From the Pastor’s Heart
What do you think is the greatest motive for giving to the Lord’s church? Some would say it’s to keep the church from going under financially; for a church to close its doors due to bankruptcy would be a shame. Others might say it’s to obey the commands of Scripture, which clearly directs us to tithe (that’s 10%) and give offerings (that’s above 10%). But I feel the primary reason for giving to God is because of His unspeakable Gift to us—the gift of His Son for our salvation (2 Corinthians 9:15).
When we consider God’s infinite love for us, His unfailing mercy toward us, and His lavish provision for all our needs, we will want to express our love for Him by giving Him all we are and have. The Bible is very clear about the right way to give: “Let each one give as he has planned in his heart, neither grudgingly nor by compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7 MLB). Stewardship drives get folks all in a “stew”; budget campaigns can bring “pain.” But heartfelt giving to God in humble gratitude for His love brings joy. Giving should be in proportion to God’s blessings—the more He gives us, the more we should return in the offering plate, not because we have to or feel pressured to do so, but only because of sincere love for the Lover of our soul.
Giving money is only part of our worship. What God wants from us more than offerings is a responsive life. We have the privilege of honoring our Creator, Redeemer, and Friend in every dimension of our lives. Lois A. Cheney wrote a beautiful poem that challenges us to consecrate everything we are and have to God.
If I had a voice, I’d sing to God.
If I had the hands, I’d sculpt for God.
If I had the brains, I’d think for God.
If I had the strength, I’d fight for God.
If I had the skill, I’d write for God.
If I had the faith, I’d build for God.
If I had the heart, I’d love for God.
If I had the money, I’d buy for God.
If our love for God is real, not merely abstract, we’ll prove it by no longer saying “Why doesn’t somebody do something?”, and DO SOMETHING. We’ll join the choir and sing His praises, use our God-given carpentry or electrical skill to install new doors or LED lights in the church, study Scripture and share its treasures, oppose evil whenever it rears its ugly head, write a poem to inspire others’ faith, or give an additional check to increase the impact of the church’s ministries.
We can give without loving, but we cannot love without giving.