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Charitable giving

I love this bucket because it is where my citizenship in heaven becomes more real to me than my citizenship on earth. When I ask God what He would have me to give, over time, way above and beyond the tithe amount, I am establishing a dependence on Him and asking Him to allow me to be a part of His work on earth. Establishing a charitable giving priority for the long term will be invaluable as you and I think about what kind of legacy we are leaving. Charitable giving allows us to walk boldly into the truth of the verse, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

What are the three most important financial questions I should ask myself?
  1. Who owns it?
    I am a manager or trustee of everything God has given me. How will I handle it?

  2. How much is enough?
    I need to set finish lines so that I know when I am done accumulating. Then I decide what to do with the extra.

  3. Who is going to be the next steward?
    Who gets what I have accumulated after I am gone, and are they prepared?

What are the ways in which I can plan to leave my estate?

If you simplify your thinking you can simplify your life and your decision- making.

There are only three places your estate can go after you die.

  1. Charity: If you leave your entire estate to charity there will be no taxes, but your heirs will not get anything.

  2. Heirs: There is usually a tax consequence and a legal expense associated with this, so your heirs will not get dollar for dollar what you leave them.

  3. Legal expenses and taxes

You can decide now, through estate planning, where your estate will go, or someone else will decide for you after you are gone.


Why are wealth transfer decisions so difficult?

There is a lot of potential for misunderstanding as you transfer wealth. The problems that arise in families are usually not about money; rather, they are usually about things.

When it comes to wealth transfer and estate planning decisions, there are many issues that create complexity and difficulty.

  1. How can you help your heirs without harming them?

  2. Will you create sibling rivalry with your decisions?

  3. How do you manage the expectations of your heirs?

  4. How do you provide for your spouse?

  5. How do you provide for the Kingdom?

  6. If you have a business, how do you provide for the succession of the business?

  7. How do you make sure that you finish strong?

  8. What are the legal and tax complexities?

  9. What is your timing? (No one knows when he or she is going to die.)

These are just a few of the issues that make wealth transfer and estate planning decisions difficult. You will need to look at other resources to find the answers to all of these questions. But there are answers available.

Wealth transfer should begin now, not as you get close to death.

What is tithing and why is it important?

In the Bible, tithing is typically 10%.

You should tithe because the Bible commands you to do so.

  • Prov. 3:9 “Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce.” (NAS)

  • Mal. 3:10 “’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.’” (NAS)

  • I Cor. 16:1-2 “Now about the collection for God’s people: do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” (NIV)

Your giving should be proportionate, as the Lord has prospered you, and as a minimum, 10%.
You need to tithe as a recognition that everything you have comes from God. God does not need your money. He needs you to know that where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt. 6:21) As you give, you recognize God’s ownership, and you will receive the joy and the blessing of being submissive, obedient and grateful to your God.

Have an attitude of gratitude. It is best to tithe every week out of the amount that God has blessed you with, so you can benefit by understanding what God has done for you.

What has a higher priority . . . debt repayment or giving?
  • Begin with the principle that God owns it all. It is ALL His, and He is interested in every spending decision that you make.

  • Ps. 24:1 “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world and all who live in it.” (NIV)

  • Every time you spend money, you are making a Biblical, or stewardship, decision.

  • When you give as your highest priority, you will begin to have the right perspective on the rest of your spending decisions.

  • If you are in a crisis situation and cannot pay your debts and give, there are three things you should do:

    • Get counsel. Your pastor is a good person for this.

    • Have a plan. Decide when you will stop tithing, how long it will take you to get out of your crisis situation, and when you will resume your tithe.

    • Have someone hold you accountable to your plan.

What do you do when you and your spouse disagree in the area of giving?

This is a common area of disagreement.

Communication is the key.

God is far more interested in your relationship with your spouse than He is in your money.

If giving is going to be a barrier to your unsaved spouse to even hearing the gospel, then do not force the issue.
Eph. 5:21 “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (NIV) The Bible says to submit to one another. It is far more important that the husband and wife agree than how much money they are giving.

When you and your spouse disagree, you should give only at the level that you both agree upon, even if it is very little or nothing.

How much should I give?

There are three categories of giving:

  • Should give. The Bible says to give in proportion to your income. I Cor. 16:2 “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come, no collections will have to be made.” (NIV) The tithe should be just the beginning. The more you make, the more you should be giving.

  • Could give. This is giving above and beyond your should give commitments. This type of giving is as close as most Americans can come to sacrificial giving. You need to be obedient to God. Go to His word (II Cor. 8 and 9 are good Bible passages on giving), listen to what He has to say, and then do it.

II Cor 8:3-5 “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” (NIV)

II Cor. 8:12 “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” (NIV)

II Cor 9: 6-7 “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (NIV)

You may have to take this money out of a savings account or out of funds saved for another purpose.

  • Would give. This is faith promise giving. Go before God and tell Him that out of whatever unexpected increase you receive, you will give to Him. It is between you and God how much this amount will be.

Eph 3:20. “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” If you follow these three principles, you will be blessed. Try it and see!

Where should I give?

The Bible tells us to give to the poor, widows, orphans, missionaries, pastors, and those who minister to us.

Some questions to ask:

  1. Are all of the above areas covered?

  2. Am I giving locally, nationally, and internationally?

  3. Is the money being used wisely?

    1. Is there humility of leadership?

    2. Is there wise use of money?

    3. How do they treat their staff?

How do I develop a heart for ministry? Matt. 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NIV) So send your treasure first, and your heart will soon follow.

Generosity and Gratitude
  • God demonstrates generosity.

  • We should respond with gratitude.

  • There is not one thing that you have received here on earth that is not a gift from God.

  • Be thankful – acknowledge that everything you have is from God, and let His generosity have an impact on every financial decision that you make.

Philippians 4:6
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (NKJV)

Nancy Williams at CBN, “Giving Thanks: Your Key to Well Being”

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Husband and Wife in Disagreement Over Financial Decisions

I received a question from a lady who had recently become a Christian, and her husband had not committed his life to Christ. Her question was, “What if I want to tithe and save and set a budget, and my husband does not?”

Husbands and wives are often on different financial pages, especially in the areas of giving and saving. Many times, a wife has a greater sense of insecurity financially, because she sees what is going out, but she may not have the same confidence as her husband about what is going to come in. Also, many times, a wife will want to give more than her husband and save more than her husband. These issues about money can be a cause of friction in a marriage.

I have two suggestions if you are in this situation:

  1. Can you bring in a facilitator? Can you have someone listen to both of you, and facilitate your conversation?

  2. Understand that God has put you in a unique position to be a sweet aroma to your husband.

You may have to let go of some things that are causing you some insecurity, and trust God to work in the heart of your husband. This type of trust is not easy, but God is powerful, and He can work through your attitudes and your actions, as much as He can through your words.

Psalm 133:1
“Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.” (NASB)

“Is it Really Possible to Talk to Your Spouse about Finances Without Getting into an Argument?”

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Stewardship
  • The word stewardship means “management.” A steward is a trustee or a manager.

  • Stewardship is about life management – not just money management.

  • Think about stewardship holistically. God has given you specific gifts to use for His honor and His glory.

I Peter 4:10 (NIV)
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms.”

Bob Lotich at ChristianPF asks the question “Stewardship – What is it Really?

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Stewardship: God Owns it All
  • Biblical stewardship begins with the belief that God owns it all.

  • Practice holding everything with an open hand. This way, God can put in or take out anything He wants at any time.

  • If you really believe that God owns it all, you can have true freedom, because there is no more fear of loss.

Psalm 50:10 (NASB)
“For every beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills.”

Chuck Bentley writes at Crosswalk.com about trusting God when things are tough financially.

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Growth Through Stewardship
  • The reality of earthly life is that you are continually in a growth process.

  • Put your life experiences into the context of your spiritual growth. You are being prepared for something bigger in eternity.

  • Do not lose heart in the process, because you will be in a growth process the entire time you are on earth. Remember that you learn from your mistakes.

I Timothy 4:7-8 (NASB)
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”

Ray Stedman writes about the apostle Paul’s stewardship of his accomplishments.

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Stewarding Various Amounts
  • You do not become a steward, you are a steward, regardless of how much or how little you have.

  • If you are faithful with a few things, God will entrust you with more things. The things with which you have been entrusted include money, but they also include time, relationships, job, family, etc.

  • The amount is not important. Remember you are a steward.

Luke 16:10 (NASB)
"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”

Ray Watson of The Secret Place writes that most Christians do not receive five talents. If the “one talent Christians” do not do their part, the work of the Kingdom will not get done.

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Stewardship and Faith
  • You are not a steward simply by holding something. You are a steward as you use or manage things. Faith requires action.

  • You will see the demonstration of God’s faithfulness as you look back, not as you look forward. God is and always will be faithful, but you will see this faithfulness as you need it, and as time unfolds.

  • The only way you are a steward is when you are managing and implementing decisions. Then you will see God work and be faithful to His promises.

James 2:17 (NIV)
“In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Wes Bridel at Kingdom Calling talks about ownership vs. stewardship.

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Stewardship: Money is a Tool

How you use money is one aspect of stewardship.

Money can be used as a tool in three ways:

  1. Money can be exchanged for something of value, such as food, shelter, or building memories with your family.

  2. Money can be used to chisel you into the image of God.

  3. Money can be a tool that God uses to get your attention.

I Timothy 6:6-10 (NASB)
“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

View a story from the writings of the late Bill Bright about God's financial provision for businessman Art DeMoss in an economic downturn."

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Stewardship: Money as a Test
  • God uses money to test your heart. Where your treasure is, that is where your heart will be.

  • The more you have, the more difficult it becomes to trust God. You tend to lean on your possessions and put your trust in things, rather than in God.

  • The key to the money test is to trust God for what you have received and for what you will receive.

Proverbs 30:8b-9 (NIV)
“Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much, and disown you, and say, ‘Who is the Lord?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”

Rick Warren discusses “Money and the Spiritual Life.”

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Stewardship: Money as a Testimony
  • Stewardship is total life management…management of everything, not just of money.

  • You are called to represent Jesus, and to reveal Him to the world.

  • Your life, and the stewardship of your life, is a testimony to the world. As Christians, you are called to be salt and light to the world.

Philippians 2:15 (NASB)
“So that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.”

Pat Robertson writes about what the Bible has to say about money.

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True Financial Freedom: The Salvation Decision

What is the process of achieving true financial freedom?

The first, fundamental decision that you have to make on the road to financial freedom is to deal with your relationship with the creator God. Trusting Him as Savior of your life is a necessary first step to financial freedom.

This decision is between you and God, and you have to make this decision before you can begin the process of true financial freedom.

John 3:16 (NASB)
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

Campus Crusade for Christ tells how you can know God personally.

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True Financial Freedom: The Lordship Decision

What is the process of achieving true financial freedom?

The second decision you need to make is the Lordship decision. Once you have a relationship to God and His Son Jesus, you need to decide who is on the throne of your life as Lord. God is either Lord of all or He is not Lord at all. This is the second decision you need to make on the road to financial freedom.

Ephesians 4:22-23 (NIV)
“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds.”

The Navigators writes a devotional about making Christ the Lord of your life.

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True Financial Freedom: The Calling Decision

What is the process of achieving true financial freedom?

The third decision you need to make is: What has God called you to do vocationally? You may be called to be a doctor or a lawyer, or you may be called to be a stay at home mom or a volunteer. But each person has a work that God has called him or her, specifically, to do.

Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.”

Dan Miller asks the question, “Can your job and your calling be the same thing?”

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True Financial Freedom: The Steward Decision

What is the process of achieving true financial freedom?

The fourth decision you need to make is to commit to managing everything that God has entrusted you with for His honor and His glory?

I Peter 4:10 (NASB)
“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

Randy Alcorn explains how to send your treasure ahead of you to heaven.

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True Financial Freedom: The Treasure Decision

What is the process of achieving true financial freedom?

The fifth decision you need to make is to lay up treasures in heaven. You can decide to be a pipeline of God’s resources, rather than acting as a bucket that hoards resources. You cannot take your resources with you when you die, but you can send them on ahead as treasure in heaven.

I Timothy 6:18-19 (NIV)
“Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

Charles R. Swindoll encourages us to be a joyful pipeline of generosity.

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Charitable giving

I love this bucket because it is where my citizenship in heaven becomes more real to me than my citizenship on earth. When I ask God what He would have me to give, over time, way above and beyond the tithe amount, I am establishing a dependence on Him and asking Him to allow me to be a part of His work on earth. Establishing a charitable giving priority for the long term will be invaluable as you and I think about what kind of legacy we are leaving. Charitable giving allows us to walk boldly into the truth of the verse, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

 

Generous News offers encouragement to live generously.

Generous Giving has a library of generosity related resources.

National Christian Foundation offers expert counsel and innovative giving solutions.

Mint.com has good statistics about giving in the US with an interesting graphic.

Bolder giving shares secular giving stories.



Charitable giving

I love this bucket because it is where my citizenship in heaven becomes more real to me than my citizenship on earth. When I ask God what He would have me to give, over time, way above and beyond the tithe amount, I am establishing a dependence on Him and asking Him to allow me to be a part of His work on earth. Establishing a charitable giving priority for the long term will be invaluable as you and I think about what kind of legacy we are leaving. Charitable giving allows us to walk boldly into the truth of the verse, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21)

Genesis 28:20-22
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the Lord will be my God. And this stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house; and of all that Thou dost give me I will surely give a tenth to Thee. (NASB)

Exodus 34:26a
You shall bring the very first of the first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God. (NASB)

Deuteronomy 14:22-23
You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. And you shall eat in the presence of the Lord your God, at the place where He chooses to establish His name, the tithe of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and your flock, in order that your may learn to fear the Lord your God always. (NASB)

Deuteronomy 14:28-29
At the end of every third year you shall bring out the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall deposit it in your town. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do. (NASB)

Deuteronomy 15:10
You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings. (NASB)

Deuteronomy 24:19
When you reap your harvest in your field and have forgotten a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back and get it; it shall be for the alien, for the orphan, and for the widow, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. (NASB)

I Chronicles 29:9
The people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly. (NASB)

Proverbs 3:9-10
Honor the Lord from your wealth, and from the first of all your produce;
so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine. (NASB)

Proverbs 11:24-25
There is one who scatters, yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, but it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered. (NASB)

Proverbs 22:9
He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor. (NASB)

Proverbs 28:22
A stingy man is eager to get rich and is unaware that poverty awaits him. (NIV)

Proverbs 28:27
He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses. (NASB)

Ezekiel 44:30
And the first of all the first fruits of every kind and every contribution of every kind, from all your contributions, shall be for the priests; you shall also give to the priest the first of your dough to cause a blessing to rest on your house. (NASB)

Malachi 3:8-10
“Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now on this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” (NASB)

Matthew 5:42
Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you. (NASB)

Matthew 6:3-4
But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. (NASB)

Matthew 23:23
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law; justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. (NASB)

Mark 12:41-44
And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the multitude were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. And calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” (NASB)

Luke 3:11
And he would answer and say to them, “Let the man who has two tunics share with him who has none; and let him who has food do likewise.” (NASB)

Luke 6:30
“Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.” (NASB)

Luke 6:35
“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High; for He Himself is kind to ungrateful and evil men.” (NASB)

Luke 6:38

“Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” (NASB)

Luke 11:42
“But woe to you Pharisees! For you pay tithe of mint and rue and every kind of garden herb, and yet disregard justice and the love of God; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” (NASB)

Acts 20:35
In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (NASB)

Romans 12:8
. . . he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (NASB)

I Corinthians 16:2
On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come. (NASB)

II Corinthians 8:3-5
For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability they gave of their own accord, begging us with much entreaty for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God. (NASB)

II Corinthians 9:10-15
Now He who supplies seed to sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. (NASB)

II Corinthians 9:6

Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. (NASB)

II Corinthians 9:7
Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. (NASB)

Galatians 6:2
Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. (NASB)

Galatians 6:7
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. (NASB)

I Timothy 6:18
Instruct them to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share. (NASB)

   


 

 
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