My giving & generosity journey
Becoming a fully devoted follower of Jesus is a journey. Biblical generosity is a response to the work that Jesus did on the cross. Generosity is our response to the love of Jesus. We want to continue growing in generosity as God leads us and develops us to be fully devoted followers of Jesus.
God has a lot to say about how giving and generosity influences our lives as followers of Jesus. As a matter of fact, God talks more about giving than any other subject in the Bible. Why is that? It’s because giving is actually a matter of the heart. In Matthew 6:21, Jesus tells us “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Our giving is a reflection of where our heart is. Our giving should be a response to God’s love for us and the gift of salvation that he provided through his son, Jesus.
Therefore, giving is not a transaction, but rather a transformation of our heart that only Jesus can accomplish in us. Where do you see yourself in your Giving and Generosity Journey?
I have given for the first time! I want to trust God and the church with my gift. I am excited for my relationship with Jesus to grow. I am learning to trust him with all things, including my finances. I believe he is changing me from the inside out.
Philippians 1:5,6 “Because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Prayer: “Lord, thank you for Jesus and for forgiving me for my sins. I am new at giving and I ask that you continue to teach me and show me your ways. I desire to trust and obey you in all areas, including my finances. Please keep teaching me that it’s not really about money but it’s about my heart toward you.”
I have a plan to give back to God on a consistent basis. By consistently giving, I am cheerfully responding to God’s love for me. I desire for God to be first in all areas of my life. I can trust God with all things, including my finances.
2 Corinthians 9:7 “You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’”
Prayer: “Lord, you are trustworthy and I am in awe of your unfailing love for me. Honoring you is important to me. Please help me to cheerfully bring back the full tithe to you. It belongs to you. As you work in my heart, help me to see that tithing is a response to your love and sacrifice for me. I want to give from my heart out of love and trust in you. Thank you for developing and maturing my faith in you as a Christ Follower.”
Next Step: Consider the 90-Day Tithing Challenge. Learn More Here.
Bringing back to God the tithe, the first 10% of what God has given to me, is my top financial priority; to obey and worship Him. Giving back to God what belongs to God is first above all other financial priorities, which are determined by this commitment. I realize he owns all things and not only wants to be first in every area of my life, but that is His rightful position. God owns 100% of all that I have but God has specifically set aside the tithe as belonging to Him. I want to respond to His love by obeying, worshiping and trusting Him with the tithe.
Malachi 3:10 “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, “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! Put me to the test!”
Psalms 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it.”
Prayer: “Lord, you have shown me the tithe belongs to you. I used to give what was left over after all other commitments have been paid, but now I I bring back to you the first 10 %. My budget is based on putting you first. Tithing is just the beginning! Please show me Lord that generosity can go above and beyond tithing. Please challenge my heart to give beyond the tithe. Show me ways where I can bless others with what you have provided to me. Show me how I can be used to help introduce people to Jesus.”
Next Step: Consider taking a look at our community and global partners. While the tithe belongs to the Lord and should be given to your home church, going above the tithe (offerings) can be given to the Church as well or to support an organization that is doing great work for others.
I sacrifice my wants and desires in order to give generously to benefit others. Giving beyond a tithe is a reflection of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross for me – a sacrifice I have not earned and grace I do not deserve. My heart is transformed so that I see that what God wants is more important than what I want and more valuable than my earthly possessions. My commitment to living generously changes how I live, my lifestyle, priorities and budget. I make sacrifices in my life in order to give more.
My commitment and relationship with God has grown, and I now look for ways to bless others.
1 John 4:19 “We love each other, because he first loved us.”
Ephesians 2:8, 9 “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Prayer: “Lord, thank you for teaching me and showing me how to truly live in a way that benefits others and demonstrates the love of Jesus. On this journey of generosity, you have transformed my heart. You have shown me not just the joy of being generous, but also the necessity and importance of doing kingdom work. I see how generosity changes the life of the giver as well as the receiver. Show me Lord if there is any part of my heart that is unwilling to give to you. I’ve asked you how much should I give. I want to have the heart and excitement to ask, “How much do I need to keep?” Because it’s all yours and all for your glory. Is my attitude toward giving all that you desire it to be? Show me how to have an attitude of being fully surrendered. Develop me into a person that is truly willing to live open handed, ready to give whatever you ask of me. Lead me toward radical and stunning generosity.”
Spiritual development: Consider watching this inspirational story of generosity
Next Step: Consider reading True Riches by Jon Cortines and Gregory Baumer and The Paradox of Generosity | Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose
FULLY SURRENDERED GIVER
I fully honor God with 100% of everything he has given me. I hold all that I have with open hands freely and willingly giving to God in whatever way he is asking me to. God is my only source. My life reflects this truth as he continues to transform me each step of the way. I will always be on this journey of generosity with God. I am inspired and challenged by God every day to continue developing my attitude, willingness and heart for living a generous and fully surrendered life.
I think about eternity and building God’s Kingdom. Jesus forgave my sins, secured my eternity in heaven and has restored my relationship with God my father. I live my life in response to this and want to make an impact in this world for eternity. God has shown me I can leave a legacy for his Kingdom. Earth is fleeting but heaven is forever. There is nothing materialistic on earth that is more important than investing in leading others to Jesus! God has instilled in me radical and stunning generosity! Eternity is at stake, and I want to participate in his plan to reach as many people for Jesus as I can. I have locked arms with God to accomplish his mission. It’s not just about money. It’s living open-handed with all of my resources – ready, willing, and able serve God and introduce people to our Savior, Jesus.
Romans 12:1, 2 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
1 John 2:15,16 “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
Prayer: “Lord, my heart is gripped by your love and grace that you so willing gave to me through the sacrifice of your son Jesus. Joining you in reaching others for Jesus is the greatest adventure in my life. I am all in with Jesus. I hold nothing back from you, father. Show me what you want me to do. Show me where you want me to go. Show me where you want me to give. I love you Lord. I pray that you use me in mighty ways.”
Spiritual development: Consider watching Made for a Purpose and The Single Greatest Rival to Faith in Jesus Christ
Next Step: Consider reading Generous Giving by Ron Blue and Gospel Patrons by John Rinehart, and participating in the bible reading plan Live Your Calling: What on Earth Am I Here For by Rick Warren