The overwhelming primary reason for Christians to give stems from the understanding that all that we have comes from a lavishly generous God! In other words, we give because we have been given. The congregation in All Souls Church, Langham Place is reminded of this truth every Sunday when the Minister, on receipt of the offertory, says ‘All things come from you O Lord and the response is ‘Of your own have we given you’.
The Lord Jesus requires His church to give. In Mathew 6:2, He said ‘when you give’ not ‘if you give’. Jesus expects His followers to be givers.
Christian giving is an act of worship. Worship is seen as all-encompassing – using words in singing, in silence, in giving, in speaking and listening to the Word of God etc. We do not have the freedom to separate word and deed when it comes to worshipping God.
The bible teaches us that giving must be willing and free. Pauls says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 ‘each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver’
It is a joy to be able to bless others with our resources. Those who are generous experience ‘abundant life’ – a quality those who are not generous miss out in this pilgrimage! It does not take a neuroscientist to know that being generous makes people feel good. Studies in Psychology are increasingly seeing a strong correlation between generosity and mental and emotional well-being – for Christians a desirable consequence and not the reason for being generous!
All who profess allegiance to Jesus must give but those of us who are relatively affluent have a solemn responsibility to give more than others. Jesus said ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’
Millions of Christians down through the ages have lived lives of generosity and blessed a countless number of people in so many ways and have thereby played their part in establishing God’s kingdom for the glory of His great name! What is stopping us in continuing this rich tradition of generous living?
The author, John Thomas, is a longstanding supporter and committee member of the KCF.