The GRACE Behind the MATH is part of an ongoing series, Mrs Disciple 101.
The walk of the disciple includes regular stops at the alter of God. There, we lay our sacrifices of our money, attention, time, and honor, or M.A.T.H. (read about that here). Giving to God is not an issue decided in our checkbooks; it is decided in our heart.
Why We Give
It is not enough to give. The wealthy brought sacrifices to the temple, but they were not gifts. Their offerings were obligations. The widow gave a small gift, but it was from a gracious heart (Luke 21:1-4). We give because of G.R.A.C.E.–Gratitude, Receive, Attitude, Command, Example.
We give because He gave. We give out of a heart of gratitude. When we consider God giving His Son and Jesus giving His life, no gift offered from our hands can be enough. In response to His grace and mercy, we live a life of sacrifice–giving our resources, our time, ourselves to His service.
Sacrifice thank offerings to God. (Psalm 50:14)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. (Romans 12:1)
Gratitude surfaces as the primary motivation for our giving. But, the promises of God to bless the giver cannot be ignored. 2 Chronicles 31:10 tells us the blessings that followed giving: “we have had enough to eat and plenty to spare, because the Lord has blessed his people.” Obedience brings blessing.
“Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it” (Malachi 4:10).
The world we live in, this land of excess and enough, it is easy to set our eyes on temporal, material things. Giving helps keep our attitude toward our possessions in check.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:21)
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)
Giving, specifically tithing, is commanded in both the Old and New Testament ( Leviticus 27:30, Hebrews 7:1-11). After a period of disobedience, God calls his people to Himself through the prophet, Malachi. “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me” (Malachi 4:8). God says to His people, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house” (Malachi 3:10). Obedience to all of God’s commands is a characteristic of a disciple.
When we give, we serve as an example for our children. The blessings that we receive through giving can become a generational blessing. I want my children to see us give from our pocket, give from our heart. My prayer is that they will begin to give and receive the blessings from their own obedience to God’s commands.
I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging for bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. (Psalm 37:25-26)
A Prayer for Giving
I have brought the sacred share, I’ve given it to the Levite, foreigner, orphan, and widow. What you commanded, I’ve done. I haven’t detoured around your commands, I haven’t forgotten a single one. I have listened obediently to the Voice of God, my God. I have lived the way you commanded me. Look down from your holy house in Heaven! Bless your people Israel and the ground you gave us, just as you promised our ancestors you would, this land flowing with milk and honey. (excerpts from Deuteronomy 26:13-15, The Message)