Have you ever wondered what God thinks about fundraising? I have.
And if I’ve learned anything about fundraising from God’s Word, it’s this: Money has everything to do with the heart.
So then… how does that relate to giving?
When most Christians hear the word “giving,” they immediately think of a tithe. And would you believe – Christian households only give 2.8 percent of their disposable income?
Here’s what Paul had to say in 2 Corinthians 9:7,
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give.”
Then he also tells Timothy,
“Tell those who are rich to be generous and willing to share.” (1 Timothy 6:17)
Now throughout the New Testament, we find two examples of Christians who viewed giving in two very different ways.
First, let’s look at the Laodiceans. You may recognize this passage from Revelation 3:15,16:
“I know your deeds, that you’re neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you were lukewarm and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.”
The verb ‘spit’ used here actually means to ‘vomit.’ What Jesus is saying is that your lukewarm-ness really makes me sick to my stomach. It makes me want to throw up!
Jesus goes on to say in verse 17,
“Because you say ‘I am rich and have become wealthy and have need of nothing.’ You do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. Everything you think you have, you don’t.”
He then says in verse 18, “Buy from me gold refined by fire, white linen…” In other words, take the wealth that you do have and invest it effectively in the things that display righteousness.
And then, Revelation 3:20,
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”
It’s all about the relationship! He’s saying, “I want to come and sup with you, but your wealth has created this barrier between me and you. It owns your heart.”
The Laodiceans are a perfect example of how wealth can cause a believer to wander away from a relationship with Christ.
By contrast, let’s look at the church of the Macedonians, a group of churches that were highly persecuted and extremely poor.
In 2 Corinthians 8:2-5, we find Paul raising money for the impoverished Christians in Jerusalem. These were converted Jews who were also heavily persecuted and very poor.
The Corinthian church had made a pledge and Paul was trying to get them to fulfill that pledge. He is speaking of the churches of Macedonia when he says,
“In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty rolled up in rich generosity. They gave beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in the service to the Lord’s people and they exceeded our expectations. And they gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.”
Despite being extremely poor and heavily persecuted, these churches gave themselves to the Lord and the result was rich generosity.
What a picture! The Laodiceans were extremely wealthy yet unwilling to give. And the churches of Macedonia were extremely poor and heavily persecuted, yet literally begging to be able to give money to the converted Jews in Jerusalem.
Which example will we follow?
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