Purposeful giving means two things: we give in order to worship, and we give for the sake and furtherance of ministry.
Giving is an act of worship. This is an extremely important thing to grasp when it comes to tithing. Giving our monies to the work of the church is meant to be just as worshipful as when we stand up and sing. Jon Payne writes, “Don’t let the placing of your tithe and/or offering in the collection plate during the worship service be a mere formality or mindless ritual. Rather, as with the other parts of the liturgy, make it a conscious, joyful act of worship" (In the Splendor of Holiness, 81).
Anything that’s repeated often can become dull and routine. We don’t want our giving to be that way. We should not mechanically reach into the pocket or purse and drop in the money without giving it a second thought. We are bringing something to the Lord of the universe. Don’t be flippant in your giving. Be purposeful. Be intentional. Be worshipful. As the money goes into the plate, pray to God thanking Him for all that He has done for you and ask Him to bless your contribution to His Kingdom.
Another aspect of purposeful giving is recognizing that our monies and resources are actually meant to be used! The Bible speaks clearly that God gives to us so we can use His gifts for His glory. We need to make thoughtful decisions. In terms of the church, having finances is not the end, or the goal, of tithing. Using our finances for God’s glory is the goal.
Think of the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. It is from that parable that we get the grand benediction we all long to hear from our Lord one day: “Well done, good and faithful servant” (v. 21). We often say or think of this line out of context, and don’t realize it is spoken of a master commending the diligent financial stewardship of one of his servants! God does not want us to hold onto what He has given us until He returns. Certainly, if we do that we can say, “Here, have what is yours” (v. 25). But God will say, “I know it’s mine—and it could have been so much more!” (vv. 26-30).
He has given us so-o-o-o-o much. God gives to us so that we would give back to Him. We do this by investing our gifts into people, places, and things that will yield an increase for Christ’s kingdom on earth. This cannot happen by carelessly tossing a few dollars into the offering plate every so often. The use of God’s resources requires more diligence than that.
Once again, God must be the guide in our giving. He gave with purpose, with intention, with planning: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). This means when Christ came into the world to give eternal life, he had you in mind! In response to the purposeful gifts of the Father, let us pray for wisdom and desire to give to Him in return.
PRAYER THOUGHT: Dear Jehovah Jirah, You Are the God that provides for all our needs. You have given your Son as a ransom for our sins. He died in my place... a debt I could never repay. You have also given us abundant life in Jesus. You have given us your Holy Word as a guide. You have placed with us your Holy Spirit. You have given us Spiritual Gifts by which to build up the body and to fulfill your purposes. You have given us hope... eternal life everlasting in heaven. Now Holy Father, help me to give as you have given. Help me to love others and meet needs. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.