What’s so Good about ‘Giving’?
9 biblical reasons!
Drawn from 1 Corinthians 8-9
and 1 Chronicles 29
1. It shows we trust God 8: 2/9: 8
2. It recognises that we are Gods people 8: 5
3. It means people around us do not go without 8: 13-15
4. If we sow generously we will reap generously 9: 6
5. God loves a cheerful giver! 9: 7
6. Generosity produces thanksgiving 9: 11
7. It shows our submission to God 9: 13
8. It puts us in good company other believers/Jesus/The Father 8: 14, 8: 9, 9: 15
9. Everything is given by God in the first place 1 Chronicles 29: 14
GIVING IS WORSHIP
It’s how we express what God means to us:
“I will not sacrifice to the Lord burnt offerings that cost me nothing”
2 Samuel 24: 24
Giving is an expression of our worship.
During services here week by week when the collection is prayed over, use the moment to remember what proportion of our time and talents and resources we are contributing to Gods work that week.
GIVING IS A RESPONSE TO THE GENEROSITY OF GOD
When you think of the Cross we see the generosity of God in sending us Jesus Christ and allowing him to die for us.
“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God”
2 Corinthians 9: 10-11
We give and work for God not because we expect more in return (and in making sure we have this attitude avoid the false prosperity gospel teaching), but because we know and trust our Father and are thankful for all that he has given us (Luke 19: 11-27)
GIVING IS AN ACT OF FAITH
Trusting that God will provide for us.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own”
Matthew 6: 33-34
We need to stop relying on our own ability to provide for ourselves, when we give away our resources, we acknowledge and trust in God’s promise to supply all our needs.
GIVING IS PART OF OUR DISCIPLESHIP
“But just as you excel in everything, in faith, in speech, in knowledge, incomplete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving”
2 Corinthians 8: 7
We need to face this challenge in our discipleship and grow in trust.
Having the grace to give is both a gift from God and a learning process for the follower of Jesus.
It involves both our prayer and our practice.
It is an aspect of our discipleship that we are called to follow.
GIVING IS A JOY
We find a great freedom and joy in the act of giving.
“Each person should give what they have decided in their heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”
2 Corinthians 9: 7
We need to learn to give graciously, enjoying the action rather than doing it from motives of guilt or legalism.
We should celebrate in the act of giving.
The reason it’s not a joy? Because it’s become a worry - an anxiety - because in the West we are discontent - we always feel we have not got enough and yet when we examine our situation we are blessed beyond imagination when we compare what we have with the majority of the world.
Contentment is to be sought in our day and our African brothers and sisters have much to teach us about this.
GIVING IS A SACRIFICE
It’s a cost worth paying.
“All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on” Luke 21: 4
This principle encourages us to give the first fruits of all we have.
So different to the attitude of giving from what’s left over having paid for everything else first!
GIVING IS A PRIVELEGE
It’s an opportunity to share God’s compassion for the world’s poor.
“Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this serving to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to the keeping of God’s will”
2 Corinthians 8: 2-5
We need to take very seriously the biblical commands to care for those who are at a disadvantage in society. 1 million children are severely hungry in England today, right now.
We are to use the material resources God has provided us with to counter injustice and the deprivation of people’s spiritual, emotional and physical needs.
GIVING IS GOOD FOR US
It frees us from materialism, a massive God of our age.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there your heart will be also”
Matthew 19: 21
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”
1 Timothy 6: 10
“Whoever loves money never has enough money; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income” Ecclesiastes 2: 10
(Who said the bible was outdated and irrelevant to modern culture!)
By the simple act of giving away, we begin to free ourselves from a total dependence on material resources.
Money and possessions no longer determine or dominate the way we live our lives.
GIVING IS PROPORTIONATE
Proportionate to income and personal needs.
“…a sum of money in keeping with their income”
1 Corinthians 16: 2
We need to be sensible about what proportion of our income is given to God’s work.
We need to remember we also have a God given responsibility to care for any who are dependent on us. We need to regularly consider our giving in the light of rising or falling income and as our circumstances change over the years.
GIVING NEEDS TO BE REGULAR AND PLANNED
“On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money…”
1 Corinthians 16v 2-3
Planned and regular giving is a good discipline for us to practice, for it reminds us of our dependence on God.
It’s essential for the church to budget well.
In conclusion: several key themes have arisen through these biblical principles:
- Faith – trust that God will take care of us
- Stewardship - taking care of what God’s given us, using it to the best until Christ comes again, giving back to him what is his anyway!
- Sacrifice - not clinging to the worlds view of treasure but following the concept of personal sacrifice exampled for us in Jesus
- Generosity - God has been so generous towards us not only through his Son but also through the world’s resources. Generosity breeds generosity and so as followers of Jesus we are to display generosity in all our dealings with one another
Let us at St Mary’s ‘excel in this grace of giving’ 2 Corinthians 8: 7
Rev David McDougall
Rector of St Mary’s Bletchley
It’s normal to give to the church that you’re a part of, and here at St Mary’s your giving provides funds for the many amazing ministries that we are blessed with as well as the needs of the poor through local, national and international organisations, with which St Mary’s works in partnership. As well as the more obvious physical upkeep of the 3 buildings, minibus and staff costs.
There are five main ways to give to St Mary’s, however we have found that for most people the easiest way of making sure they do give is to set up a regular standing order, and then to give on top of that from time to time.
How can I give financially?
It helps us to manage our budget if we know how much you are planning to give by which method and how often. Please see below for your options.
- Standing Order
- Regular giving envelopes
For these two methods please contact our finance officer Nicky Whitmore using the contact details below or refer to either our detailed or quick start guides to giving found in the information area in church.
- Cheque Please make payable to St. Mary's PCC
- Online via https://my.give.net/stmarysbletchley
- Charity giving For more information please visit cafonline.org or stewardship.org.uk
- Leave a Legacy You may also like to consider making a donation to St Mary’s in your will. Please ask your solicitor when you make or change your will, or refer to our Legacy Giving Guide found in the information area in church.
- Payroll giving through your employer’s payroll giving scheme (this only applies if your employer runs such a scheme – your Human Resources department can provide details on this).
- By Text Just text STMB00 and either £1, £2,£3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.
Please consider that regular giving by Bank standing order, charity or payroll giving costs us less in bank charges and administration costs, although you are very welcome to donate in a way that suits your circumstances.
Individual one off donations
You can write cheques, CAF or Stewardship vouchers all payable to ‘St Mary’s PCC, Bletchley’ or you can make on line donations through internet banking direct to the Church’s bank account. Please email for details.
Which ever method you choose please complete a pledge form. Also don’t forget to let us know of any changes you make in the future, as it helps us considerably not only with planning budgets but with the accounts administration.
Tax Efficient Giving
It helps St Mary’s if you can Gift Aid your giving, even if its just a one off donation.
Providing we have a signed Gift Aid declaration, we can claim 25p back from the Government for every £1 you give. In order to do this you need to be a UK tax payer and have paid or will pay an amount of Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax for each tax year (6 April to 5 April) that is at least equal to the amount of tax that all the charities that you donate to will reclaim on your gifts for that tax year.
If you have any questions on ways of giving, please contact the Finance Officer, Nicky Whitmore, on 01908 366531 or email