Giving generously is a central theme throughout the Bible. God calls us to be generous with our money, time, talents, and resources. When we give freely to others, especially those in need, we reflect God’s generous love for us.
The Bible contains many promises of blessing for those who give freely and cheerfully. In this blog post, we will explore some of the key benefits of biblical giving. Whether you give out of obedience, thanksgiving, or love, your generous spirit pleases God and spreads his goodness in the world.
The Bible has a lot to say about money and possessions. Jesus spoke about money in 11 out of 39 parables and 1 out of every 7 verses in the New Testament deals with this topic. It’s clear that how we handle our finances is critical to living out our faith.
Tithing and charitable giving should not be seen as burdensome obligations, but rather joyful acts of worship to God. As John Piper puts it: “God is a lavish giver. He did not give stingily, minimally, begrudgingly. God gave everything. He did not withhold his Son. He did not withhold the Spirit. He does not withhold any good thing from his children. Because he is lavish in his grace, we should be lavish in our giving.”
As we study God’s Word, we see many benefits and blessings for those who give generously and cheerfully. Here are some of the key takeaways:
- Giving demonstrates our love for God and our trust in His provision
- Giving blesses others and meets pressing needs
- Giving advances God’s kingdom work in the world
- Giving results in spiritual blessings for the giver
- Giving leads to financial prosperity and blessing
- Giving results in reward and eternal significance
In the rest of this post, we will explore each of these benefits in more detail from Scripture.
Giving Demonstrates Our Love for God
In God’s economy, our heart attitude matters more than the actual amount we give. God loves a cheerful giver who gives out of genuine love for Him and others (2 Corinthians 9:7).
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV)
Giving back to God from our finances is one tangible way to express our love for Him. King David understood this truth when he said:
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” (1 Chronicles 29:14, NIV)
David acknowledged that all wealth belongs to God. We are simply stewards entrusted with resources to manage for God’s glory. By giving freely, we demonstrate our love and gratitude to our gracious Provider.
We also show our love for God by giving to support the poor and needy. Jesus said our care for the oppressed reflects our love for Him:
“Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’” (Matthew 25:37-40, ESV)
The apostle John adds that refusal to share with those in need reveals a lack of God’s love in our hearts:
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:17, ESV)
Overall, generous giving demonstrates the depth of our love for God and our trust in His ongoing provision.
Giving Blesses Others in Need
A second benefit of giving is that it allows us to be a blessing to others, especially the poor and oppressed.
The book of Proverbs contains many exhortations to care for the needy through generous giving:
“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” (Proverbs 19:17, ESV)
“Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.” (Proverbs 28:27, ESV)
“Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him.” (Proverbs 14:31, ESV)
As these verses indicate, when we give to the poor, we lend to the Lord himself. Our gifts empower those in need and honor God in the process. We should not give reluctantly but openhandedly, just as God has given to us.
In the New Testament, the apostle Paul commends the Macedonian churches for generously giving to the poor believers in Jerusalem:
“We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord…” (2 Corinthians 8:1-3, ESV)
Even in their own poverty, the Macedonians gave freely to bless others. This brought joy to the givers and recipients alike. As God’s children, we have the privilege of imitating this same generous spirit.
Giving Advances God’s Kingdom
A third benefit of giving is that it enables the advancement of God’s kingdom in the world. Throughout Scripture, God calls His people to give generously for the work of ministry and the spread of the gospel.
In the Old Testament, the Israelites gavefreely to construct the tabernacle where God’s presence dwelled.
“And Moses spoke to all the congregation of the people of Israel, saying, “This is the thing that the Lord has commanded. Take from among you a contribution to the Lord. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord’s contribution…” (Exodus 35:4-5, ESV)
Later, David called the people to give generously for building the temple where God would be worshipped:
“Then David said to the whole assembly, “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God…“Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?” Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly.” (1 Chronicles 29:1,5, ESV)
In the New Testament, the Philippians supported Paul financially so he could devote himself fully to preaching the gospel:
“Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again.” (Philippians 4:14-16, ESV)
When we give to support missionaries, church ministries, evangelists and others advancing God’s work, we play a role in spreading the gospel and expanding Christ’s Kingdom.
Giving Results in Spiritual Blessings
A fourth benefit of giving is that it results in spiritual enrichment and blessing for the giver. Although we cannot earn salvation or God’s favor by giving, our generosity does reap spiritual dividends.
Jesus taught that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’“ (Acts 20:35, NIV)
Giving deepens our reliance on God rather than possessions. It combats greed and promotes selflessness. When we give freely as an act of worship, we experience the joy of generosity that God designed us for.
The apostle Paul told the Corinthians that generous giving would enlarge their spiritual harvest:
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7, ESV)
Giving does not enrich God materially, but it does bless us spiritually as we reflect His generous character.
Giving Leads to Material Provision
A fifth benefit seen throughout Scripture is that generous giving leads to material provision and financial blessing in return.
This theme is especially prominent in Proverbs:
“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10, ESV)
“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:25, ESV)
Again, we should not give simply to get. However, these verses do indicate that generosity often leads to financial prosperity. As we give freely, God provides for our needs in return.
The prophet Malachi highlights this principal of reciprocity:
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.” (Malachi 3:10, ESV)
When we honor God by giving, He graciously provides for us in turn as a loving Father. We can trust Him to meet our needs when we are faithful in giving.
Giving Produces Eternal Reward
A final benefit of giving is that it reaps eternal rewards for us in heaven. Jesus told His disciples to store up treasure in heaven through selfless generosity on earth.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21, ESV)
The apostle Paul also describes this eternal perspective:
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19, ESV)
While earthly possessions fade away, our generosity has lasting impact. When we use our money wisely for God’s kingdom, we reap eternal dividends.
As we have seen, the Bible clearly emphasizes the manifold blessings of generous giving. When we give cheerfully out of love for God and others, we reap spiritual benefits, enrich others, see prayers answered, and store up eternal treasure.
Our finances can either chain us to earthly, temporary priorities or free us to invest in God’s eternal priorities. As Bill Bright notes, “Our giving is not just an issue of money; it is an issue of guarding our hearts against greed.”
May God give us wisdom to steward the resources He has given us for His glory and the good of others. Generous giving should flow naturally out of a heart filled with the lavish grace of Christ.