This summer our church looked at Jesus’s words concerning giving. In Sunday School, we studied Randy Alcorn’s helpful little book called The Treasure Principle. You can listen to the series here. And in our series on the Sermon on the Mount, we have looked at Jesus words about giving in Matthew 6:1–4, treasure in Matthew 6:19–24, and trusting God with our material needs in Matthew 6:25–34. You can listen to those sermons here:
- Watch Me Give, Watch Me Nae Nae (Matthew 6:1–4)
- The Truth About Treasure (Matthew 6:19–24)
- Separation Anxiety (Matthew 6:25–34)
Still, giving is not just something that Jesus talked about. It is something that goes back to the beginning of corporate worship. For in Exodus, when God redeemed his people from Egypt, he led them to contribute to the construction of the tabernacle. With the gifts God provided for Israel through the “plundering of the Egyptians,” God’s people gladly gave to the construction of God’s dwelling place.
Today, as the church has become the temple of the Holy Spirit, God’s people continue to give to its upbuilding, as the Lord moves our hearts. Jesus’s words about storing up treasure in heaven, and not on earth may even refer directly to this temple-directed giving (see Nicholas Perrin, Jesus the Temple), However, throughout the Bible there is a theme of God’s people giving to the upbuilding of God’s dwelling place because of the work of grace in their lives.
This is first seen in Exodus and continues until today. Accordingly, we can learn much by seeing the relationship between grace and giving, and how gospel-motivated giving is both similar and different from all other forms of philanthropy. Continue reading