Ten Ways to Give that Please God

Copyright 2006 Rod Rogers

Pastor, boldly teach the following principles to your people and watch God transform their lives, their giving, and your offerings!

The churches in Macedonia, the northern province of Greece, had given to a collection for poor saints in Jerusalem. In 1 Corinthians 16, and in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, the apostle Paul used their example to inspire the believers at Corinth to give. These three texts provide some of the richest teaching on giving in the New Testament.

Ten Ways To Give That Please God:

1. God Is Pleased When You Give Even Though You Are Overwhelmed With Problems.

“Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality” (2 Cor. 8:1-2)1.

The Macedonians gave even though they were being ridiculed, robbed, beaten, and imprisoned for their faith. Application: We should give to God even when we are overwhelmed with problems.

2. God Is Pleased When You Give Even Though You Are In Abject Poverty.

“In a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality” (2 Cor. 8:2).

Even though the Macedonian Christians were in deep poverty, they gave to God’s work. Application: No matter how bad our financial condition, we can still give something to God. And He expects us to.

3. God Is Pleased When You Give Beyond Your Ability.

“For I testify that according to their ability and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord” (2 Cor. 8:3).

The Macedonians gave what they could afford to give and what they could not afford to give! They gave more than seemed humanly reasonable. Application: God is pleased when we give sacrificially.

When I was pastoring I responded to people who told me they were not able to give by saying, “Great! Then you can give. If you’re not able to give, then you can give! You can give even if you can’t give—beyond your ability!”

4. God Is Pleased When You Give Generously.

“In a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality” (2 Cor. 8:2)

The Macedonians gave generously, even though they were in abject poverty. Application: God wants us to give liberal amounts with generous hearts to His work.

5. God Is Pleased When You Give Eagerly.

“Begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints” (2 Cor. 8:4).

These harassed, poor, believers actually begged and pleaded with Paul to let them have the privilege of sharing in the financial ministry to the Jerusalem Christians. Application: God wants us to be eager to give. The offering should be the highlight of our worship each week.

6. God Is Pleased When You Give Cheerfully.

“Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).

Application: God doesn’t want us to give out of a sense of pressure or guilt, but with joy. Please notice that this does not mean we can wait to give until we feel like it! In many cases we must start giving before we start feeling the joy.

It also does not mean that the pastor should not challenge people to give. There is a huge difference between challenging people to give, and using guilt manipulation to compel them to give. The former is our responsibility; the latter is a sin.

7. God Is Pleased When You Give Yourself To Him And To Your Spiritual Leaders Along With Your Money.

“And this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God” (2 Cor. 8:5).

The Macedonians were devoted to the Lord, to Paul, and to their other spiritual leaders. Application: Once we have given ourselves to the Lord and to His appointed spiritual leaders, the giving follows naturally.

The priority of devotion revealed in this verse is critical. Increased giving will flow from devotion to Christ, first, and loving respect for church leaders, second. Poor giving is often due to lack of devotion to Christ, and lack of trust in, or respect for, a church’s spiritual leaders.

8. God Is Pleased When You Accept Your Personal Responsibility To Give.

“On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come” (1 Cor. 16:2).

Application: God expects each one of us to give—no exceptions, no excuses.

9. God Is Pleased When You Carefully Plan Your Giving.

“On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come” (1 Cor. 16:2).

Paul commanded the Corinthians to set aside and save money every Sunday in anticipation of his arrival to collect the money. He didn’t want a last minute rush to find some spare change to put in the collection plate. Application: God wants us to carefully plan our giving to His work. This involves choosing a time to give (each pay period, once a month), a form of giving (cash, check, automatic withdrawal), a place to give (the priority should be our local church), and an amount to give (see below).

10. God Is Pleased When You Base Your Giving On The Level Of Your Prosperity.

“On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come” (1 Cor. 16:2).

A basic guideline in deciding how much to give is to do so in proportion to the level of our financial prosperity. Application: The more we get, the more we should give to God. The greater our income, the higher the percentage of it we should give away.

But, how do we choose a percentage? I’m convinced that in order to fulfill these New Testament principles of giving Christians in every culture, and in every social-economic condition, around the world today should start by giving a minimum of 10% of their income to the Lord.

Remember, God owns all our money and possessions, and it is He who “richly supplies us with all things to enjoy” (1 Tim. 6:17). It is God’s money, not ours, which we are deciding on a percentage to give from. Does it seem reasonable to give a mere 1-3% of our income to the God who gave it all to us in the beginning?

Let’s please God with our giving!

1 All Scripture texts are from the original edition of the New American Standard Bible.

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