, most people think that if they give financially they’ll ‘lose out’; they’ll be inhibited in some way. However, when we consider how money works in our lives and heed the warnings of scripture about the power of money to blind us, enslave us and destroy us, we may see it differently. Here is how.
(1) Freedom with God (giving him control)
I want you to think of your relationship with God like a marriage (which is actually a biblical way to think of it, just read Hosea 1-3 or Ephesians 5:21-32). In a marriage greater freedom comes when there is greater commitment and vulnerability. If one person holds back; if one person is not willing fully disclose themselves spiritually, emotionally, practically/financially and spiritually, then the relationship will not be as intimate, as free or as life-giving. Self-preservation in marriage will hinder the marriage, as I have written about here. The same is true to a lesser extent in any relationship.
And the same is true when it comes to a relationship with God. If we want a freedom and intimacy with God, he has to have ‘all of us’, including our finances. And a way of working out whether we really have surrendered and given ourselves to him, is to obey his instructions to give some of our money away. It reveals our commitment to him. It cements our trust in him.
So give your money to give God control… and you’ll know freedom!
(2) Freedom with Others (belonging and committing to the church)
In the Old Testament there were numerous instructions about giving a tenth of what you earned, as (a) a sacrifice to God (point 1), but also (b) to support the priests (point 2). Financial giving was not only part of their individual worship, it was also part of their solidarity as a community. And these themes are all beautifully fulfilled in the description of the church in Jerusalem in Acts 2.
42 They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,
It’s a picture of community life that we all long for, a freedom to share our lives, our homes and our finances with others. Later, in Acts 19-21, when the church in Jerusalem is experiencing tougher times (a famine maybe), Paul asks the church in Macedonia to give to them (see 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 and 2 Corinthians 8-9). And then, in line with Jesus’s words that ‘a worker deserves his wages’ (Luke 10:7), Paul in 1 Timothy 5 says that those who work full time for the church should be financially provided for by the congregation.
So the teaching of the Bible is clear: part of why we give to the local church is to help us belong and be committed to the church. To experience the freedom to share life with our brothers and sisters as the early church did. We’re a family and we all have our part to play, including giving financially.
So give your money to belong to the church family.
(3) Freedom with yourself (ensuring your heart finds security and joy in God, not money)
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
Money can trap us. Money can plunge us into ruin and grief. Money can cause us to wander from the path. So we must be careful. One way to ensure your heart is free and that money isn’t controlling you is to give it away. It is a practical way, a spiritual discipline in fact, to ensure your heart finds security and joy in God, and not money. We need to learn to see giving our money away not as a ‘loss’ but as a ‘gain’ – a gain in personal freedom and a gain in terms of building God’s eternal kingdom and our future happiness.
So give your money to be free in yourself.
- Why Give? 5 Obvious Reasons
- Giving at Christ City Church: motivation is everything
- How to Give (practical information)
Also please note that:
- Leanne and I do not know who gives to Christ City Church. Only the finance team know.
- Leanne and I do not receive any financial income from the Church