Friday, February 29, 2008

Six Steps to Generous Giving

SIX STEPS TO GENEROUS GIVING

 

What is the right amount to put in the offering plate? People do

a lot of figuring, determining percentages, considering their

gross and net earnings, and finally looking into their wallets.

Their frustration often takes away from the joy of giving.

 

There is a difference between your tithes and your offerings.

(Read Malachi 3:8.) Scripture tells us that the tithe (10%) is

always the Lord’s property. It is the first tenth of salary or

any increase you receive. Offerings are gifts above and beyond

your tithe. Each time an offering is given, it must be considered

as a separate event.

 

Six steps to a proper offering:

 

  1  Have a willing mind. It is impossible for God to guide you

    unless you are open to His suggestion. In Exodus 35, only the

    willing-hearted were allowed to participate in offerings.

    They were so generous that there was more than enough, and

    they had to be restrained from giving more.

 

  2  Think of the good things. When it is time for you to give,

    don’t think about what you don’t have, but about what you

    already have. When your mind is fixed on your needs, there is

    a tendency to lower the amount of money you are willing to

    give God. Fix your mind on the good things God has provided

    for you. If you do this, you will have a tendency to give the

    amount God tells you. (E.g. Givers will begin to think about

    the new tires they need instead of concentrating on the car

    God has given them.)

 

  3  Give cheerfully. The spirit in which a gift is given always

    has an effect on the person to whom the gift is given. God

    has no pleasure in an offering given in the wrong attitude.

    “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7).

 

  4  Refuse to give when pressured. It is better to give nothing

    than to give an amount someone pressures you into. If someone

    tells you about an urgent need, this is not pressure.

    Pressurized giving takes place when psychological force is

    used to cause you to give more, or differently, than God is

    telling you to give. Do not feel guilty if you do not give

    when man-made pressure is applied (Cor. 9:7). If you feel

    pressure, wait a few days for God to reaffirm to you the

    amount He wants you to give.

 

  5  Let God set the amount. When you are deciding how much you

    should give, several different amounts may come to your mind.

    Let the presence of God’s peace in your heart make the

    decision for you. Let Him impress you with a specific amount.

 

  6  Look for God’s rewards. “Give and it shall be given unto

    you” (Luke 6:38) - in faith, in peace, in knowing that you

    are a partner in His will, and even in further material

    benefits.

 

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   John Avanzini received his doctorate in philosophy

   from Baptist Christian University, Shreveport, La.,

   and is co-pastor, along with his wife, Pat, of

   International Faith Center in Fort Worth, Texas. He

   is also director of His Image Ministries. Dr.

   Avanzini’s television program, “Principles of

   Biblical Economics,” is aired three times a day by

   more than 550 stations.

 

   From Always Abounding by John Avanzini, copyright (c) 1989.

   Used with permission of Harrison House, Tulsa, Okla.

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