Scripture has so much to say regarding monetary gifts, we can only barely touch on it here. We offer four New Testament principles using basically one verse, 1 Corinthians 16:2. In this letter by the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth we find these words: "On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don't wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once."
What do we know from God’s play-book for life?
Our giving is to be:
Personal -- each is to give
Each follower of Jesus is responsible to put aside from his/her earnings for the ministry of the church.
Planned -- each is to give regularly
The first day of the week (Sunday) was when the ancient church met to worship. They were to plan to give on those days. When Paul wrote this letter much of the general public was paid on a daily basis. Most in our culture are paid twice a month. The simple point is that when we have income, plan to give in close proximity to receiving that income. In today’s modern technology filled world, it is easier than ever to give in a prayerful, planned manner.
Proportional -- each is to give proportionally of his/her income
We are not told how much to give. Many see the Old Testament tithe (10% of one's income) as a good guideline. But some can and desire to give a larger percentage, still being able to live comfortably on what remains. Scripture does teach us that we are merely managers of what we have and that God is the owner of it all (Psalm 24:1).
Pleasing -- each is to give from a joyful heart
This last principle is drawn from 2 Corinthians 9:6-7, where it tells us that "God loves a cheerful giver." Our "heart" decides what to give. This is a personal, willful decision -- not a pressured or manipulated decision.
Biblical giving is a well thought-out and willfully determined spiritual decision of managing what God has allowed to come into our hands.
Stewardship encompasses how one manages all of their resources; bodies, calendars, finances and relationships. We give, because God has first given to us. We give in joyful response to all that God has given. We give to invest in God’s work in the world. At St. Marcus we encourage people to joyfully give as they have purposed in their heart. Many have found that this kind of giving is truly rewarding and pleasing not only for us, but for our God as well. In fact, this type of giving has the potential to transform your life!
Have a meaningful conversation about your generosity. It can change your life and that of others. Please contact Christine Safranek, Director of Mission Advancement at 414-750-6498 or email@example.com.