The first reason I give is because of the satisfaction and joy that comes from giving. In Matthew 7:7-8, Jesus said: If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! This is the heart of God toward His children! As image bearers of God, we reflect His heart; a heart to give and in giving we find joy and satisfaction.
A second reason why I give to the church and to kingdom causes is because I’ve surrendered my to the one who instructs and invites me to be a giver. In Luke 6:38 Jesus said, Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. Jesus is the one who said it is more blessed to give. He was always underscoring the truth that his followers would be givers. For me, it comes down to this: the One to whom I have surrendered my life to asks me to do this, so I must respond in obedience.
Thirdly, not only am I in a covenant relationship with God, I'm in a covenant relationship with the church family at Valley. In our constitution we acknowledge a duty to participate in the life of the church an support it financially. So for Janice and me, we are going to give to Valley as long as we are part of it, because we have made a promise to God and to our church family.
The fourth reason why I give is to be in a place to receive God's favor and blessing. This is not my primary reason for giving but almost every time the Bible speaks about the stewardship of our resources, there is an accompanying promise. In Malachi 3:10 God says: Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this, says the Lord Almighty, and see if i will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.
As we have sought to honor God with our giving, we have seen this pattern of His blessing and favor and protection. You can’t convince me otherwise! So why would we move out from under the umbrella of God's care and blessing?
One last reason, and his one is real personal; one day I want to hear God say, well done good and faithful servant. We all have to wrestle through and come to some conclusions on what it is we’re living for, who it is we are living to serve. Ever since God intercepted my life as a 17 year-old, I have had a sense of living my life with one eye on eternity, looking to that day when I hear, “well done”.
I think we all want to hear those words. So Father, we confess all that we have comes from You. Help us to steward well our resources and our lives for Your honor and glory.