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Becoming a Cheerful Giver

Randy Alcorn says, “Gaze upon Christ long enough, and you’ll become more of a giver. Give long enough, and you’ll become more like Christ.”

God’s Word describes the tithe as a testimony to God’s ownership. Our tithe is the seed we plant in God’s garden. He takes it and multiplies it.

The amount of the tithe is not important to God; He owns it all. But the amount IS important to us. Giving is a heart issue: where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21).

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Saving for Retirement vs Giving to the Lord

Originally posted on the Christian Post on March 30

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

Both my husband and I grew up with parents now living on a pension; thus, no real need to have "saved" that half a million bucks for retirement. This seems to be a new need for my generation. But beside that frustration, my real question is about the balance for someone in saving that much and giving to the Lord. Do I give to the Lord (a tithe) or save, especially considering a tight budget, and the large amounts needed later? Where is the fine line of trusting in the Lord for our future provision and providing for ourselves through savings, which could actually slide into relying on our money instead of God? It seems that this is a modern day dilemma, since the older generation never had to have such a huge savings account.

Pondering the Lack of Pensions

Dear Pondering,

Thank you for an excellent question. You have asked how to balance the commands to both give and save while fully trusting God. Many of us feel this same tension so I appreciate the opportunity to address it.

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3 Surprising Steps to Getting Out of Debt

Originally posted on the Christian Post on February 24.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

 

Dear Chuck,

Credit cards are killing me, and it feels like getting a handle on money is some kind of 12-step program. Where do I begin?

Feeling Overwhelmed.

Dear Overwhelmed,

Well, I have some good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s not the credit cards that are killing you. The bad news is that it’s the lack of savings!

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Tis the Season for Charitable Giving

Originially posted on the Christian Post on December 23.

To learn Biblical answers to your financial questions, you can #AskChuck @AskCrown your questions by clicking here. Questions used may be lightly edited for length or clarity.

Dear Chuck,

My mail and email are full of requests for end-of-year donations, and there are so many good causes. But it’s hard to balance how to give at a time of year when I’m shopping for so many. How important is it to close out the year with charitable giving? What kind of choices need to be made? It’s hard to get the money together for Christmas, but I feel guilty when I see those financial needs piling up. How should I balance these things?

Charitably Challenged.

 

Dear Challenged,

Since there are so many great and worthy causes, I can understand your challenge. I will speak to the question of balance and priorities, but the importance of giving is the focus of my response.

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I think gift cards are a bad idea for a Christmas present

Here are my top four reasons I don’t think unrequested gift cards are a good idea:  

#1 – Ever wonder why you see racks of gift cards at every grocery store and retail store?  Studies show that between 20 to 25% of those that receive them never use them.  In other words, the stores make a fortune knowing the cards are likely to go unused due to loss or forgetfulness.

#2. They are not the same as cash. If you get a $25 gift card and only spend $23 – you will have a balance of $2 on your card. These small, unused balances are likely to never get used.

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Do you feel a tension between your desire to save more and your desire to give more?

I did some checking online looking for a study on this dilemma many Christians face. So far, I have not found any solid research on the subject! Most articles talk only about increasing your savings, not your giving. The Bible clearly instructs us to make giving our top financial priority.

Proverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty,
 and your vats will overflow with new wine.”

To honor the Lord, we put Him first by giving. This is not because He needs our money; it is because we need to be conformed into His image. He is the greatest giver of all. It shows we love Him, care about His kingdom, and want to do good for others. The verse is very clear that the way we do this is to make it an automatic action off the top of everything we earn. 

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I have a great stewardship story for you

Chuck Bentley on 9/27/16 8:00 AM

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I recently read a heartwarming story of a group of ladies who collect garbage bags, doggie bags or extra lunch bags.

They repurpose them by weaving them into mats for homeless people to sleep on. And they've already sent a bunch down to families in Louisiana who lost their homes in recent flooding.

They call themselves the Bag Ladies. Patty Arnold says they met as a group for the first time in January 2015 at Second Baptist Church in Union City, Tennessee. Since then, she says the group has doubled in size.

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Are you growing in generosity?

Chuck Bentley on 9/22/16 8:00 AM

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The average American gives $150/month to charitable causes. That equates to 3% of their take home pay.  If the Christians earning this same total income were to actually tithe, giving would increase to $575/month. 

When it comes to giving a number of verses are very motivating for me: One is Proverbs 3:9.  In the New Living Translation it says, “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce.”

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Have you appreciated a Christian radio station lately?

Day in and day out, week after week and year after year, Christian radio stations in America bring you uplifting music, informed talk on key issues and teaching of God’s Word.  They are to be honored and appreciated for this service by thanking them and supporting their good work. 

Just a few months ago, I was driving in northern California in a remote area west of Redding where there were almost zero radio signals that I could receive on my car radio.  Every so often I would hit scan on the FM dial and the AM dial just to see if I could pick up any music or news or talk while I was making a long drive.  To my absolute shock, the radio in my car was only able to pick up one signal: KVIP, a Christian broadcaster.  And what was even more shocking, I recognized the program on the radio. It was me!

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Should we give like the poor widow in Scripture who gave her last two coins?

Chuck Bentley on 6/13/16 8:00 AM

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In Mark 12, we meet the poor widow who gave two small coins in the temple treasury as her offering. In verse 42, Jesus said, “Truly I say
 to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on”. 

At church, I was asked, “If Jesus commended her for this gift, shouldn’t we too give all we have?”  Great question.

First, the widow is considered one of the greatest givers in Scripture.  Her action points to her heart that Jesus is worthy of everything she had. She teaches us the right attitude and motives for giving.  But she is not considered the greatest saver in Scripture.  The Bible points to Joseph who saved a nation and the people of God by saving 20% of the grain Pharaoh collected during seven good years.  In Proverbs 6 and 30, we are pointed to the lowly ant to learn the habit of saving during the harvest to have something for the winter.  So yes, we should give like this widow with a heart attitude of God’s absolute worthiness to have all we possess, but we should also save like the ant. 

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