Giving in Response To Grace

By Ryan Dawson

What does it look like to give in response to God’s grace?  

We serve a gracious and generous God.  God is a lavish giver.  He gives us life and breath.  He gave us Jesus.  He gives us every spiritual blessing in Christ.  He gives us His Holy Spirit to lead, guide us, and empower us.  He gives us a hope for the future.  We are created in the image of God so we have the privilege and responsibility to reflect God in His generosity.  

One way we do this is through giving.   In the Old Testament we see that the Israelites were commanded to give their tithe (a tenth of their income) as well as various offerings.   They were really obligated to give in this way.  The tithe was a type of tax that helped the Israelites understand that God is the owner of everything, and therefore God’s people should depend on Him and reflect Him in generosity.

The New Testament is virtually silent on the issue of tithing.  As a result, some people argue that the tithe still applies and remains the “goal post” for mature giving, while others argue that the tithe doesn’t apply today, often to justify giving less than ten percent.    

Does the New Testament establish giving principles?   Where would we expect to see greater generosity  - under the Law or under Grace with the Holy Spirit?   The answer is that the NT clearly outlines a pattern for giving, under grace, which far surpasses the generosity seen in the Old Testament.  So what are these principles for giving today?  

In 2 Corinthians 8-9, and in 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 the Apostle Paul gives us some very helpful guidelines for New Testament giving which apply to us today.  

  • Give Thankfully in response to God’s grace.  “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9)  This is our starting point for giving.  We recognize that everything we have is a gift of grace flowing from Jesus who gave us everything.  

  • Give Humbly under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.  “They [Macedonian believers] even did more than we had hoped, for their first action was to give themselves to the Lord and to us, just as God wanted them to do. (2 Cor. 8:5)  Our first action should be to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus.  When we do this all other areas come under his loving leadership, including how we handle our finances.  

  • Give Sacrificially following the example of Jesus. “For I can testify that they gave not only what they could afford, but far more.”  (2 Cor. 8:3)  God honours sacrificial giving.  If our giving is not a true sacrifice we need to give in greater ways.

  • Give Willingly with a cheerful heart.   “And they did it [gave] of their own free will.” (2 Cor. 8:3)  God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7) so we should give willingly, not under compulsion or guilt.  

  • Give Excellently as a way to grow in this gift.  “Since you excel in so many ways...I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.” (2 Cor. 8:7)  Giving is a gift that we should continue to grow in, so it is important to continue to develop our “generosity muscles”.  One way to grow in this gift, would be to increase your giving by a percentage every year as an act of faith.  

  • Give Individually.  “each one of you should [give]” (1 Cor. 16:2) We can and should give regardless of our age and stage in life.  

  • Give Regularly in accordance with the way you receive your income.  “On the first day of each week…” (1 Cor. 16:2)  The key is to give with a frequency that is consistent with your income schedule.  This is made easy through pre-authorized giving.

  • Give Systematically.  “put aside a portion of money…” (1 Cor. 16:2)  Giving as a first priority ensures that we honour God in this area. Generally, if we wait to give until we pay all our bills we never get around to giving.  When we put God first, by giving first, it is amazing to see how God stretches our money.  

  • Give Proportionately.  “a portion…you earned” (1 Cor. 16:2)  Setting a prayerfully, predetermined, percentage to give, helps us be consistent in our generosity.  Those with a greater income can give more than those with a modest income.  The Bible does not emphasize equal giving but it does emphasize sacrificial giving for all.

  • Give Effectively to Gospel workers in the church, to the needs in the church, other Kingdom work, and the poor & needy.   (Acts 6:1, 11:28-30, Romans 15:25-27, 1 Cor. 8 & 9, Galatians 2:10, 6:6, 1 Timothy 5:17-18.)   We make giving to our local church family a priority, and in addition we support other important ministries and causes God places on our heart.  

  • Give Expectantly in faith, trusting God to bless & provide.  “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” 10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 2 Cor. 9:7-10

So how is your giving?  Take some time to prayerfully consider your giving and ask the Lord to help you reflect His generosity.  

If you would like to give to the Lord to support the vision and mission of Sequoia you can do so in several ways…

  • You can give online easily through the Sequoia website or through our App, under the "GIVE" tab.
  • You can give in-person every Sunday, via cash or cheque, at Guest Services after the service. Cheques made payable to Sequoia Community Church can be mailed to the church office as well.
  • If you would like to give regularly without the hassle of cheques, Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT's) can be setup easily through our website.  
  • You can also send an e-transfer to through your online banking options.

Thank you for responding to God’s grace and reflecting God through your generosity! Together we are making a significant difference for the Kingdom.  

Blessings, Ryan
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