Giving is Biblical. Christians are to be generous with our time and treasure. God empowers us to live above the sins of covetousness and greed. Do you practice these four types of Biblical giving?
Alms is anything given to relieve the poor. It could be money, food, clothing, shelter, etc. God expects for us to look for the needs of the less fortunate and fulfill them as He leads us by His Holy Spirit. Recently, a few men in our church noticed that a family that drives a long distance to come to our church had bald tires on their vehicle. Those men privately gave money to purchase tires. The beneficiaries don’t even know who provided the funds. That is alms.
A meal bought for a hungry man would be alms. So would a coat bought to protect a child from the cold. Groceries that are given to a family that no income. These are all examples of alms. When is the last time you saw a need and quietly fulfilled it?
Build some money into your budget so you can be a blessing as God brings needs to your attention.
Matthew 6:1–4 “Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.”
Abraham tithed before the Law. Moses penned it in the Law. Jesus commended it in the New Testament. Yes, you should Tithe. The Tithe is the 10% of your increase. The Tithe belongs to God. Truthfully, everything we are and have belongs to God. He allows us to keep most of our increase, but the tithe is not ours. We get the privilege of returning the Tithe to God in our local church’s offerings. Did you Tithe last week?
Each of us is blessed or cursed based on our obedience to returning the Tithe. Many Christians don’t trust God enough to give the tithe. This lack of faith is a shame. God dares you to prove Him! Put God first. He will bless your obedience with the true riches that cannot be bought with money. God will enable you to do more with 90% of your income after you tithe than you can do with 100% of your income after robbing God.
Leviticus 27:30 “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s: it is holy unto the Lord.”
Malachi 3:8–11 “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, Even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be meat in mine house, And prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, And he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; Neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.”
An offering is anything given over and above the Tithe. If you don’t Tithe, you cannot give an offering. Until you give 10% of your increase, each penny you give is part of your unfulfilled Tithe.
An offering is a freewill gift. God doesn’t set the amount, but He does command that you give something. World missions, building programs, church initiatives, etc. are all examples of offerings. Did you give a freewill offering over and above your tithe last week?
Exodus 35:5 “Take ye from among you an offering unto the Lord: whosoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it, an offering of the Lord; gold, and silver, and brass,”
Exodus 35:29 “The children of Israel brought a willing offering unto the Lord, every man and woman, whose heart made them willing to bring for all manner of work, which the Lord had commanded to be made by the hand of Moses.”
Deuteronomy 16:10 “And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the Lord thy God with a tribute of a freewill offering of thine hand, which thou shalt give unto the Lord thy God, according as the Lord thy God hath blessed thee:”
Deuteronomy 23:23 “That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the Lord thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.”
Grace giving is the goal for the Christian. Grace giving is when God supernaturally enables you to give beyond your power. It happens when God knows He can funnel money through you without you keeping it for yourself. The Macedonians were able to give by grace in spite of deep poverty and great affliction. The average Christian looks at their budget and tries to decide what they can afford to give. The spiritual Christian prays and asks God what they should give.
Tithing is not mentioned much in the New Testament because God doesn’t want us to do only what is required. He wants us to learn that He can work through us mightily when we yield to Him. Tithing is the floor. The least acceptable gift. Grace giving is the ceiling. It is supernatural giving empowered by God. There is no limit as to how much God could give through you if you would surrender to Him.
2 Corinthians 8:7 “Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also.”
2 Corinthians 9:7–9 “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.”
Be generous. Practice multiple forms of giving this week!