Learning to Give
Money doesn’t usually feel like a spiritual topic to us. Yet Jesus had a lot to say about money. In the four Gospels, one out of ten verses (288 in all) deal directly with the subject of money. Nearly half of Jesus’ parables — 16 out of 38 — address issues of handling money and possessions. Jesus understood that generosity was a spiritual issue, not just an economic one.
“Just as you excel in everything else... in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete
earnestness... see that you also excel in the grace of giving.”
2 Corinthians 8:7, New International Version
Time, talent and treasure
At Heritage, we seek to grow in our ability to be generous with all the gifts of life – time, talent and treasure. Whether it’s teaching children or adults, visiting a hospital or coordinating a ministry, we use our talents and abilities to serve one another and the community.
“God has given each of you some special abilities; be sure to use them to help each other,
passing on to others God’s many kinds of blessings. Are you called to preach? Then preach as
though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the
strength and energy that God supplies so that God will be glorified through Jesus Christ —
to him be glory and power forever and ever.”
1 Peter 4:10-11, The Living Bible
Financially, we practice the biblical principle of tithing – giving 10 percent of our income to support church ministries of worship, spiritual growth, missions, and care for the poor. Far from a duty, our giving expresses our gratitude for God’s generosity toward us. “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son...” (John 3:16, Today’s English Version).
“The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God in first place in your life.” Deuteronomy 14:23, The Living Bible
Giving is also how we experience joy. Brightening someone’s day with a call or a visit; sharing food with someone who is hungry; see the difference a simple gift can make in a person’s life – all these remind us that in giving, we always receive something in return. Perhaps that is why Jesus said, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving” (Acts 20:35, TEV).
Giving in Bartow and beyond
Throughout the year, we also emphasize special offerings to support additional ministries in the community and around the world. Our Local Missions Offering in March provides additional resources to local helping agencies for projects and services. In October, our Global Missions Offering supports the work of some of our international partners in Cuba, Liberia, Mexico and the Middle East.
When crises strike, many at Heritage desire to share help and hope through a designated gift to an organization or a cause. We have channeled resources for famine aid to disaster relief, as well as accepted gifts for local and global groups special projects. Sometimes individuals desire to honor a loved one or friend through a memorial gift that is designated for a particular helping ministry.
In whatever way you desire, we can assist you in as you practice generosity. And as you grow in the gift of giving, you’ll experience the blessing that generosity offers.
“The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25, New Living Translation