7 Biblical Guidelines for Giving to God
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Introduction
Giving to God is one of the greatest privileges that your gracious Father in heaven has bestowed upon you...

  • As you shall see, giving to your heavenly Father is supposed to be an act of your HEART, done with great love and joy.
  • If your giving becomes a burdensome adherence to some set of rules or traditions, something is WRONG.
  • This study will examine seven of the basic guidelines that the Bible provides on this subject.
  • In the final analysis, how much you give to God is a very private and personal matter between you and Him. Discuss it with Him often. Then "give until it feels GOOD."

Guideline #1 - give proportionally

  • The amount of money you give to God should be proportional to your financial status.
  • That is, give as you are able to give, within your current income.
  • The verses quoted alongside provide no Biblical basis for going into debt so as to give to God.
  Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you. Deu 16.17

For if there is first a willing mind,
it (
your offering to God) is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. 2 Cor 8.12

On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up
as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 1 Cor 16.2 (see also Lev 14.30)

Guideline #2 - give systematically

  • The amount of money you set aside for God should be regular, systematic and carefully planned.
  • One good way to do this is to make a budget for ALL your income and expenses.
  • Your monetary gifts to God should be a top priority and integral part of your budget.
  On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 1 Cor 16.2

Guideline #3 - give of your firstfruits

  • The amount you give to God should be at the head of your budgeted expenditures -- the FIRST item on the list.
  • The amount you give to God should NOT be an afterthought.
  • Neither should your giving be based on whatever is left over at the end of your paycheck.
  • In other words, give to God from your firstfruits, NOT from your leftovers.
  Honor the LORD with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase Prov 3.9

Guideline #4 - give to God in loving gratitude for what you have received from God

  • If you give grudgingly, or fearfully, or as a burdensome obligation, keep your money. God neither wants nor needs it.
  • With God, your heart attitude when you give is everything. Everything!
  • Giving should be an expression of your love, joy, and gratitude toward God. Nothing more. Nothing less.
  So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor 9.7

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,
but have not love, it profits me nothing. 1 Cor 13.3

Guideline #5 - give in order to get

  • God WILL prosper a cheerful giver.
  • Oh, He may or may not make you wealthy in terms of worldly goods, but He definitely will bestow His spiritual riches upon you.
  Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you. Lk 6.38
  • Your "bank account in heaven" will grow immensely as you give lovingly and cheerfully to God.
  • Riches on earth? "You can't take 'em with you." Riches in heaven? Thine FOREVER!
  (Jesus said...) Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Mt 6.19-21

Guideline #6 - your gifts are "Top Sacred"

  • We have seen that God loves a cheerful giver. The verse alongside shows that God also loves a SNEAKY giver.
  • In other words, how much you give is PRIVATE information, just between you and God.
  (Jesus said...) When you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing Mt 6.3

Guideline #7 - love gifts to the needy are also gifts to God

  • You must, of course, contribute to the support of your local church -- in labor, and spirit, and prayer, and money.
  • However, not all of your gifts to God must be given to or through your church.
  • Any gift to a needy person or group, done as an act of love TOWARD GOD, is indeed a gift unto God Himself.
  He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given. Prov 19.17

What you owe

  • In the final analysis, no one but God (and His Bible) can or should tell you how much money to give Him.
  • With God, your heart's attitude when you give is MUCH more important than the amount of $$$.
  • For related reading on this general topic, see our page on FRUIT.

How much do you owe God? There isn't enough money in all creation to pay that debt. Nevertheless...

  Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 Pet 1.18-19

How much should you give?

  • How much should you give God? Everything you own. Your very life!

As to the $$$ part of it...

  • Consider well the Bible's teachings on the subject.
  • Talk to your heart.
  • Talk to God.
  • Then give to your heart's content, for your loving heart, in God's eyes, is the greatest gift you own!
 
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you
present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Rom 12.1

In conclusion - a few OPINIONS for folks who are deeply in debt
A frequent question asked of Biblebell goes like this...

"We are deeply in debt. We think we should pay off our bills as quickly as possible, so as to save interest charges. After we catch up, we can give more to God. Is this plan okay?"

Biblebell's answer...

  • What you are proposing is, in essence, "borrowing from God."
  • The amount you are borrowing is the difference between what you would LOVE to give God (considering only your income) and the amount you actually WILL give Him (considering your debts).
  • I can't tell you if you should or should not borrow from God. That's between you and Him.
  • If you DO borrow from God, you had better keep careful records, so that you can faithfully and lovingly repay Him every penny just as soon as you are able.

However, I have a question...

  • Did you get this deeply into debt because of unforeseeable emergencies, such as major medical expenses?
  • Or did you just drift into debt because of careless management and greed?
  • If you are in the latter category, I strongly suggest you do NOT borrow from God.
  • Instead, you need to see your Pastor, &/or a godly financial counselor, and get your act together. NOW!
  • To do otherwise is to deceive yourself and, worse, to try and deceive God to boot.

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