The Bible contains such outrageous promises, some people can’t help but throw their money at God.
But are they doing it for the right reasons? What about the people who don’t have much money? Can they give something else and still please God? These Bible verses about giving can teach you more about yourself than money.
Whether a person has a billion or less than a buck, people have passionate feelings about money. Whether you’re a big roller or a coupon clipper, God is more passionate about your heart than your bank account.
So what does the Bible say about giving? More importantly, what does it say about you? Read these Bible verses and then examine your heart as you respond to them.
MISUSED BIBLE VERSES ABOUT GIVING
There are roughly 2,350 Bible verses about giving, which is approximately 15% of the scriptures.
The Bible has more to say about giving, money, greed, generosity and wealth than heaven and hell combined.
But sadly, many of these Bible verses have been misused and many people are either swindled out of their money by greedy men, or deceived by thinking that pursuing money is evil.
The most popular, yet misused passage in the Old Testament about tithing is Malachi 3:10. It contains such a an outrageous promise, people are eager to give their money to God.
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
The "Prosperity Gospel" preachers use this verse to persuade people to give a tithe (10% of income) to their church. They feed people’s greed for more and appeal to their selfish desires by saying the more they give, the more God will give back to them.
But these false teachers bank the big bucks while their donors move to the poor house. Is God not keeping His promise?
The passage of scripture where this verse is taken from was spoken to the nation of Israel and was part of the covenant they agreed to in Exodus 24:7, when Moses read the law in the Book of the Covenant and the people said they would obey.
The main emphasis to note here is that under the Mosaic law, Israel would receive blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. The Old Covenant promises were conditional based on the nation’s obedience.
This verse was never given to Christian believers in the New Covenant, not as a command to give, nor as a promise for prosperity. In fact, tithing is never commanded or implied anywhere in the New Testament.
Another problem people might have with tithing is the motive behind it. It is legalistic, causing a person to think that because they tithed, they earned merit with God. There are three problems with this motive.
First, that he gave something to God and now God owes him something in return. But you can’t give God what already belongs to Him.
I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it.
You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth.
Second, this person has put his faith in his own works instead of in God. It is much easier to follow a system than walk by faith.
Third, the legalist selfishly gives out of a sense of duty to himself in order to maintain God’s favor. Yet the Bible is clear that man’s duty is to love God and love his neighbor. Love, not duty, is the motive that pleases God.
Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’"
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.
1 Corinthians 13:3
If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
MISUNDERSTOOD BIBLE VERSES ABOUT MONEY
One of the most misunderstood Bible verses about money is 1 Timothy 6:10. Some people read this verse and fear they are evil if they desire money. The truth is, nobody can survive without it and God expects you to pursue it.
His conditions are that you pursue it through honest gain (work, investments, etc.), that you spend it on your needs (like housing, food, etc.), that you share with those in need and that you invest it in His kingdom work. Only when money becomes an idol is it a root of evil.
1 Timothy 6:10
“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
People have often misquoted this to say, “Money is the root of all evil.” But that is not true. Money is a root of all “kinds” of evil, not all evil.
First of all, there are many types of evil in the world and they are not all related to money.
Secondly, it is the “love” of money, not money itself that is evil. Money is an inanimate object that has no power in and of itself. In the famous Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught that motives of the heart would dictate what a person loved and worshipped.
No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.
He defined a person’s relationship to money as an either/or relationship with no gray areas. Either love or hate; either be devoted or despise; either God or money. This forces a believer to contrast the love of money against the love of God.
Jesus essentially said that whoever served money hated and despised God while loving and being devoted to money. The word “serve” in this verse means to be a slave to, submit to, obey, or give one’s self up to.
It opposes the greatest commandment for all God’s people to love Him first and foremost and is ultimately a form of idolatry.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
You cannot love God with all your heart while loving money with even a part of your heart. No one can serve two masters, or one-and-a-half masters!
Thirdly, love of money is a “root” of all kinds of evil, meaning the evil could be expressed in many ways. For example, a poor man might covet and be tempted to steal, just as easily as a rich man can be greedy and more concerned about protecting his money more than people.
WHAT IS GREED?
The Bible defines the noun form of greed as meaning “gain.” The adjective form of the word means eager for base gain, greedy for money. It is used to describe those who are focused on selfish gain.
Dictionary.com defines it as excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.
Merriam-webster.com defines it as a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (such as money) than is needed and motivated by naked ambition and greed.
Greed is an excessive desire. Anything that is desired more than God is idolatry. Money can be a threat to your relationship with God so there are many Bible verses about money used as warnings!
1 Timothy 6:9
Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.
1 Timothy 6:10
Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
1 Timothy 6:17-19
As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
GIVING AS GOD GIVES
Just as serving money is a form of slavery, giving money is form of freedom.
When a person hears and trusts in the gospel message, they are set free from the dominion of Satan. And they are released from the bondage of sin that causes greed, worry and anxiety, and given a new heart that is filled with the love of God instead.
Many of the Bible verses about giving mention the ways God gives. The most famous would be the much quoted John 3:16.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.
God’s gift of salvation is by far the greatest need of every man. Food, shelter and clothing might keep a man alive for another day on earth, but they do nothing for his soul, which will eventually die. Without salvation, the soul will be doomed to an eternal destiny in hell.
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Giving money is only one aspect of giving. When you share the gospel with others, you are giving them the road map to eternal life. Whether or not they accept it is not the issue. The fact that you gave them something that can potentially impact their life now, and for eternity, is a far greater gift than anything money can buy.
GIVING THE WORLD A GLIMPSE OF GOD
Christian believers are called to be God’s image bearers by imitating Him.
Giving others the same gifts you received from God is a way to give people a glimpse of God and the beauty of the gospel.
It’s an act of worship through obedience and a representation of God’s character.
You were once an enemy of God, but because of His love, mercy, compassion and grace, He saved you and He expects you to display His character to the world. God calls you to be an ambassador for Christ.
But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.
He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
It is well with the man who deals generously and lends; who conducts his affairs with justice.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
How you relate to others affects your relationship with God. It’s not just about money. God says your gifts to Him are unacceptable if you are not right in your relationships with people.
So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
BIBLE VERSES ABOUT GIVING THAT PROMOTE WORSHIP
Just as helping others is a way of worshipping God, those who are helped also worship God. Giving promotes a cause and effect cycle of worship that glorifies God for His provision through means of using others’ gifts.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
2 Corinthians 9:12-15
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
BIBLE VERSES ABOUT THE REWARDS OF GIVING
Although we can’t buy God’s favor, He blesses those who align their hearts with His. All of nature has a cause and effect relationship. God defines it in the Bible as the law of reaping and sowing and applies it to our spiritual lives as well.
God gives rewards for giving money and helping others. You might not experience any of the rewards until heaven, but they are promised by God and He keeps all his promises!
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
2 Corinthians 9:6
Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed.
There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.
He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor.
He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.
For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.
One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
And you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; for even in Thessalonica you send a gift more than once for my needs. Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.
Some people want to tithe a little cash to God with greedy hopes of gaining a hundred fold return on their investment. Others are like Ebeneezer Scrooge, who have lots of money but wouldn’t part with a penny without suffering great heartburn. Both are instances of greed.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably spent time in each of those camps at some time in your life.
Our hearts are prone to desire temporal wealth more than eternal life.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
We’re in a spiritual battle with the devil who twists scripture to appeal to our greedy hearts. He knows our weaknesses and he can disguise himself as an angel of light to confuse us.
Christians want to use their money the way God tells them to but aren’t always certain what the Bible verses about giving really mean. It doesn’t have to be that way for you!
Examine your heart as you study (in context) these Bible verses about giving and memorize scriptures that remind you of what’s truly important and of greater value than anything on earth.
Pray relevant Bible verses about giving back to God, asking Him to help you to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with Him. Ask Him to help you be a generous giver like He is.
When you pray God’s Word in agreement with Him, you will be changed!
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
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