Giving for God’s Delight
On Sunday, December 9 I gave a short exhortation about giving. I mentioned three reasons we’ve not talked enough about giving over our first four years:
We don’t want money from hearts who don’t want to give it
We’ve never been in financial trouble as a church
We have missed a discipleship opportunity
That last point was a little twist.
When it comes down to it, giving is an important piece of Christian discipleship — and discipleship is our mission. That means we need to talk about it.
Any cursory reading through the Gospels shows us that Jesus had a lot to say about money (see Matthew 6:1–4; 21, 24; 13:22; 19:21; 21:12–13; Mark 12:41–44; Luke 3:14; 12:33; 16:13–15) — and Jesus talks about money (like the whole Bibles does) because of what it reveals about our hearts.
Money has the potential to either harm or bless. It can be a snare for trouble or a tool for thanksgiving. That’s why we see warnings like “The love of money is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10) and “Keep your lives free from the love of money” (Hebrews 13:5), but we also see great statements of favor like “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 8:7) and “It is well with the man who deals generously and lends” (Psalm 112:5).
So if there were ever a discipleship topic that called for clarity, this is it, and therefore we’re planning to teach on it more in 2019 and the years to come. And the timing feels right here. Not only will it come up in our Spring sermon series (see 1 Timothy 6:6–10 and 6:17–19), but now that we’re “four years in” this makes sense. It means we’re growing up as a church. We’re trying to apply the Lordship of Jesus into all of life. What does faithfulness to the gospel look like here? — what about here? — and what about here?
We will be asking those questions until Jesus comes back, and they are good questions.
So What About Giving?
And what about money? What about giving?
Like I mentioned in the exhortation, our generosity correlates to our understanding of God’s grace — and God doesn’t want it any other way. When Paul wants to motivate the Corinthian church to be kind with their resources, he points them to Jesus. 2 Corinthians 8:6,
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
When Paul talks about the act of giving, he references the emotional experience. 2 Corinthians 9:7,
Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
It’s implied here that reluctant, white-knuckled giving is not cheerful, and neither is giving out of guilt. And for what it’s worth, this is why browbeating people into giving is so terrible. It doesn’t just do them a disservice, but it robs God of his delight. Heaven forbid that we ever do that.
We want you to give to Cities Church because you have experienced the grace of Jesus, because your heart is overflowing with an abundance of joy, because you are rich toward God.
Happy givers make God happy, and that’s what we want.
Here are two ways to give:
You can make a one-time gift or set up a reoccurring donation online.
Cash or Checks
You can make gifts of cash or checks at our Sunday gatherings. There are two giving boxes located at the front entrance of the building, right by the Welcome Desk.
You can also mail checks to
PO Box 130633
Saint Paul, MN 55113