Scripture has so much to say regarding monetary gifts that we can only barely touch on it here in this blog. For the sake of brevity, we would like to touch on four principles regarding Biblical giving.
In 1 Corinthians 16:2, the Apostle Paul gives this instruction to the church at Corinth: "On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don't wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once."
Our giving is to be:
- Personal -- each is to give
- Planned -- each is to give regularly
- Proportional -- each is to give proportionally of his/her income
- Pleasing -- each is to give from a joyful heart
Personal - Each follower of Jesus is responsible to put aside from his/her earnings funds for the ministry of the church.
Planned - The first day of the week (Sunday) was when the church met to worship. They were to plan to give on those days. When Paul wrote this letter much of the general public was paid on a daily basis. Most in our culture are paid twice a month. The simple point is that when we have income, plan to give the following Sunday from that income.
Proportional - We are not told how much to give. Many see the Old Testament tithe (10% of one's income) as a good guideline. But some can and desire to give a larger percentage, still being able to live comfortably on what remains. Scripture does teach us that we are merely managers of what we have and that God is the owner of it all (Psalm 24:1)
Pleasing - This last principle is drawn from 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, where it tells us that "God loves a cheerful giver." Our "heart" decides what to give. This is a personal, willful decision -- not a pressured or manipulated decision.
Biblical giving is a well thought-out and willfully determined spiritual decision of managing what God has allowed to come into our hands. At Oakwood we encourage people to joyfully give as they have purposed in their heart. Many have found that this kind of giving is truly rewarding and pleasing not only for us, but our God as well.