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Acts 11:29 - Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.
2 Corinthians 9:7 - So let each one give as he purposes in his heart.
Consider what we can learn:
First we purpose, then we give. Giving should not be done randomly without thought. Giving is not a matter to be taken lightly.
It is a mistake to wait till the plate is passed and then decide what to give.
Giving must be done in accordance with our prosperity, and must be done generously and liberally. All this requires that we think carefully ahead of time about the amount of our gift.
The church has many important works it needs money to accomplish. We must think carefully about the value of the work the church is doing, then we evaluate our own income and our ability to give to meet that need. All this takes forethought and planning.
Some people give more thought to buying a new pair of shoes than they do to how much they give to the church!
How much thought and planning have you given regarding the amount that you put in the plate to support the work of the church each first day of the week?
Some denominations try to determine for their members how much they ought to give, or they pressure them to give a certain amount. The passages say that each one should give as he has purposed. The church cannot decide what you should give, nor can the preacher or the elders.
You must consider carefully the teaching of the Scriptures, the need of the congregation, and your ability and prosperity. Then you must decide. This is purposing.
After you purpose, you must follow through and give what you purposed. Do not decide to give a certain amount and then change later because there is something else you would rather do. You should purpose, and then you should give according to what you purposed.
Each of us will be judged on the day of judgment for our own lives, including among other things our generosity in supporting the work of the local congregation. Giving to support the church is a serious matter and should be given serious consideration.
(c) Copyright David E. Pratte, 2017
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Scripture quotations are generally from the New King James Version (NKJV), copyright 1982, 1988 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. used by permission. All rights reserved.