"If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness." Ps 50:12
God is the owner of everything. That means He does not need us to give anything to Him (vs 12). They are His already. This is a concept that we need to understand. Often, because of the teaching on tithe in many churches, people think that 90% of their income is theirs and 10% belongs to God. If we see the money as ours, we do what we like with it. If we see it as God’s we use it as per God’s directives.
The first step in becoming truly generous is to recognize that everything belongs to God and that we are only stewards, looking after what has been entrusted into our care. As good stewards, we use the resources entrusted to our care for His purposes.
What are the purposes of God? Jesus said, Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. The purpose of God is the advancement of His kingdom, and we use the resources entrusted to our care for this purpose.
What about ourselves? Hasn’t God given the resources to us to provide for us and our families? Yes, certainly. But read Ephesians 4:28 where Paul writes that we earn money not only to provide for ourselves, but also to give to others.
Another aspect of this teaching is that we do not give to God. What we do is to use the resources entrusted to us for God’s kingdom. There is not merit in this that we be rewarded for our generosity, like some teachings seem to indicate. Rather, there is a reward for good stewardship, when our investments reap a rich harvest for the kingdom of God.
The statement, you cannot out give God, has a wrong perspective. When our investments in God’s kingdom produce a rich harvest, God sees us as a good place to invest His resources for the kingdom. Hence, he pours resources towards us, which is not seen as a reward but as an increased responsibility given to us by God, much as when we put more money into the bank, we are not giving the bank money, but increased responsibility.
Another aspect of this is the question, “If this is God’s money, into whose control should it go when I die?” Obviously, there is no answer to this which applies to all, but the answer would be different for different people. But, we need to recognize, that it should not automatically go to the children, or next of kin, but be put where there would be maximum dividend for the kingdom.
How do you see the resources God has given you?