Giving to God's Work Produces Eternal Benefits
By: Tom Copland
Giving to God’s work is an investment with eternal rewards for both the giver and the beneficiaries of the gift. In regard to the giver, Jesus said: “For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done” (Matthew 16:27).
There are also eternal benefits for the recipients of the gift. For example, when you give money to an evangelical organization (including your church), and through that organization, someone accepts Jesus Christ as personal Savior, then that individual will be in heaven for eternity.
Although investing to provide for future family needs is something that God wants us to do (1 Timothy 5:8), giving to God’s work is even more important, as it stores up “treasures in heaven.” Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19, 20).
It is easy to become focused on building your portfolio. However, investments are temporary: “For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (1 Timothy 6:7). As God blesses your investments, avoid hoarding. Jesus warned, “Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).
I recommend that at least two times per year, you obtain an update of the fair market value of your investments, and ensure that you are giving at least 10 percent of the increased value of those investments to God’s work, in addition to any giving of your regular personal income. Remember, the tithe is the smallest percentage mentioned anywhere in scripture, and the emphasis in God’s Word is to give generously. (See Luke 6:38 and Matthew 13:44–46). Note that when Zacchaeus became a believer, he gave 50 percent of his assets in demonstration of his thankfulness for salvation in Christ (Luke 19:8).
God instructs us to give him “the first fruits.” Proverbs 3:9 states, “Honour the LORD with your wealth, with the first-fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” When we make giving to God’s work a priority, God has promised that he will bless us financially.
If you make giving to God’s work a priority, God has promised that he will entrust you with even more money (2 Corinthians 9:6). Why? So you can spend it on yourself or hoard it? No, God’s purpose for entrusting you with more money is that you can give even more to his work!
Now [God] who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us, your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:10–11, emphasis added)
Jesus promised that if we sacrifice now, the return on our investment (as a result of giving to God’s work) will be a hundredfold in eternity! “And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.” (Matthew 19: 29, emphasis added) Remember, there is absolutely no earthly investment that provides a hundredfold return and is guaranteed by God!
In summary, although it is important to save and invest in providing for future family needs, always make investing in God’s work a priority, as it will produce eternal benefits!