There’s one more thing that God has given us as part of our partnership: money. God also expects us to be partners with our money money. Giving signifies a partnership.
I. Giving is partnership.
A. God gives us money. See Deuteronomy 8:18. God gives us the ability we have to produce the wealth we have. Therefore, indirectly, God gives us money. Every good and perfect gift is from God. See James 1:17.
B. The money is to meet our needs. See Titus 3:14. If our daily necessities are not met, we cannot live productive lives and God meets our needs. 1 Timothy 6:17 reminds us to put our hope in God and not in money. In Philippians 4:12-13, Paul reminds us that although we will have tough times, God will take care of us.
C. The money is to accomplish God’s purposes. Our partnership is like being in a family business with God. One purpose is that God wants us to meet the needs of other people. See Ephesians 4:28. Spreading the gospel is another purpose. See Matthew 28:19-20, Philippians 1:4-5, and Romans 10:13-15.
We are to honor God with our wealth. Proverbs 3:9 states “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops”
II. Our giving reveals a lot about our partnership with God.
How much we give in total is not as important as how much we give in proportion to how much we make. Jesus illustrates this in Mark 12:41-44.
A. It reveals whether we are givers or takers. Are we participating or just receiving? Takers have entitlement mentality and they think they are owed and want to take as much as they can. A giver realizes that as soon as they are born, they realize they are already in debt. Romans 13:8 states “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.” And in Romans 1:14, Paul felt that he was obligated to everyone.
B. It reveals who is number one. Giving serves as an evaluation tool, just as tests do. We know that God deserves to be in first place. 1 Corinthians 16:2, Mark 12:30, Proverbs 3:9-10, and Matthew 6:33 encourage us to put God first. The tendency is to give God what is left over and if we are not intentional about putting God first, it will not happen.
C. It reveals the nature of our partnership with God. Just as temperature and blood tests reveal the overall health of the body, our giving reveals the nature of our relationship with God. Matthew 6:21 states “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Part of giving reveals, but the other part controls the partnership with God.
III. Our giving impacts the future of our partnership with God.
A. Your heart follows your treasure. When we say “heart”, we think “emotion”, but “heart” in Jesus’ day meant the center of the person. This is not just your feelings, but also your mind and will. For the thing you value most, you will go to like a magnet.
B. You can choose your treasure. You can use your money to help people. Mark 12:30 lets us know that we can choose our treasure. Usually, we pick up from our culture what we should treasure, but we don’t have to do this.
C. You can choose where you put your treasure. See Matthew 6:20-21.
D. You can choose who you become.
We are partners with God. God gives us money to be his partner. If we use our money as our thermostat to reveal our relationship with God, where are we? Are we all in? If not, we can change this. Ask God if our giving reflects our relationship with Him.