Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
There is an abundance of instruction in the New Testament about Christian giving. All of I Corinthians 9, 2 Corinthians 8 and 2 Corinthians 9 are taken up with this subject. But there are no commands to the people of God anywhere in the New Testament about how much we are to give, when we are to give, or where we are to give. Tithing and all systems like it are things altogether foreign to the New Testament. Like all other acts of worship, giving is an act of grace. It must be free and voluntary. But there are some plain, simple guidelines laid down in the New Testament for us to follow.
1. Christian giving must be motivated by love and gratitude towards Christ (2 Cor. 8:8-9). Love needs no law. It is a law unto itself. It is the most powerful and most generous of all motives.
2. Our gifts must arise from willing hearts (2 Cor. 8:12). If that which you give arises from a willing heart, if it is given freely and cheerfully, it is accepted of God. The Lord is not concerned with the amount of your gift, be it great or small; he looks to the motive behind it.
3. We should give to the work of the gospel in proportion to our blessings from the Lord (I Cor. 16:2). We are expected to give generously in accordance with our own ability.
4. All of God’s people should give (‘everyone,’ I Cor. 16:2; ‘every man,’ 2 Cor. 9:7). Men and women, rich and poor, old and young – all who are saved by the grace of God are expected to give for the support of God’s church and kingdom.
5. We should be both liberal and sacrificial in our giving (2 Cor. 9:5-6). Beloved, we have not really given anything until we have taken that which we need, want and have use for and given it to the Lord (Mark 12:41-44).
6. Our gifts must be voluntary (2 Cor. 9:7).
7. We are to give as unto the Lord (Matt. 6:1-5). We give, not to be seen of men, but for the honor of Christ, hoping for nothing in return. 8. This kind of giving is well-pleasing to God (Phil. 4:18; Heb. 13:16).
Don Fortner, Pastor Grace Baptist Church Danville, Kentucky Grace For Today 4/21/11