If you want to measure how much you understand grace and how much you’re living by grace, look at your giving.
The Bible says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8 NIV).
Notice the “alls” in that Scripture: “all things,” “at all times,” “having all that you need.” Those are the promises related to the person who becomes like Christ. What is Christ like? He is a giver. God loved the world so much that he gave. Until you learn to be generous with your time, money, resources, and opportunities, you’re not going to be like Christ. Nothing is greater proof that you understand grace than being lovingly gracious and generous to other people and to God.
If you’re uptight or defensive when your pastor starts talking about giving, it means you don’t understand grace. Look at the Scripture again. It says if you give cheerfully and liberally, God will take care of all your needs—all the time, in every way, however you need them.
Here’s the question: Are you going to trust the God who gave his life for you? If you can trust him enough for salvation, can’t you trust him in your finances?
The truth is, you really don’t own anything. God just loans it to you for 70 or 80 years. It’s all his in the first place. If my daughter, when she was very young, comes to me, and I give her five bucks to buy me a present, where’s the money really coming from in the first place?
God does that with us. He gives to us generously. Then he says, “Lead a life of gratitude. Be generous in giving, including your tithe.” Does God need the money? No. He wants you to become like him. He wants you to have a heart that says, “I can’t wait to give in every area.”
Romans 8:32 says, “Since [God] did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (NLT).
The fact is, you can say you love God and sing that you trust God and put him first, but your checkbook is where you can show just how much God’s grace means to you.