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Financial Giving
(K. Payne)

Author's bias: Interpretation: conservative
Inclination: dispensational
Seminary: Western (Portland)

Welcome to disciple making:

This series on disciple making is Booklet 1 – Essentials, which is part of the program Transferable Cross Training (TCT) developed by Dr. Karl Payne. The purpose of TCT is to help equip men and women to be effective disciple makers. The materials are field tested with various proof verses that can be memorized, and each lesson is focused on transferability. It is our desire is for those who accept the challenge of discipleship that, with or without a Bible and notes in hand, each individual who has taken the time to master the concepts and principles in this series will have confidence to comfortably and biblically respond to common questions and comments from friends or enemies of Christ. By God’s grace we can make a difference in eternity by being actively involved in the most important job assignment entrusted to mankind. For more information about TCT or obtaining the booklet series, see www.KarlPayne.org

Please remember that the uniqueness of this discipleship series is its simple transferability. It is the expressed desire of the author that students actually use these materials after completing each booklet, by sharing them with others in a manner consistent with 2 Timothy 2:2.

Money. Sometimes we even cringe at the sound of the word being spoken in our churches...

"Oh no, they are going to pressure me for money. Why did I bring my friend to church this weekend? He is going to think my church is just like the ones the media makes fun of who soak their members and use guilt to manipulate them in the process."

"If you give God 10%, He will multiply your financial investment 100%, because you just can't out-give God and He has promised to bless your finances if you truly love Him."

"If you don't give, God won't bless you. If you are having financial shortfalls, it is because you have robbed God in the past, and He is getting even."

But should we cringe? The Bible has more to say about money and our responsibility to be good stewards with our financial resources than it does about either heaven or hell.

With so many individuals, institutions, charities, alumni groups and ministry organizations asking for financial support are there biblical principles that can help a sincere Christian approach this topic biblically, thoughtfully and confidently? God loves a cheerful giver, but all too often financial giving can appear to be motivated through emotional manipulation, obligation or guilt.

The following six principles on biblical stewardship should help a person think through this very important subject. The basic outline for this lesson has been adapted from a sermon by Dr. David Jeremiah.

Biblical giving involves:

1. PRIOR CONSECRATION (2 Corinthians 8:5)

By giving your life and daily devotion to Christ before you consider giving your money to another, you avoid the trap of fruitless attempts to buy God's favor.

2. PROPER MOTIVATION (2 Corinthians 8:3, 2 Corinthians 9:7)

Giving should be the purposed overflow of a cheerful heart from one's own accord, not the results of begrudged obligation or insecurity.

3. PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY (2 Corinthians 5:10, 2 Corinthians 8:9-12, 2 Corinthians 9:1-5, Matthew 25:14-30)

Christians will give an account to God concerning how we invest that which He has entrusted to us.

4. PROPORTIONATE RETURN (1 Corinthians 16:2, 2 Corinthians 8:12, 2 Corinthians 9:6, Mark 12:41-44)

As God has propered... Our financial stewardship depends upon what we have, not what we do not possess. Equal sacrifice is closer to God's heart as a standard for giving than equal amounts. Sow sparing -reap sparing.

5. PLANNED GIVING (1 Corinthians 16:1-2)

Paul instructed the Corinthians to plan their personal giving and set it aside on the first day of the week (Sunday). By planning our giving we avoid the pressures of being emotionally manipulated.

6. PRIORITY DISTRIBUTION (Galatians 6:10)

There are so many out-stretched hands and impassioned pleas for help. Priority ought to be given first to the household of faith before it goes to individuals and causes outside the faith. The biblical pattern, from the book of Acts 2:42-47; 4:32-37 through Paul's epistles, seems to be that the local church was the collection site for giving and the leadership was responsible for its distribution.

Although this principle does not eliminate planned giving to organizations and causes outside the local church, our planned giving should not be at the expense of our local church. Private agendas and familiarity can represent twin challenges to biblical stewardship. Both can steal the joy of cheerful giving if we allow them to do so.

Karl Payne's personal note: I grew up in a home that would have been considered moral and ethical, but not religious. Both of my parents were teachers. Dad was a Mathematics / Science specialist for the Sacramento City School District and my mom taught grade school. My Dad would occasionally pray for our food, but we did not read the Bible or discuss religious topics. I decided my first Sunday of seventh grade that I had no real interest in church or Sunday school and informed my parents that I would no longer attend either. I assumed I was a Christian because I had been baptized as a child at my mom's request, but my primary interests were baseball, football and music.

On June 17th, 1970 I became a Christian while attending a youth retreat sponsored by Young Life, a Christian ministry focused upon reaching high school students. The two biggest hurdles I faced in that decision both related to honest assumptions. My first assumption related to what I had understood it meant to be a Christian. I assumed that I was a Christian because I had been baptized. Christians get baptized, I had been baptized, therefore, I was a Christian. I also thought that heaven, if it was real, was attained by being a nice person. I reasoned that since on a moral and ethical scale which had the Pope on one end and Hitler on the other, that my live style was closer to the Pope's than Hitler's, thus making me a shoe in for heaven if God was fair.

The second assumption I had made related to education. In eighth grade my science teacher told our class that "religious people were mental cripples who needed a crutch to get through life." I was very impressed by this teacher and took to heart what he said. In the eleventh grade, my physiology teacher told our class that "educated people believed in evolution." As I grew older my education had become more important to me. As a result of several teacher's comments I assumed that it was not possible to think deeply and still be a Christian. Religion in my mind was therefore something for nice people who were not too concerned about an academic education. My first assumption was to confuse churchianity with Christianity. Churchianity represents men and women making their best efforts to reach up to God and receive His approval, based upon their individual efforts to be found worthy in His eyes. Biblical Christianity is a message explaining how God has chosen to reach down to mankind through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, providing salvation by His grace as a free gift to all who believe, in spite of our unworthiness. Religion is essentially a message of man reaching up to God. Christianity is a message detailing how God has reached down to man. Religion exalts man. Christianity exalts God. I had received just enough religious training to confuse religion with Christianity and had rejected an honest consideration of Christianity in the process. My second assumption was to confuse naturalism, dialectical materialism and the suppositional baggage assumed to be true by both philosophical world views, with actual empirical data and good science, which provides conclusions based upon testing, observation and repetition rather than wishful thinking and naturalist / atheistic suppositional indoctrination.

On the 17th of June, 1970 at 8:00 P.M., I listened to a gentleman clearly explain that God's plan is that I have eternal life (John 3:16, John 10:10, Romans 5:1), but that my problem with sin (to miss the mark in word, thought or deed) had separated me from Him (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23). This sounded more like bad news to me than good news. He went on to say that God had provided a remedy for my sin by sending His only son Jesus Christ to die on a cross as a payment for my penalty (2 Corinthians 5:21, Philippians 2:4-10, 1 Timothy 2:5, Romans 5:8, John 14:6, Ephesians 2:8-9), but that it was absolutely necessary for me to respond to His remedy for the remedy to be effective (John 1:12, Romans 10:9-10, Revelation 3:20). I bowed my head in that room and quietly asked Jesus Christ to become my Savior and Lord. Jesus came into my life and has made me a new person, from the inside out (2 Corinthians 5:17). That was nearly thirty-one years ago. Knowing Jesus is more than religious activism or academic curiosity. It is a real relationship. Spiritual maturity is a process (1 John 2:12-14) that should continue to develop and grow as long as we are alive.

God used a Campus Crusade for Christ high school ministry to teach me that aggressive, reproductive Christianity (2 Timothy 2:2) should be considered normal Christianity. Sincerity is necessary for Christian living, but it is not sufficient for impacting our world for Christ (Matthew 28:18-20, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, 2 Timothy 2:15, 1 Peter 3:15). He has used several godly men, seminary and nearly twenty-five years of serving in church ministry to teach me that making disciples means far more than leading people to Christ and asking them to pray and read their Bibles. It is impossible to give what you do not have or share what you do not know. When people tell me that their Christian faith is boring, what they are really telling me is that they do not pray, they do not study and they do not give away what they have been given. The Christian life is an adventure that is exciting to live and share. To judge Christianity by people who sit on their hands, criticize others and turn a living faith into dead religion is to misrepresent Biblical Christianity. Christianity was never meant to be lived as a passive spectator sport.

Dr. Karl Payne, at heart, is an apologist who loves to train and equip Christians for spiritual service and warfare (Eph.4:11-16). He enjoys preaching, writing and retreat / conference / seminar speaking. He derives his greatest pleasure tackling the challenge of teaching Christian workers, interns and budding preachers / teachers at both the Bible College and Seminary levels. In addition, he has co-authored two books: A just Defense and Cross Training through Multnomah Press.



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