We are well aware that it can be dicey for churches to talk about money. But, the reality is that Jesus spoke as much about money as he did about heaven and hell. He did so because he saw that money had great spiritual power – power to cripple our devotion to God (Matthew 6:24) and power to intensify our devotion to God.
Ultimately, Jesus’ call is to let our giving be an investment in the enduring work of God in the world. At The River, that takes place in some very mundane ways (like paying the rent for our gatherings) and also in some very exhilarating ways (like partnering with Christ followers in Peru to eliminate sexual abuse).
During the Advent season, we invite members of our community to give additional gifts to a few organizations locally and globally. You can learn more about this year's Advent Giving partners at the page linked below.
What are some key principles for giving that honors God?
- Give of your “firstfruits” (Deuteronomy 18:4; Nehemiah 10:35)
While our culture tempts us to believe that we are owners of our stuff, scripture reminds us that everything belongs to God . . . and that we are stewards who will be called to account for our management. When we give of our firstfruits (as opposed to our leftovers), we make a statement that God is trustworthy . . . that we can trust that He takes good care of his children. Most practically, the principle of “firstfruits” is put into motion when we give in a regular, pre-determined manner.
- Give generously (Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:10; Matthew 23:23; Acts 2:45)
From ancient times, the spiritual practice of giving 10% of our income (a tithe) has been honored amongst God’s people. Jesus upheld this standard. And the stories of the New Testament and the early church indicate that one of the primary marks of the Holy Spirit’s presence is the freedom to give far beyond the tithe. To those for whom this practice seems unimaginable, we say that generations of God’s people have found tithing to be a powerful spiritual practice that leads to freedom and worship. God specifically calls us to test Him by tithing, to allow Him the opportunity to prove himself faithful.
- Give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:6-15)
It’s true that giving may induce fear and trembling for many of us. Nevertheless, God can transform our fearfulness into hilarious delight by proving Himself faithful to provide for everything we need. We hope you’ll experience this amazing expression of God’s grace.