There are three broad ways to give to church and charity. I have found that it is best to put the types of gifts in these categories to better budget for continuous generosity. Furthermore, it is a blessing to give, and it keeps your finances healthy and balanced. Read about some of what you can expect to get in return for being a giver in this post: The Gift Received When Giving is Wonderfully Unexpected.
Regular Offerings and Giving
Bringing offerings to your local church should be a part of your regular giving. If you have a charitable fund set up in your budget, it can come out of this money just like all other giving.
The Bible mentions several types of offerings. As written in the New Testament, Jesus Christ has fulfilled many of these laws. The crucifixion of Jesus, Him dying on the cross once and for all, and rising from the dead, completely fulfills our sin offering, the burnt offering, and the guilt offering.
Give to Church and Charity like the Grain Offering
One type of giving, the offering of grain, best parallels our giving in the church today. As stated on Seedbed.com, “The purpose of the Grain Offering was a voluntary expression of devotion to God, recognizing His goodness and providence.” – seedbed.com.
Hence, the grain offering was a free-will offering. Levitical law did not require any specific amount or frequency of the grain offering. You get to decide how much and how often you give at church. Bring an offering should be a time of worship time.
Please remember that giving an offering is not the same as returning the tithe. Return the tithe before you even begin to budget. Then plan your giving in the budget, which includes offerings. Many people miss the distinct difference here. Read this article where I explain the purpose of the tithe.
Have you ever heard of a love offering? You will read this reference many times in the Bible. Give out of love. And don’t worry if you can’t find the amount of money you want to give in your budget. Your very life can be and should be an offering to God.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” – Romans 12:1.
Here in Romans, Paul presents the idea of serving as an offering. Yes, you can give your time and talent as an offering for the Lord. Indeed, Jesus loves you so much He came to serve. You can show your love in the same manner.
When you see someone in need and Holy Spirit speaks, it’s your chance to be used by God at that moment. It is a good thing you have been saving up in your giving fund for months or maybe years. You have been waiting for this moment.
Have you ever wondered how people can react to a need at a moment’s notice? It’s called praying, saving, and waiting. Being prepared seemed so dull until now. But of all the ways to give to church and charity, spontaneous gifts have an unbelievable impact.
I’ve been in that church service before. There is a special guest, a missionary who has been gone for over a year. They have been working in a small village you have never noticed on the globe. The family gives a presentation with pictures and videos from the people they are reaching for Jesus. You see the tremendous impact they are having. And you feel a tug on your heart.
Certainly, the most significant investment you can make is for the spreading of the message of Jesus Christ. Investing your time relaying your testimony to others is the best use of your time. Using your God-given talent to create the tools needed for these endeavors is why you were born with them. And, of course, the wealth you are stewarding is best invested in the same.
Giving to the mission field is one way to invest in the kingdom. “For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth.” – 3 John 1:7-8 NLT
Give to Church and Charity with Spontaneity
This moment of spontaneity doesn’t just come at church but may appear at any moment. There are charities that I felt lead to give to after a presentation during a music concert.
I’ve also been in the same situation where there was a call for generosity. I felt regretful for not planning because I could not participate. That’s not God. The Holy Spirit is a gentleman, and those moments of disappointment were all self-inflicted.
Those moments when I could not only drove me to get ready for the next moment. I now prepare my heart and my bank account for the next opportunity.
I know Matthew 24:42 is referring to Jesus coming back to take us home. But could you apply this to God’s prompting to give? “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” – Matthew 24:42
What if the Lord comes to you with a need in which you need to be ready to act? Are you ready to give your service to someone who needs your skills? Will you have the funds available for that neighbor with an expensive medical burden? Is your schedule freed up for the Lord to use it to do a miracle?
Please don’t beat yourself up as I did when I was not ready. Just start preparing for the next need. I promise you, there is another one right around the corner.
The first way to give was very planned and systematic. The second was spontaneous and random. Both are strategic, though, because God is an orderly God. Your giving needs to be methodical.
Well, that is no truer than in outrageous giving. You must be well organized and very much prayed up to be available and willing to give huge sums of time, talent, hospitality, or money. This is generosity in its greatest form.
It is no small task to pay for an entire community center, or open your home to a half dozen refugees at once, or write a seven-figure check to a charity. But there are people ready and willing to do the work of God. Some of these take long periods for planning, and others can happen overnight.
We all need to plan to give with purpose
I wrote this post to myself first, but I know you may have needed to hear these words too. If you have been trying to figure out how to give more and found this post helpful, let me know in the comment section below. If you want to learn about ways to provide significant gifts without spending much at all, read this post: Giving Without Spending a Penny.