31 Questions to Ask God About Your GivingBy: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne
Publish date: 05/24/2020MAY—MY TREASURE
31 QUESTIONS TO ASK GOD ABOUT YOUR GIVING
1. Time and again in Your Word, Lord, You make a direct connection between experiencing grace and expressing grace through giving. Grace is Your lighting, and giving is our thunder in response, So here's my question: Has the degree of my giving suggested that I have recognized and embraced the full extent of Your grace in my life? Or does it suggest I need to recognize and respond to Your grace in deeper and more heartfelt ways?
2 Corinthians 8:7,9; 2 Corinthians 9:15; Romans 8:32
2. Father, could it be that You raised me up—with the financial assets You've entrusted to me—for just such a time as this? Is it more than a coincidence that You have entrusted me with such resources just at that point in history when an unparalleled number of people have such great needs and there are unprecedented means and opportunities to help them?
Esther 4:14; Acts 17:26; Ephesians 2:10
3. Is my life revolving around You? Open my eyes, Father. What am I holding on to that's robbing me of present joy and future reward? What am I guarding and keeping for myself that's preventing me from having to depend wholeheartedly on You? Since money and things have mass, and mass exerts gravity, and gravity holds us in orbit, what can I give away that will bring me greater freedom? Which of "my" assets can I give to You, so that You will be my center of gravity?
Luke 16:13; Psalms 42:1-2; Matthew 5:6
4. Lord, am I honoring You as owner and CEO/CFO of the assets You've entrusted to my care? Or am I treating You as a mere financial consultant, to whom I pay a fee (2%, 10%, or...)? Have I been acting as if I own the store and You work for me rather than recognizing that You own it and I work for You?
Leviticus 25:23; Deuteronomy 10:14; 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
5. There in my community—or in the whole world—do You want me to go, to see and participate in meeting physical and spiritual needs through Christ-centered ministries? A soup kitchen? The inner city? Prison ministry? Pro-life work? In a short term mission trip or long-term service overseas part of Your exciting plan for me and my family?
Jeremiah 22:16; Proverbs 28:27; Romans 10:13-15
6. Lord, I'm wondering: Why have You entrusted me with greater financial blessing than I once had? I guess I've assumed You've done it to raise my standard of living. But now I'm asking, "Is it instead to raise my standard of giving?" Do I really see myself as Your delivery person? Or do I assume that because You've put something in my hands, I'm supposed to keep it for myself? (If I hold on to something You wanted to give, might someone You intended it for go without?)
2 Corinthians 9:11; 2 Corinthians 8:14; Acts 11:29
7. Lord, Jesus, have I over-accumulated? Have I allowed unwise spending and accumulating debt to inhibit my giving to you? Have I said, "There's not enough left to give," while maintaining spending habits that make sure there's not enough to give? Am I giving in proportion to Your great blessing of me? Considering that You require three tithes of the poorest Israelite, is it really possible You would expect less of me who lives in comparative wealth, knows the grace of Jesus, and is indwelt and empowered by Your Holy Spirit?
Proverbs 3:9-10; Proverbs 22:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2
8. Lord, I've sometimes wondered why You're not blessing me more financially. Could it be that I've been spending money on myself first, rather than giving You the first-fruits of what You've provided?
Haggai 1:4-11; Malachi 3:8-11; Luke 6:38
9. Lord, You commended the poor widow for giving everything she had to You, leaving nothing for herself. So is it ever irresponsible for me to give to You now—no matter what my situation—rather than wait until later? Have I fallen for the lie that I just don't have enough to give, despite the fact that the greatest examples of giving in Scripture were poor people?
Mark 12:43-44; 2 Corinthians 8:1-4; Galatians 6:9-10
10. Let me know Your mind on this, Father, because it's such a different way of thinking: Would it honor You if I determined a basic level of income and assets sufficient to live on, then simply give away whatever You provide beyond that? In the process, would You teach me to be more grateful and more content?
Ecclesiastes 5:10-12; Hosea 13:6; Philippines 4:11-13
11. Lord Jesus, since financial assets will burn at Your second coming, will the assets, accounts, and holdings I've stored up on earth be wasted if You return in my lifetime? Like those big chests full of Confederate currency left after the Civil War, will it all be worthless? Was Luther right when he said, "Everything I've kept, I've lost, but all that I've given to God I still possess"? Was A.W. Tozer right when he said, "Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth; whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality"?
2 Peter 3:10-13; Ecclesiastes 5:15; 1 Corinthians 9:24-25
12. I need some help thinking this through, Lord. Doesn't the fact that You entrusted Your money to me, not others, indicate You want me—during my lifetime—to invest it in eternity, rather than passing along that responsibility to my children? (Shouldn't I let You decide what money You want to entrust to them? And in the case of children who've demonstrated lack of wisdom in money management, wouldn't it be mismanagement of Your funds to pass them on?) Once my children have finished college or are working on their own, would inheriting my wealth (beyond items of special sentiment or heritage value) help their eternal perspective and walk with You—or would it be complicating or even a corrupting influence that could cause them to stumble? Should I, like John Wesley, seek to make my own hands, while I still live, the executors of the greater part of "my" estate
Proverbs 20:21; Proverbs 13:11; Proverbs 17:26; 1 Corinthians 4:2
13. How can I be sure that the assets You've entrusted to me will serve You after I die? How can I know that those to whom I leave these resources will use them to advance Your kingdom? I guess the bottom line: If my children are adults and independent, should I just give away now what I can and, when I die, leave most of what remains to my church or mission or ministries that are close to Your heart? Shouldn't I guide my children to look for the inheritance that comes from Your hand, not mine? Shouldn’t both I and they fix our eyes on the inheritance in heaven that can be enriched through our faithful giving here and now?
Matthew 25:34-35; 1 Peter 1:3-4; Colossians 3:23-24
14. Father, what's the eternal downside in giving as much as I can to You now? In contrast, what's the eternal downside of minimizing my giving or delaying giving until later? Is there really a danger in giving too much too soon? Or is the true danger giving too little too late?
Luke 16:10-12; Luke 19:17; Mark 10:29-30; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11
15. Okay, Lord, let's say that You're prompting me to give now. If I delay that giving—for whatever reason—is it possible I may die before I get a chance to give it later? (Or might the money disappear before I get around to giving it?)
Psalms 39:4-7; Ecclesiastes 5:13-14 and 8:8
16. If I don't release my resources now for Your kingdom causes, will I be in danger of becoming more wrapped up in earthly, rather than heavenly, treasure? By postponing giving, will my heart become hardened to your promptings to give? Will I then leave myself unprepared for eternity?
1 Timothy 6:17-19; Matthew 6:21; Hebrews 3:15
17. Since I have no choice but to leave money behind when I die, is it really "giving" to designate through my will the distribution of my estate (i.e. Your assets temporarily entrusted to me)? Certainly it would be wise to designate funds for noble purposes, but since it involves no sacrifice and requires no trust in You, is it really "giving" in the full sense? Will I rob myself of the joy and reward and rob You of my trust by holding on, until death, to significant assets I could have joyfully given to You while still alive?
Philippians 4:17; Hebrews 9:27; Ephesians 6:8
18. Father, Wall Street or real estate can't touch the eternal returns of investing in Your kingdom. Who could match Your promise of 10,000 percent (a hundredfold return)? So why are my eyes so often focused on temporary, earthly investments with such pitifully small returns? Lord, please broaden my perspective, increase my faith, and expand my eternal investment mentality.
Matthew 19:27-29; Hebrews 6:10; 2 Corinthians 4:18
19. Lord, please help me to see clearly when it comes to where I give Your money. Help me to use discernment to determine which recipients can most benefit from the money I give, and which are likely to mismanage it. And am I giving it to causes You truly value most? Opera? Art museums? The Humane Society? As good as those things may be, are they as close to Your heart as evangelism, discipleship, church planting, or helping the poor, the disabled, the imprisoned, and the unborn and their mothers?
Philippians 1:9-10; 1 Timothy 5:3-5; Proverbs 14:7
20. Since You called the rich young ruler to give away all that He had and follow You in faith, is it possible—could it ever happen—that You might actually call me to do the same? Have I bothered to even ask You about this? You called Zacchaeus to give away half of all he had. Since I make twice as much money as some people do, might giving away half of what I have be a reasonable Christ-honoring option for me?
Luke 19:8-10; Matthew 19:21; Luke 14:33
21. If I were to make a list of all the assets You’ve entrusted to me, Lord, and ask what you want me to give away, is there anything – house, car, real estate, retirement funds, bank accounts—that I am leaving off the list or treating as untouchable? Am I acting as if not everything belongs to You, but only the leftovers, that part I haven’t already committed to something else? If I’m not putting everything on the table and asking You what You want me to do with it, am I really Your disciple?
Psalms 24:1; 1 Corinthians 6:19; Psalms 50:12; Haggai 2:8
22. Father, You know my heart inside out. Why do I hang on to my possessions with a white-knuckle grip? Am I trying to prove something? Is it about pride? Power? Prestige? Selfishness? Insecurity? Fear? Without realizing it, am I making money my God-substitute? In material pleasure-seeking, am I failing to experience the pleasures that can be found only in You? Do you want me to do something different—maybe radically different—to enhance my longing for You and my dependence on You?
Psalms 63:1; Colossians 3:4-6; Psalms 34:8
23. Am I living to hear others say of me, “He’s a great success!”—or to have You say to me, “Well done, My good and faithful servant”? When I meet You face-to-face, will I wish I had given away less—or more? God, help me by Your grace to close the gap between what I’m giving now and what I’ll one day wish I had given.
Luke 12:15; 2 Corinthians 8:7; Acts 10:1-4
24. Lord, is my fear of health-related catastrophes and old age causing me to hold back my giving? I know you call me to be wise, but have I gone too far, to the point of hoarding and stockpiling instead of trusting? When it comes right down to it, am I hanging on to excess as a backup plan in case You fail me?
Matthew 6:34; Proverbs 3:5-6; Philippians 4:6, 19
25. It’s a terrible thought, Father, but are material assets competing with You for lordship over my life? Has my spiritual life—and my family’s—been harmed by our wealth and our infatuation with wealth? Is it true that giving is the only antidote to materialism? Have I been giving enough to experience a release from materialism and a joyful liberty from the tyranny of money and things?
1 Timothy 6:7-11; Ezekiel 28:4-5; Revelation 3:17-18
26. What specifically am I hanging on that You want me to give away? Since You promise me, “It is more blessed to give away? Since You promise me, “It is more blessed (happy-making) to give than to receive,” what blessings and happiness am I robbing myself of by holding on to what You want me to give away?
Proverbs 22:9; Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 8:13-15
27. Please, show me, Jesus: How can I better communicate with and pray with my spouse and children so we can walk together down this exhilarating road of giving? Help us, Lord, to both lead and encourage one another, without leaving each other behind.
Proverbs 19:14; 2 Corinthians 9:7; Ephesians 5:22, 25
28. What am I doing—and what should I be doing—to train my children to be regular, joyful, and generous givers?
Proverbs 22:6; 1 Corinthians 11:1 and 16:2
29. Lord, I realize that in most places around the world, in most eras of history, I would be regarded as extremely wealthy (even if I am lower- or middle-class in this place and time). Have You put so much into my hands because You have blessed me with the gift of giving and want me to learn to use that gift for Your glory? Have I been missing out on blessing and joy by not exercising this gift?
Romans 12:5-8; 2 Corinthians 9:7; Galatians 6:9
30. If I am a giver, who have I been reaching and mentoring in giving? In a spirit of humility, how can I share with others the joy of giving? If some of us are prayer warriors called to teach others how to pray, are others of us to be giving warriors? Are you calling some to be examples who show others how to give and stir them to raise the bar of giving? (Should I aspire to become a giving warrior, and/or seek the counsel and guidance of one?)
2 Corinthians 8:1-2; 9:2-3; 1 Corinthians 29:1-14; Hebrews 10:24
31. Five minutes after I die, what will I wish I had given away while I still had the chance? Father, surely I don’t have to wait until I die to figure this out. Please, show me now, while I still can give to causes close to Your heart—while I can experience the joy if knowing others are being fed and helped and reached with the gospel, receiving from my hands the help they need. Please empower me to live each day, the rest of my life here, looking forward to heaven and storing up treasures there. Help me to anticipate the words I long to hear from You: “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your Lord” Matthew 25:21, NKJV)
Matthew 16:27; Proverbs 19:17; Matthew 10:42
(Excerpted from Randy Alcorn’s “The Treasure Principle”)
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