A. There are 4 types of "giving" in the Bible…Tithing…First Fruits…Alms…Sowing Seeds
Giving is…to be focused on meeting of peoples needs! "Giving" in the New Testament was focused on meeting "people needs." Its goal was to enable others to simply survive, or to carry on ministries recognized as important by the church.
It is not surprising then to discover that the term used for "giving" in this New Testament context is not the typical Greek word for making a gift. Instead the New Testament adopts the Greek word koinonia, which means "sharing." As Christians shared life in Christ, their family relationship was expressed by a sharing of financial and material resources.
Paul pointed to other believers and to Jesus, whose love moved them to give, first themselves and then money.
Paul was pleased that the Corinthians had earlier expressed a strong Willingness (2 Cor. 8:10-12) desire to help. But the Corinthians needed to carry their intentions through to completion, "according to your means." This is an important factor in grace giving. Paul said it again. "If the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have."
On the one hand, one need not be a millionaire for his or her contribution to be significant. Even the gifts of those who have little and can give little are acceptable. What God is concerned with is the willingness: the love that motivates the believer to share (cf. Luke 21:1-4).
What Paul pointed out is that, at present, the plenty enjoyed by the Corinthians could supply others' needs. In their turn those others might one day supply the Corinthians when they had needs.
The body image is appropriate here. Just as the food we take in is digested and distributed to all parts of the body, in order that every bodily part can function, so the funds God supplies to believers are to be shared with those in need so they can live and function as God intends. And, as Paul had shown earlier, it permits us to experience the faithfulness of God who is able, and does supply our needs as we use our material possessions to help our brothers and sisters. Jeremiah 29:11-13 For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me.
1. Tithing - obedience
Rules regarding tithing - Deuteronomy 14:23-24 Bring this tithe to the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored, and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Now the place the LORD your God chooses for his name to be honored might be a long way from your home.
The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to fear the LORD your God and obedience to His law and commandments .
Tithing…a tenth - brings about protection over your income.
Promise regarding tithing - Malachi 3:10-12 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD Almighty, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Let me prove it to you! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease (Hebrew from the devourer). Your grapes will not shrivel before they are ripe," says the LORD Almighty. "Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight," says the LORD Almighty.
In this passage in Malachi we have an accusation by God that He was being robbed; we have a command to bring all the tithes into the storehouse; and we have a challenge by God to prove Him and see if He would cause prosperity. God is under obligation to meet His challenge for His promises cannot and will not go void.
Matthew 23:23 "How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law-justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things. also Luke 11:42. Genesis 14:20-22 And blessed be God Most High, who has helped you conquer your enemies." Then Abram gave Melchizedek a tenth of all the goods he had recovered. This memorial pillar will become a place for worshiping God, and I will give God a tenth of everything he gives me."
Leviticus 27:30 "A tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain or fruit, belongs to the LORD and must be set apart to him as holy.
Hebrews 7:6 But Melchizedek, who was not even related to Levi, collected a tenth from Abraham. And Melchizedek placed a blessing upon Abraham, the one who had already received the promises of God.
2. First Fruits - of increase
Deuteronomy 26:10 And now, O LORD, I have brought you a token of the first crops you have given me from the ground.' Then place the produce before the LORD your God and worship him.
2 Chronicles 31:5 The people responded immediately and generously with the first of their crops and grain, new wine, olive oil, honey, and all the produce of their fields. They brought a tithe of all they owned.
Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything your land produces. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with the finest wine.
Ezekiel 20:40 For on my holy mountain, says the Sovereign LORD, the people of Israel will someday worship me, and I will accept them. There I will require that you bring me all your offerings and choice gifts and sacrifices.
Ezekiel 44:30 The first of the ripe fruits and all the gifts brought to the LORD will go to the priests. The first samples of each grain harvest and the first of your flour must also be given to the priests so the LORD will bless your homes.
3. Alms…giving out of compassion to the needy (good deeds)
Luke 6:30 - 38 not only gives the law of God and the moral obligation to give, but it also gives some laws of prosperity in which we will discuss in part 2 of this lesson on "giving".
Luke 6:30-38 Give what you have to anyone who asks you for it; and when things are taken away from you, don't try to get them back. Do for others as you would like them to do for you. "Do you think you deserve credit merely for loving those who love you? Even the sinners do that! And if you do good only to those who do good to you, is that so wonderful? Even sinners do that much! And if you lend money only to those who can repay you, what good is that? Even sinners will lend to their own kind for a full return. "Love your enemies! Do good to them! Lend to them! And don't be concerned that they might not repay. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of the Most High, for he is kind to the unthankful and to those who are wicked. You must be compassionate, just as your Father is compassionate. "Stop judging others, and you will not be judged. Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you. If you forgive others, you will be forgiven. If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving-large or small-it will be used to measure what is given back to you."
Matthew 6:1-4 "Take care! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to someone in need, don't shout about it as the hypocrites do-blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone, don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.
Luke 11:41 So give to the needy what you greedily possess, and you will be clean all over.
Luke 12:33 "Sell what you have and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven have no holes in them. Your treasure will be safe-no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.
Acts 3:2-3 As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.
Acts 3:10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded!
Acts 10:2 He was a devout man who feared the God of Israel, as did his entire household. He gave generously to charity and was a man who regularly prayed to God.
Acts 10:4 Cornelius stared at him in terror. "What is it, sir?" he asked the angel. And the angel replied, "Your prayers and gifts to the poor have not gone unnoticed by God!
Acts 10:31 He told me, 'Cornelius, your prayers have been heard, and your gifts to the poor have been noticed by God!
The outcome of grace giving (2 Cor. 9:12-15). Paul now summed up the results of generous giving. It supplies the needs of God's people. It overflows in expressions of thanks to God, and stimulates praise. It demonstrates the obedience (commitment) that is appropriate to our profession of faith. It generates prayers for the giver by the one who receives. And, as Paul had shown earlier, it permits us to experience the faithfulness of God who is able, and does supply our needs as we use our material possessions to help our brothers and sisters.
4. Sowing Seed
Giving as sowing (2 Cor. 9:6-11). Paul turned to another image that had its roots in the Old Testament. Sharing with others is like sowing seed: the more generously one sows the more he or she will reap.
This is not a promise that one who sends in $7 will get $77 in return. Instead it is an affirmation of God's ability to out give His people. "God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." The conviction that God is able to supply our needs is intended to free us to give generously, without fear that we will deprive ourselves or our family by responding to meet the needs of others.
In this context Paul said that "each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." Again, Paul was careful not to place believers under any obligation to give, and not to specify any percentage as appropriate. Each is to give "what he has decided in his heart," and that decision is not to be made reluctantly or under compulsion.
Matthew 13:2 where an immense crowd soon gathered. He got into a boat, where he sat and taught as the people listened on the shore.
Matthew 13:24 Here is another story Jesus told: "The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field.
2 Corinthians 9:10 For God is the one who gives seed to the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will give you many opportunities to do good, and he will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.
Leviticus 26:4 I will send the seasonal rains. The land will then yield its crops, and the trees will produce their fruit.
Leviticus 27:16 "If you dedicate to the LORD a piece of your ancestral property, its value will be assessed by the amount of seed required to plant it-fifty pieces of silver for an area that produces five bushels of barley seed.
Job 5:6 But evil does not spring from the soil, and trouble does not sprout from the earth.
Psalm 126:6 They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.
Ecclesiastes 11:6 Be sure to stay busy and plant a variety of crops, for you never know which will grow-perhaps they all will.
Zechariah 8:12 For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the sky will release the dew. Once more I will make the remnant in Judah and Israel the heirs of these blessings.
Sowing financially into God's kingdom work…gives back much in return…what is it that you have a need of. When you sow (plant) financially into God's kingdom work… for an individual situation or need… God is faithful to answer your plea out of the sacrifice of your heart.
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