L E G A C Y | FBC TEMPLE TERRACE

LORD,

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO THRU ME TO ACCOMPLISH YOUR WILL IN MY CHURCH?

 

 

 

 

GOD'S GUIDE TO GIVING

 

 

God’s Word provides a general framework for understanding giving and the responsible stewardship of resources. It also reveals specific instructions, such as those employed by Paul in leading the early church. Scripture teaches that giving should be:

 

PERSONAL

Mary of Bethany, sister of the recently resurrected Lazarus, relinquished a very expensive bottle of perfume in what Jesus recognized as an overt act of worship. Her behavior evidenced a premeditated plan to give in a creative way that bestowed great honor and expressed thanksgiving to God. Don’t let fear of man, nor the reprisal of those not involved in your decision, hold you back from giving what God asks of you.

 

CONSISTENT & ACCORDING TO BLESSINGS

Paul gave simple instructions to the church at Corinth. “Each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he prospers,” he taught them, “so that no collections will need to be made when I come.” In his second letter to that same group, he exhorts them to remain steady. “Now finish the work,” he writes, “so that your eager willingness… may be matched by your completion… according to your means.”

 

VOLUNTARY & FULL OF CHEER

Giving of a “free will” arises from hearts that are stirred to participate, to fuel momentum, to worship. Paul reminds the early church to “give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” Spiritual joy prompts a desire to give much, despite natural circumstances of lack: “In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity.”

 

SACRIFICIAL

King David declared, “I will not sacrifice … that which costs me nothing.” So the real question is not if we bring a sacrifice, but rather when we do, at what cost will it be to our comfort, convenience, or control? What is the state of our heart in the process? Paul recognizes true sacrifice in the early believers at Corinth: “In the midst of a very severe trial… they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability.”

 

DETERMINING HOW TO GIVE

 

Give proportionate to blessings received.  Scripture teaches that to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48). Those blessed generously in financial ways have a greater responsibility to sow into the Kingdom accordingly.

 

Give by revelation, not by reason.  Pray and ask God what he wants to do through you, and expect an answer (John 10:27, John 5:19). Don’t be frustrated or disobedient if you can’t discern how you will produce that amount. Walk by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7), and make that your commitment.

 

CREATIVE GIVING

DETERMINING WHAT TO GIVE

 

GIVE OUT OF INCOME

While income is a logical place to start, our experience indicates that household budgets rarely have “extra” funds waiting to be allocated. Aside from redistributing savings, or tagging other “discretionary spending” monies, giving out of income is difficult to maintain over the course of the program.

 

GIVE APPRECIATED ASSETS

This category represents one of the best in which “creative gifts” can be found, yet it’s one of the least explored. Stocks, bonds, and real estate purchased years ago frequently carry an appreciated value. Did you know you can give that asset directly to your church and avoid paying any capital gains tax, but still get a fair market value deduction based on its current value? A tax professional can guide your church through this process.

 

GIVE "STUFF"

You move it; you store it. You insure it and dust it. Collectibles (stamps, baseball cards, sports memorabilia, coins, etc.) and valuable heirlooms or antiques (jewelry, furniture, musical instruments, etc.) may be contributed to the church for sale.

 

GIVE BY SACRIFICE

David, a “man after God’s own heart,” declared, “That which costs me nothing is not a sacrifice” (Acts 13:22, 2 Sam. 24:24). Challenge your people to give what they otherwise would spend - without a second thought - on a fast-food meal, or a cup of fine coffee. These real-world examples are almost universal to American culture and provide an opportunity for leaders to bring the principle of “denying oneself ” to the forefront.

 

CONSIDER LEAVING A LEGACY

If you have never considered including the church in your will or future estate planning (such as a charitable remainder trust), this is a great time to initiate the process.  Many people consider a gift or tithe to the church upon their death for continued kingdom work after they are gone.  Although these gifts do not immediately benefit the church, they will have great repercussions on future church ministry.

 

 

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying “Speak to the children of Israel, that they bring Me an offering. From everyone who gives it willingly with his heart you shall take My offering. And this is the offering which you shall take from them: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; ram skins, and acacia wood; oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate. And let them make Me a sanctuary, that I may dwell among them. According to all that I show you, that is, the pattern of the tabernacle and the pattern of all its furnishings, just so you shall make it.”

Exodus 25:1–9

© First Baptist Church Temple Terrace, 2015