Giving God's Way
I really like the book called The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn. In it, I've learned that there are three things you need to believe if you are to give the way God wants you to give:
1) I don't own anything.
"Thine, O Lord, is … everything that is in the heavens and the earth" (1 Chron. 29:11). "For all things come from thee…" (1 Chron 29:14). "…all is Thine" (1 Chron 29:16).
A song I learned when I was young says, "He owns the cattle on a thousand hills; the wealth in every mine." So even though I may hold the title to my house--according to the County Clerk's office--God really owns it all.
Charles Wesley was told that his house burned to the ground. He thought about it a moment and replied, "No. The Lord's house burned to the ground. That just means one less responsibility for me."
2) I'm simply one of God's money managers.
If God has given you money, he's also given you a job! The Bible says that you and I should be a Steward. Unfortunately, that word has lost its meaning in today's society.
A word that I think we could better relate to is "Money Manager." That is someone who you entrust your money with and he makes decisions on how to invest it for the best returns available given your investment strategy. God is telling us that he has entrusted His money to us and He wants us to make decisions on how best to use those funds.
What does God want us to do with His money? What is His strategy? I think the answer is simple. What's the number one thing on God's heart? People!
He wants us to use His funds to point others to Jesus Christ. How do we do that? By giving His money away!
3) Giving is a matter of the heart.
What I do with God's money reveals my heart. I will occasionally hear on the radio a quote from a movie where the actor says that he likes money and that he keeps it in a jar above his refrigerator.
I laugh every time I hear that. It really shows the heart the character was portraying. He shows that his focus is on accumulating money and that his focus is ultimately on himself. God instead wants our focus on Him.
And the easiest way to see where our focus is, is to look at how we are using His money. When God looks at giving, He's looking directly at the heart.
So what does your giving look like? God wants your heart. And even though "He owns the cattle on a thousand hills; the wealth in every mine," He wants you to give, not for His sake, but for yours.