Jamie Dunlop helped me reshape my thinking. He opened my eyes to see that we give for the sake of our hearts, for the sake of reward, and to glorify God.
In his book “Why Should I Give to My Church” he takes us through scripture especially the New Testament to see:
· Giving protects your heart from becoming attached to the things of this world. Our heart will follow our treasure (Matthew 6) so we better resolve to live so that if heaven turns out not to be real, our lives will have been an utter calamity (1Corinthians 15:19);
· Paul urges the Philippians to give as it will meet a glorious reward thereafter (Philippians 4:17), an eternal reward. We would be woefully short-sighted if we fail to factor this in our financial strategy;
· Every time we give to ministry work, we are making a statement that God is better than anything else we could have done with that money. We are glorifying God with our substance. Use your money to show off the glory and wonder of Jesus; and
· Where better to give than to your church (local church) where your soul is taught, the one institution that will prevail (Matthew 16:18), one that the Lord bought with His blood and one that God calls you to submit to as a Christian (Hebrews 13:17). Honestly, will you trust the church with your soul and not with your money?
Resolve to give to your church! Plan how to go about it (2 Corinthians 9:7–8), give cheerfully, and remember it is spiritually rewarding, accomplishes God’s purposes, and brings glory to God.
In this small 22-page booklet, Dr. Peter Masters makes a case for purposeful Christian giving by saying that:
· What we have is the Lord’s because we are stewards, not owners. That means we need to get out of the “ours-His” mentality where we have money we regard as our own and a portion that is the Lord’s. The author explains this through Luke 21:1–4 where a widow gave all she had to live on while everyone else gave out of their abundance. Everyone else had enough to spare and gave the surplus to the temple while the widow, though being poor, “put in all she had to live on. verse 4” And for that Jesus commends her.
· The Chief aim of Stewardship is the lifting up of the Word of God through the proclamation of the gospel. This means giving should be prioritized to enable the work of preaching and teaching. The idea that church ministers should be supported was not thought up by ministers, it was ordained by God. It is God’s plan and will — 1 Cor 9:14.
· The Manner of stewardship in 1st Cor 16:1–2 speaks of the frequency and spirit. It is a mark of Christian character because giving is a grace-a manifestation of the grace of God in the heart. Did not Paul tell the Corinthians that their giving would prove the sincerity of their love? — 2 Cor 8: 9.
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