Be Still Know
2 Corinthians 8.11-12 NLT
‘Give in proportion to what you have. Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.’
People often ask what amount of money they should give to the Lord and I think Paul’s words here are incredibly helpful. It is more than likely that the majority of people in the Corinthian church were quite poor and his intention wasn’t to make their lives more difficult. But, at the same time, he knew that it was very important that they should give in a disciplined and thoughtful way. And so he encouraged them to give money in proportion to what they had.
I was brought up in a family which practiced tithing. One tenth of my father’s income went into a small wooden box in the sideboard in our dining room. What impressed me as a child was that that box seemed to have more money in it than anywhere else in the house! It showed me, from the beginning of my life, how important it was to set aside money for God. I don’t believe that giving a tenth of one’s income to God is a law. But if you look in the Old Testament, you will find plenty of references to giving tithes to God. There was more than one tithe and, on top of that, people gave freewill offerings. Many people find that giving a tithe is a good basis for their giving. There may be some occasions when it’s not possible, and others when one can be considerably more generous, but it is very good to do what Paul says and regularly give a definite proportion of your income to the Lord.
We always need to keep in mind that everything that we have and are has come to us as a gift from God. As King David prayed when the gifts for the temple were being brought together, all we are ever doing is returning to God what he first gave to us. So we have every reason to bring our gifts generously and eagerly to God.
Question: What proportion of your income are you going to give to God?
Prayer: Loving God, thank you for your incredible generosity to me. Help me to become increasingly generous in my giving. Amen
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