Summer family giving series: Teaching biblical generosity

by NCF staff  |  July 20, 2018  |  Type: Insights

This is Part 2 of our Summer Family Giving Series. Read Part 1: Prayer.

When it comes to the inheritance you are leaving your children or grandchildren, do you think primarily in terms of money and material things? It’s important to remember that the spiritual capital you pass on to your kids is much more valuable than any financial capital they will inherit. If you want to help them discover God's perspective on money and generosity, you can teach them how to use the Bible as their road map.

To help you get started, reflect on these seven key statements about biblical generosity. Then, set aside some time this summer to share what you believe, in your own words, with your children or grandchildren. You may wish to explore the relevant Bible verses as well, and commit some of them to memory together.

  1. We acknowledge God’s ownership over all: Everything that exists belongs to the Creator of the universe. The wealth of the earth and all its resources are entrusted to us, with the privilege to be stewards. Our money is never ours to spend as we choose; our money is God’s to spend as he directs. Good stewards, or managers, seek to please the one they serve. The good news is that the One we serve is extravagantly generous with his love and possessions. (1 Chronicles 29:11-12, Psalm 24:1, Psalm 50:10-12, Matthew 25:14-30)

  2. We see that God is generous: God’s generosity toward us comes before the beginning of time. Before our own creation, God was fashioning an earth perfectly fitted to sustain us. But he did not stop there. Beyond our survival, he considered our pleasure. He made countless beautiful species of plants and animals and stars too numerous to count. And when we did not honor him as we should, God gave what he loved most – his only Son - so that we could live forever with him. (Genesis 2:7, Psalm 16:11, James 1:17, 1 Timothy 6:17)

  3. We are called to reflect God’s generous nature: As Christians, we don’t give because we’re required to give. We give because our master has been generous to us, and he has told us to imitate him. The privilege of being God’s children comes with the responsibility to love others. Because of our faith, we have been invited into the family of God and we are called to bless the whole world, in Jesus’ name. (Ephesians 5:1-2, Galatians 3:29, Romans 8:17)

  4. We believe that giving is worship, and the result is joy: God gives us a picture of the overwhelming joy of giving through the life of the man after his own heart, King David. After David had gathered the materials to build a temple for God, David worshipped, overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. And a whole nation followed his lead. (1 Chronicles 29:1-30)

  5. We recognize that giving transforms us: Giving is a supernatural, step-by-step agreement to trust God’s ways over our own. It’s a learning process, by which we show God and teach ourselves that our hearts and all the things we possess are his. Few things have such power as courageous giving to build our faith, mature us, and change us from the inside out. (Romans 12:2, 2 Corinthians 10:5)

  6. We know that God is pleased when we give: Our giving is a measure of our hearts. It demonstrates whether we are grateful and whether or not we trust he will provide for our needs. Jesus said there is more blessing in giving than getting.  But we will only know this as truth when we experience it for ourselves, when we sense our own joy, and his, as we share what we have with people who need it. (Acts 20:32-35, Hebrews 13:16, 2 Corinthians 9:7)

  7. We understand that giving is an investment in what is most important: The Apostle Paul said that we are citizens of a coming kingdom where Jesus will reign. Jesus said we should seek it first, above everything else … not just wait for it, but expect it and prepare our lives for it. He said that when we did this, God would take care of everything else. (Matthew 6:33, Matthew 24-25; Luke 14:28, Philippians 3:20)

Be sure to visit our blog in the coming weeks to read the next installment in our Summer Family Giving Series.

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