The Giving Church
Money is the main subject in nearly half the parables Jesus told. In addition, one out of every seven verses in the New Testament deals with the topic.
Money and the believer
The Bible certainly has a lot to say about the believer and his money. While Scripture offers about 500 verses on prayer, and fewer than 500 on faith, there are more than 2,000 verses on money! Perhaps that is why the early church placed such a high priority on giving. In Acts 2:45 we read that they “sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.”
The early church looked out for one another and invested financially in what God was doing. Unfortunately, the concept of giving today has become somewhat distorted. On the one hand, we have those who tell us that we must take faith vows and send in our “seed money” so that God may prosper us. On the other hand, we have those who see no need to regularly give of their resources to God.
Yet, this aspect of our lives tells a great deal about our spirituality. You can tell a lot about a person by taking a tour of his checkbook. It reveals that individual’s real value system. Jesus Himself said,
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
It is sometimes said that we should give until it hurts. But Jesus teaches that it should hurt when we cease to give.
Giving: A real test of faithfulness
Jesus said, “So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own” (Luke 16:11–12).
To God, the faithful giver is one who understands that he is not the owner, but the steward of his resources. Martin Luther once said that three conversions are necessary: the conversion of the heart, the mind, and the purse (or wallet).