It is always amazing to me the many corollary truths are revealed in the Bible. I am speaking of how our choices in one area has an impact on another. The impact could be either negative or positive. My title speaks to one of many corollaries in the Bible the we conveniently overlook.
Over the last two days a couple individuals shared discussions they had with those that were adversarial to Christianity because of the teaching of the Bible. One was an individual that got agitated because a “church” communicated their need for the gospel. The individual dogmatically stated, “I am a good person!” The other conversation was with an individual that was also agitated with the church. Their issue was the church was only trying to get their money. Now, I cannot speak to the details of these situations but in both cases, the topics raised are necessary for a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Let’s look at a passage that deals with the second.
Simply stated, Giving and Godliness are connected. Let me encourage you to read this whole article. Paul communicates very clearly that giving is a personal decision. The church does not have the authority to determining what someone gives. I do not know of any church that send out invoices, but there may be some. I have read of a time in the past when the church was funded by renting a pew. Paul writes on giving, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) He reminds us that our support of God’s work is our personal decision. While there are guidelines for giving in the Bible based off of the Old Testament tithe, there is no predetermined amount. The amount given is up to the individual believer. Just as the Creator does not require that we love Him, he also does not require that we give.
What many believers miss though is corollary blessing of giving. Giving is a measure of our spiritual temperature. It also is connected to God’s blessing in our lives. Paul writes, “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6) The agricultural illustration speaks of the individuals influence on their harvest, or God’s blessing in our lives. This is true because our giving to the Lord’s work reveals our heart for God. It also opens the door for God’s greater blessing in the believer’s life. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8) It is worth noting that God’s blessing is not necessarily a return in dollars, but in abundance in life. This goes way beyond our bank account to include relationships, ministry and other areas of life.
It is here that we begin to see the corollary between my giving and my growth in Godliness. It is as if, my giving to God is an open invitation for God to work in my life.
A few verses later Paul writes, “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 9:10) This is clearly speaking of God not only meeting our physical needs but also contributing to our growth in Godliness.
Let me encourage you to consider this area of God’s blessing that you may have overlooked in your life and your family.
-Pastor Joe Parkinson