Principles for Giving

The apostle Paul was not afraid to talk about the giving of money. Although he never over-emphasized it, he never neglected its importance. In 1 Corinthians 16:1–3, he details some important principles regarding the subject.

Giving is a universal practice.

“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches in Galatia, so you must do also” (1 Corinthians 16:1).

This was not just something that the Corinthians had to do. Everywhere Paul went, wherever he founded a church, he taught them to give, because giving is an essential part of the Christian life. We need to freely give as we have freely received. After all, He has freely given us His unconditional pardon and the transformation of our lives and families—things we would never have been able to buy with any amount of money.

Giving should be done regularly.

“On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside . . .” (1 Corinthians 16:2). This is one of the first indications we have in the epistles that the Christians had begun to gather regularly to worship, to pray, and to give on the first day of the week, Sunday. We see that this was done on a consistent basis.

Giving is a personal act.

“Let each one of you lay something aside” (1 Corinthians 16:2). He does not leave anyone out. Even children should be taught to give. It may be only a few pennies, a nickel, or a dime, but they should be taught the importance of giving at an early age.

We should be prepared to give.

“Lay something aside and store it up” (1 Corinthians 16:2). We should set aside money for the work of the kingdom out of every paycheck. Some may say, “But that is legalism!” Is it legalistic to say a prayer of thanks over a meal? Is it legalistic to set Sunday apart as the Lord’s Day, in which you will go with your family to church? Is it legalistic to discipline yourself to read your Bible on a regular basis? That’s not legalism. That’s good planning, obedience, and wise stewardship. It represents a life that has been dedicated to God.

God will meet your needs and prosper you as you give.

“God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:8). God will give you more seed to plant and will make it grow so that you give away more and more fruit from your harvest. (2 Corinthians 9:10).

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