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PROPHECY: How Should The Christian Give?
June 22, 2005

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One of my friends asked me to give guidance regarding giving today, and I thought I would share my answer with my readers. There are many false teachers and manipulators today. My last article has stirred up many against me who seek to pervert my words. I have written very clearly that those who serve God should be abundant givers.

How do we obtain guidance from God about our giving? Well, the first way is to obey the direct commands in scripture. We are commanded in Matthew 25 to be givers, especially to the poor, widows and orphans. So that one is one that every Christian had better do, because it was a command from Jesus.

Then, scripture has teachings which are not law for the Christian, but they do contain valid Godly principles. The challenge to us is to apply them properly to our lives as the Holy Spirit will lead us.

Most bible teachers focus on the tithe, and that is a biblical principal, but it is not a law for the Christian. Many have turned it into a law but IT IS NOT. The Christian is a free will giver. He should be led by the Holy Spirit to give whatever percentage of whatever type of income he wants to give. I would therefore advise the Christian that if he wants to give less than 10% in total, he should examine himself as to whether he is being generous enough. He may be stingy, greedy or covetous. No covetous man will enter heaven. (Ephesians 5:5)

Since Jesus purchased 100% of us with his blood, some argue that whenever possible, we should give all. However, Paul told us that the man who does not provide for his own household is worse than an unbeliever. If you have children and a wife, so you have household needs, and you must provide for them. So, as an advisory guideline, I feel that God will lead the Christian to give, in total, to all sources, at something between 10% and 100%, but that is NOT A LAW.

There is another principle in the bible about giving into good soil. If the soil is good, our return will be better. This teaches us that we ought not to just blindly give to relieve our guilt, but we should carefully examine where we give, and how the money is being used. The bible teaches stewardship over our money, and good stewardship reviews the use of the money we have given, and makes adjustments.

There is another principal that teaches this: if you give your time and service to something, you should give your money. I think that is valid. I invest my time and my life in travel to Africa to preach and give. It would be absurd for me to expect everyone else to pay for it. My own money has gone into it. You may think that youth sports are important. So, it seems to me that some giving to that place where you spend and invest your life and time would be appropriate if you are able.

I thought of one scripture that guides me in how I travel, serve and give. I will share it with you, from 2 Corinthians 9:6-7

6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

The NIV version has a little bit of a different wording for verse 7, and I like it.

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, NOT RELUCTANTLY OR UNDER COMPULSION, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (emphasis mine)

I have learned in my walk with God that whenever any service or giving begins to be a chore, with reluctance, and not a joy, or whenever anyone is pressuring me to give, I should examine what I am doing and why. It then usually follows that something is wrong, and I wind up not giving there or serving there any more after a time.

So, I would advise you to give to any source or any cause where you will be cheerful in the doing of it. Don’t allow anyone to manipulate you through guilt, or by clever twisting of bible scriptures. Pray, and ask God to fill your heart with His desires, and then give and serve God with joy and gladness.

God bless you all,

Stephen L. Bening

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