As you become a more generous giver, you more fully reflect God's life in you, for God is a giver.
You make God happy (2 Corinthians 9:7-8).
You testify to His sovereignty in your life and ownership of all that is yours to control (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
You reflect where your treasure is (Matthew 6:19-21).
You show your complete trust in Him to supply for your needs (Philippians 4:17-19).
You ensure greater spiritual usefulness (Luke 16:11-12).
You reap eternal benefits (1 Timothy 6:18-19).
Most importantly, you bring Him glory (2 Corinthians 9:13).
For these reasons and many more, I want to inspire you to grow in your giving.
Over the decades, the Sound Mind Investing newsletter has published dozens of articles aimed at encouraging our readers in the area of giving. At first, that might seem like a strange choice for an investing publication. Many of the articles don't speak about financial matters at all.
But they do something more important. They powerfully remind us of eternal riches and the unshakeable truth of Paul's admonition to "Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58). God is resolutely determined to use our sacrifices for His glory.
That's what I want! Don't you? To see God use our lives for His glory? After all, that's why He made us. As John Piper put it in Desiring God:
God created us "in his image" so that we would image forth his glory in the world. We were made to be prisms refracting the light of God's glory into all of life. Why God should want to give us a share in shining with his glory is a great mystery. Call it grace or mercy or love — it is an unspeakable wonder. Once we were not. Then we existed for the glory of God!
Therefore it is the duty of every person to live for the glory of God. "So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31).
What does it mean to glorify God? It does not mean to make him more glorious. It means to acknowledge his glory, and to value it above all things, and to make it known. It implies heartfelt gratitude (Psalm 50:23). It also implies trust (Romans 4:20).
Let me encourage you — if your stewardship and your giving aren't sufficiently pointed in the direction of God's glory, change directions. Give at a level that truly reflects your gratitude and trust.
Many churches and Christian organizations are operating on a diminishing base of support, yet are faced with ministering to a growing level of needs. As a consequence, fewer are hearing the gospel of Christ, fewer are being discipled in their faith, and fewer are receiving help with their physical needs. This is so unnecessary. If we who follow Christ would give as we are capable of giving — some only a tithe, others much more of our incomes — there would be a great abundance of funds to do God's work.
We're passing through this life for just a short time. The Bible says we're strangers, aliens on earth, citizens of "a better country — a heavenly one" (Hebrews 11). You and I know that. May our response to that truth be as wholehearted as hers as we keep our eyes on the prize
Consider these words from the chapter "Coming Home” in The Sacred Romance, Drawing Closer to the Heart of God by Brent Curtis and John Eldredge:
For now, our life is a journey of high stakes and frequent danger. But we have turned the corner; the long years in exile are winding down and we are approaching home. There is no longer any question as to whether we will make it and if it will be good when we get there. "I am going there to prepare a place for you," Jesus promised. "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me" (John 14:2-3).
One day soon we will round a bend in the road and our dreams will come true. We really will live happily ever after. The long years in exile will be swept away in the joyful tears of our arrival home.…
All we long for we shall have; all we long to be, we will be.… And then real life begins.
Austin Pryor is the founder of Sound Mind Investing, publisher of America's best-selling investment newsletter written from a biblical perspective. Through its newsletter, website, and the small-group study http://multiplystudy.com/ >"Multiply," SMI helps people manage money effectively so they can truly live well and give generously.