Why Give?

Text: John 3:16a
For God so loved the world that he gave… (NRSV)

Many people who are outside of the church (and some who are in the church) believe that all organized religion really cares about is your money.  The prevailing idea is that giving to God through the church is just another way of redistributing the wealth of those who work hard for their money.  This always leads me to think carefully about why it is that I do give my money.

One of my reasons for giving the 10% of our income that Linda and I give, is that it models the generosity of God.  God loved the world so much, that he gave.  What he gave however, was no mere 10% of what he had.  What he gave was 100% of himself.  

Without getting too deeply intrenched in a theological discussion about the Trinity of God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the orthodox church believes that Jesus was and is God.  When we hear that God gave his Son, we are really hearing that within the trinitarian God head, the Son agreed to give up his rightful place and put-on flesh and walk among us (See the first chapter of John and the second chapter of Philippians).  This, of course, led to his cruel death upon the cross paying for our salvation and defeating the power of sin and death.  A pretty big deal if you ask me.

In modeling God’s generosity by giving to God through the local church, we also equip the church to continue to be Jesus’ hands and feet within its own community and around the world.  Through the generosity of the Christians who attend a local church, lives are radically impacted by the love of God through the programs and ministry of the church.

It is only as we give back a portion of what we have received from God, that we become a vital link in the continued generosity of God to the world.  God continues God’s generosity by guiding the Church of Jesus Christ into life changing action on God’s behalf.

Why do you give back to God through the local church?  Are you receiving from God in ways that allow you to also give back to God through God’s church?

Pray with me:

Lord, all I have is what you have given me.  My gifts, my talents, my ability to earn a living, all come from your creative hand.  Thank you for your generosity in my life as I seek to be a reflection of that generosity.  AMEN.

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