Daily Devo - Living Wise in Crazy Times, Day #5
DAY 5: EXCEL IN GIVING TOO
But since you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you - see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
2 Corinthians 8:7, NIV
In times of fear, faith is hard. In times of scarcity, it’s hard to give. Yet Christians are called to do this, no matter the times. In Paul’s context he compares and contrasts two groups of churches. One group was poor, yet generous. The other was rich, yet greedy. The Macedonian churches were poor and had deep poverty (2 Cor. 8:2), and yet they abounded in their generosity. They gave out of their shortage. When they didn’t have much, they still chose to be generous.
The Corinthians, on the other hand, had an abundance of resources, yet they were lackadaisical in giving and contributing towards the ministry and missions of the church. Many in the church had thought they had done enough already.
They served, they taught in kids ministry, they served in hospitality, they led or hosted a small group in their home (or they hosted a house church), so they didn’t really see the need to be generous in their financial giving. They gave their time and talent, why did they have to give their treasure?
The Apostle Paul here revealed that that the Church in Corinth challenged them to excel in giving as they had in other areas of serving. Giving was an area they needed to grow in as well.
Paul wasn’t commanding them to give, but he was comparing them to Macedonia to motivate them, to get into gear! Giving is the gauge of our spiritual health. It’s a test of what’s in your heart. Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). It’s important for us as believers to remain faithful to give and tithe first to our place of worship (Malachi 3:10). Even when times are tough we need to give and trust that God will provide. We are even told that giving a tithe is the one area we can test him!
When you give to the church, you are giving to the Lord and his work. The Bible teaches us to give 10% or more of our income.
Everything is actually God’s (Psalm 24:1),iIncluding all the gold and silver in the world (Haggai 2:8). He is the one who has given you the ability to produce wealth as well. As the scripture says, “But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:18). All our income comes from God, and belongs to God. We are called to give 10% as a tithe, literally 1/10 of our wealth. This could be any income, any gift we receive; we must see as it comes from God, and God wants to be honored. This is for every person. This is for the poor, the rich, the church members, staff, pastors, and Elders. It’s not tax, it’s an investment into the kingdom of God. As we give a tithe, we are partnering together to invest into ministry and missions that help share and show the love of Christ, ensuring that Biblical teaching continues to get into the hands and hearts of people from generation to generation.
Take your next step today. If you have never given, give something! If you give something, give significantly! If you are giving significantly, step forward and give sacrificially (give till it hurts)! If you are ready to give, go online and try our tithe challenge! Additionally, when you automate your giving to our General Fund during the month of April, your gifts will be matched up to $15,000!
You can help North Valley step forward, when many organizations are stepping back. Help us double the number of households that are using automated giving. Currently there are 74 families enrolled in automated giving; we are praying for 148 in the next four weeks to better manage and intelligently plan for the church’s operational budget.
90 Day Tithe Challenge.