The Whys and Hows of Giving

The Whys and Hows of Giving  is a three-week series on Christian stewardship beginning Sunday, September 13.
As Christ-followers we want to imitate our Master in all we do. We want to use the things God has given us in ways that honor him, and we want to be faithful managers of everything he has placed into our care.

Sunday, September 13 – Lord, warm my heart!
What motivates your generosity? What is the "Why" of your giving? Isn't it the selfless sacrifice that Jesus made for you?

God stooped down from his glorious throne, became our brother in human flesh, and gave his very life as the payment for sin. Though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor, so that we, through his poverty, might become rich.

Christ's love compels us. He warms our hearts with his Spirit, and he gives us a spirit of generosity and self-sacrifice. Jesus' love drives the "Why" of our giving.

Sunday, September 20 – Lord, use my hands!
There is only one thing that rightly motivates our giving; that's the free gospel of Jesus Christ. The good news of our forgiveness motivates us and it empowers us to live generously.
Along with gospel motivation, we can grow in the methods we use to give. We can learn to make better Christian use of tools God has placed into our hands. We can learn to account for our income, track our expenses, prioritize our needs and wants, and learn to put our Christian giving in the proper place in all our financial dealings.
This is the practical side of financial management. This is the "How" of giving that guides us in practical ways toward generous living and generous giving.
Sunday, September 20 – Lord, show me where!
We are inundated with requests, solicitations, marketing materials, advertisements—all of which are designed to separate us from our hard-earned money.

Where should we direct our money? What should we give to?

In Jesus' Church we give together as a community of believers. We give to a common mission. We may see special opportunities to give special gifts, but the main focus of our giving is to support the mission of our congregation, which is to share the saving name of Jesus with our members and with our community.

Do we place our offerings into the collection plate for the General Fund? Do we give to Deeper Roots, Higher Sights? Do we support special projects and give to important causes?

Motivated by Jesus' love and equipped with the right tools, we can do all of the above, as the Spirit moves us to give thoughtfully, cheerfully, proportionately, and generously.