Each Sunday as I introduce the offering, I read a short passage of scripture about giving or about God’s generosity toward us. I do this for two reasons. First, the Bible has a lot to say about how we manage and use financial resources, and we should be motivated to give by God’s word. Second, I want you to know that I’m not the one asking for money. We give to the church in response to God’s invitation to enable the work of His kingdom.
One of the most compelling calls to faithful giving comes in 2 Corinthians 9:11. “You will be enriched in every way,” Paul writes, “so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” This one sentence packs a lot of powerful truth.
First, God makes us a promise. He will enrich us, bless us and provide for us “in every way.” That’s a big promise. God wants you to have what you need. He even wants you to feel rich. Now, this doesn’t mean that God promises to make each of us wealthy in ways the world counts wealth. We can be enriched without being rich. We can be blessed without being wealthy.
This part of the verse has been misapplied by people who think they can manipulate God into giving them financial wealth. They turn God’s promise around, foolishly believing that if they act generously, God will have to make them rich. Of course, we can’t manipulate God into doing anything He doesn’t intend by His good and perfect will.
What God promises is to meet our needs in ways that enable us to be generous toward the church and toward people in need around us. God gives to us so we can give to others.
Second, this verse invites us to be generous, which goes beyond Old Testament commands to give a tithe. Tithing is a good, Biblical place to start. Throughout scripture, God asks His people to give a tenth to the work on His kingdom, but the New Testament standard has less to do with mathematical formulas and more to do with the condition of our hearts. We are invited to “sow generously” and to give with a “cheerful heart” (2 Cor. 6-7). When we give generously, our gifts become a “fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18).
Third, we learn that our generosity “will result in thanksgiving to God.” One motivation for giving to the church is as a way of saying thanks to God, but this verse takes it a step further. Our giving opens the way for more thanksgiving, more praise and worship to God. How? Our giving enables the church’s ministry, in-cluding times of worship, Bible study and fellowship, which all result in people growing in faith and rejoicing in God’s goodness.
In other words, your giving, which is an act of worship, enables more and greater worship. This is the miraculous multiplication of God’s financial provision. He takes what we bring, even small gifts given cheer-fully and faithfully, and turns them into bigger and better blessings, like when Jesus turned two fish and five loaves of bread into enough food to feed a multitude of hungry people.
God sees all the gifts you give, and He promises to bless you so you can continue to be generous in support of His kingdom.
So, thank you for your generosity. The people of Broadway give faithfully to enable our ministry and to support other Christ-honoring organizations in our community. I am grateful for the ways your giving al-lows me to preach God’s word and to serve among you, just as I am grateful for all the ministry enabled by God’s provision.