The fact is all is the Lords… so live for Him. Do good in His Name with the resources you have focused on abiding in King Jesus.
First off, I want to address a practical way to behave in accordance with the fact that all is the Lord’s. Be content with your pay. Just as John the Baptist told some soldiers in Luke 3:14. In that passage, he was pointing out not to take by force, and I would think principally that would include any forceful manipulation. We should not use our responsibility in the world as a means to manipulate a community we are a part of for personal gain. If we do, we are like soldiers with weapons that misuse their authority to get what they want neglecting their duty to protect and serve.
I am saying we need not try to take control of the process of giving, even a little. But rather be faithful to God in the roles we find ourselves severing through in the world. Since the goal of giving is to love others not shelter self. Still, there is no better way to love yourself than having a loving Relationship with Jesus and thereby others. Remember Jesus said, “Truly. I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” (Matt. 19:28-29 ESV)
We should give but only because it is the right thing to do. The apostle Paul speaks to properly giving in 1 Cor. 16:2. There he tells the church to put aside at the first of the week a portion of their money in keeping with their income (he does not say 10 percent) for the saints. This was the right thing to do because just as they had spiritual needs that were met through the Jewish saints, so they could likewise care for the physical needs of the saints in Jerusalem.
Attitude When you give
Proper giving is hand in hand with not expecting a personal return but rather a return by way of God’s Kingdom. The investment is in God’s Kingdom not self-preservation or self-gratification.
Jesus gives a lesson on proper servant attitude in Luke 17:1-10 –17. Here is that passage.
1 Jesus said to his disciples, “Stumbling blocks are sure to come, but woe to the one through whom they come! 2 It would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 Watch yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him. If he repents, forgive him. 4 Even if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times returns to you saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 So the Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this black mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled out by the roots and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.
7 “Would anyone of you say to your slave who comes in from the field after plowing or shepherding sheep, ‘Come at once and sit down for a meal’? 8 Won’t the master instead say to him, ‘Get my dinner ready, and make yourself ready to serve me while I eat and drink. Then you may eat and drink’? 9 He won’t thank the slave because he did what he was told, will he? So you too, when you have done everything you were commanded to do, should say, ‘We are slaves undeserving of special praise; we have only done what was our duty.’” (NET)
Jesus explains that FAITH in God and duty in living right is not a matter of increase BUT RATHER OF HUMILITY. Declaring that if you do good, why do you think you should get something for it, it is what you are supposed to do. And so, I think this is how our attitude in giving should be. Why should we think there must be praise for proper behavior in doing what we should with the Master’s property? When Jesus plainly says that we should not think that way. This is not to say he will not praise but that is his business, not ours.
What God requires
It is then not so much what percentage but what is the motive. Faulty motive equals 0 percent true love and honor towards God and his Kingdom.
I am thinking of the woman who gave less than a cent in Luke 21: 1-3 yet gave more than all. I assume she gave knowing she should honor God more than her life. Since that is what she did and because Jesus praised her giving.
Now I know that when you have little, you have less to lose monetarily. But faith is faith regardless. Belief is in God or not in God. Jesus said she gave more so he must have meant it, and she then must have indeed believed in what she was doing. She had the right motive
But there is also an example of the wrong motive in the Bible. Judas one of the 12 disciples called to be an apostle. In him we are shown what the wrong motive looks like. We must not be like Judas who I am sure on the surface seemed very charitable feeding the poor and distributing resources as needed. Yet, all along helping himself to the money bag (see John 12:6). In the end, his true nature (faulty motive) was revealed. As he betrayed Jesus with a kiss.
Friends, God requires belief. That he is and does love us. Belief that follows in his life-giving nature.
It is more blessed to give than to receive (see Acts 20:35).
Understand, he who did not spare his own Son, will he not freely give us all things. (see Romans 8:31-33 for more context)
Jesus died for us, but that doesn’t mean we will or have to receive his love. So then, it is in our giving that we truly receive. Not because the result of giving brings us material security but because we trust that in our giving we have participation in God’s will here and now. But also, the full embrace of his Kingdom come at Christ earthly return in the future (second coming). For without God giving there is no receiving. Therefore, we learn to give because life comes from life.
To hold onto what you receive ends in death, but to give what you receive Brings Life, Especially if you are giving Back to God because you recognize where life comes from in the first place. The giving of life (sacrifice) is the seeding of life and can look like a loss on the surface. It can even seem like death’s coming in a fallen world. But All that takes root brings forth new life from Life.
We who submit to following Christ Jesus must always remember we are bondservants, slaves to righteous in our attitude. Servant-Royalty but in the Kingdom of Jesus under his command to love.
Remember if you call yourself a Christian we are not simply stewarding money or resources in general but a message. Namely, The Gospel of Jesus Christ! We do have responsibilities, but I do not think we are to live by a checklist of duties. Rather, we are to live under the command to love. Let our focus be on remaining in Christ because the foundation and reason to give is to share in Christ’s life-giving nature.