New Covenant Generosity

"No one is in any position to belittle others for what they do not have, nor to build his own pillar because of his own bank account,"

MOST OF THE sowing and reaping verses of the New Testament deal with our behaviors and actions and not with the giving and receiving of money. Additionally, the only references to the tithe look back at the Old Covenant. The tithe was fulfilled in Jesus’ death and Resurrection. He was God’s tithe to the earth for the redemption of men. Giving is encouraged in our New Covenant faith, but not as a rule leading to salvation. The apostle Paul said much about giving and God’s blessings to honest cheerful givers.

READ “Give Well.”

He spoke of how generous the Macedonian church was toward Corinth and Galatia. He spoke of God’s blessing of supply toward the Philippian church. But not in any percentage or figural amount. There is a reason. It is because we are to give as the Spirit of God directs us. This includes tithing as a part of our support of the church, though the word “tithe” has now taken on a more generic meaning under the New Covenant and is not a specific percentage. It also includes giving to the poor and indigent, which Paul said he was “eager to do (Galatians 2:10).”

“I took money from other churches as payment for my work, so that I might be your servant; And when I was present with you, and was in need, I let no man be responsible for me; for the brothers, when they came from Macedonia, gave me whatever was needed; and in everything I kept myself from being a trouble to you, and I will go on doing so.” (2 Corinthians 11:8-9 BBE)

“Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.” (Philippians 4:15-16)

God desires us to have all our needs met, and for some, this means large amounts of money being supplied to them. But to call it “wealth” smacks of selfishness and arrogance, which God does not and will not ever support. Jealousy forms in men as well, to see those who have reaped much. We are to forbid ourselves jealousy and envy for they will spoil the fruit growing on the Vine. All of our love, joy, and peace go to pot, as the saying is. We are to include giving as an action spawned by the love of God but with encouragement and without guilt and condemnation.

There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus, either from the Spirit who leads us to give however much, or from those who are receiving the gift, or those who give alongside those who are generous in their giving. But all these gifts are not for personal gain. We do not give to “get wealth” and build a bigger barn (Luke 12:18). We may need a bigger barn if God’s work in us requires it, and He will supply the need. But it will be because money funds the work of the gospel and our immediate personal care, and not because it is the center of our being.

No man should brag about the size of his finances. No one is in any position to belittle others for what they do not have, nor to build his own pillar because of his own bank account. There is no place for elevated social status within the body of Christ. No place at all. The calling out of people by doctrine, finances, ministry gift, and any disagreement we have with them over any issues within the church must be forbidden by all who are listening or who are called to speak. There is no place in God’s church ekklesia to foster hatred and criticism. That’s what it comes down to. We never speak solely to voice our negative opinion and cast condemnation which God will never cast. Never.

Do you hear me on this? For these are the Spirit’s words to you today. Do not use your opinion to cast condemnation. He NEVER does this. I have had occasion to speak with Him in this regard, and He is the most humble and gentle God. The Father and the Savior, our Jesus, only desire to shower us with love and graciousness. That is their heart day-in and day-out. Any other image of them is false, and here’s the truth. Though it is false, they will not fight it because fighting implies pride and arrogance that they do not have. They are good to all and gentle and humble in their goodness. If It were not so, I would not be here today. They rescued me when I was not deserving and could not see which way led out.

Set aside how you feel about people and love them anyway. If someone is not your cup-of-tea, then pray for them … IN LOVE, and not with criticisms. “Dear Lord, have you seen what Jane is doing?” is not a prayer at all. The Lord, our Jesus, knows your heart, your very thought and motive. We should remember this at all times. And we should know that our gentle Father has our every need in His care. There is nothing from food to clothing to education to work situations and relationships that He is not able to aid us. We need only ask. He is our Abba and our Friend.

“Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.” (Matthew 6:31-32)

Image by 愚木混株 Cdd20 from Pixabay

Suzanne D. Williams, Author