Warmth in Giving

Read 1 Corinthians 16:1-4.

Jesus often taught on the subject of money. In His Sermon on the Mount, He said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, . . . But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matthew 6:19-20). Brothers and sisters, what you give to the Lord will always bear dividends—here and now, and ultimately for all eternity.

At the end of his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul addresses the subject of giving. At first this seems a strange place to bring it up. He moves immediately from the triumph of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15 to the triumph of the collection plate in 1 Corinthians 16. But when we understand that our giving is an extension of our faith in Christ, this placement begins to make sense. Because we believe Christ was raised from the dead, we also believe that one day we will be raised, too. And because we believe we will spend eternity with our Lord, we ought to deposit our treasure in heaven today. We do this by giving to the Lord and His work in our world.

Paul gave the Corinthians three timeless principles to guide them in their giving, which are helpful to us today as well. First, he said that our giving should be regular—not haphazard or when we feel like it but right on time, right on schedule, according to a plan. Second, he said giving should be done with a sense of personal responsibility. No one in Corinth was exempt. Rather, Paul said, “each one” should give (see 1 Corinthians 16:2). Paul didn’t want anyone to miss out on the blessing of giving—storing up treasure in heaven. Finally, he instructed that giving should be proportional to our income. Since everything we earn, everything we are given, comes from God, it’s only right that our giving be in keeping with our blessing.

Martin Luther once said, “There are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, the conversion of the mind, and the conversion of the purse.” In view of God’s amazing grace, let’s cheerfully give all that we can, led by the love of Christ. For we know that He who has provided us with such a hope and a future will also meet our needs today as we faithfully give.

Prayer: Father, thank You for Your daily provision in my life. You are faithful and full of grace. Help me to cheerfully give in this life, remembering where my true treasure lies and longing to see more come to know the wonders of Your love. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, . . .” (1 Corinthians 16:2).

Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef’s sermon Healthy Living in a Sick World, Part 21: LISTEN NOW

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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