I’ve come to the place where I do not take for granted that everyone at SMCC knows or understands some of the reasons we ask you to take your next step as a Growing Giver. Allow me to briefly give you some of my thoughts…
I think that a really good reason to give to SMCC is that we are YOUR CHURCH. In 1 Corinthians 9 the Apostle Paul clearly states that it is the responsibility of those in the church to support the ministry of the church. If we read his words without bias it would be nearly impossible to understand this responsibility to support the ministry of the church as merely a suggestion or optional. Look at verses 13 and 14 with me...Don’t you know that those who serve in the temple get their food from the temple, and that those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? 14 In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.
The support of the “priests” during the Old Covenant and days in which the worship of God included Temples and Priests and animal sacrifices, the Jewish people were to give 10% of all their crops and animals to the LORD by supporting the Priests.
“In the same way…” points to the carry over of this practice of making giving a PRIORITY, to give a PERCENTAGE (goal = 10%), and to give PROGRESSIVELY (be a growing giver) more and more as the Lord prospers you (10%+ = generosity).
“the Lord has commanded…” points to the idea that this is something that Jesus taught and commanded even if we don’t read an explicit statement of this in the Gospels.
Another reason, and perhaps the primary reason, to give is found throughout the Bible. We give because this is a primary way to demonstrate to God that He is God and that I worship and serve and love Him alone. Jesus said that MONEY is the primary challenger to God for our affections and trust. See Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Every time we give we proclaim that Jesus is LORD, not our money and possessions. Giving is an important spiritual discipline in which we direct our hearts toward God. See Matthew 6:20-21 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Lastly, I think a good reason to give to SMCC is because we are carrying out the mission of God on earth. Since Christ rose from the dead the local church has had the responsibility to carry out His great commission (make disciples of all nations). There are many other worthy causes, but the local church is specifically designed, equipped and empowered to do the work of God on earth. When you think about it, most other organizations are committed to some sort of relief, rescue or rehabilitation. The church is dedicated to be the PREVENTATIVE mechanism for God in culture so that families and individuals do not need relief, rescue, and rehabilitation. The Apostle Paul encouraged churches to participate in the relief of suffering of the church in Jerusalem on account of famine. But notice that he never “commands” Christians to give to this. See 2 Corinthians 8:8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. What is interesting to me is that he instructs Christians to give to the local church by appealing to what “The LORD COMMANDED…” but he does not COMMAND this “other giving” by Christians.
At SMCC we have never encouraged our people to give out of obligation or duty. We understand that God doesn’t love you more if you give and love you less if you don’t. God loves us all enough to send His Son to die for our sins. Jesus loves us so much that He chose to lay down His life for us. He doesn’t wait for us to do anything that would somehow qualify for His love… He simply loves us.
Having said that, we want you to consider what I just wrote and ask God to help you become a joyful growing giver. Truly, everything I have ever read about generosity shows that HAPPY PEOPLE give the most. Giving is a crucial way for us to develop “full devotion and full delight in Jesus Christ.” And that is what we want for all of you.
- Pastor Paul Robie
DRAPER CAMPUS MAILING ADDRESS
14216 S Bangerter Pkwy.
Draper, UT 84020