At Encounters of Hope, we give money away. I bet you reached a point on our website and raised an eyebrow “Are these people for real?” Well, yeah, we are!
Our tool and methodology leverages the one thing this world values the most, “money.” Everybody “needs,” “likes,” or maybe “loves” money so we have used it as a means to connect with the lost and point them a little closer to Christ. Plain and simple, it gets people’s attention and it really works! At the heart of it, we are showing others love by being generous and selflessly giving them a valuable resource that truly shows them we care. We care that they don’t die and spend eternity in hell, but have a chance at spending eternity with their Creator who is pursuing them to the end. You would be amazed at how far this simple gesture goes in impacting people's lives.
“we are showing others love by being generous and selflessly giving them a valuable resource that truly shows them we care”
We understand money can be a sensitive topic, but it’s also a powerful symbol in today’s culture. Whether we have just enough to buy this week’s groceries or have found financial independence and success, we tend to avoid conversations of our finances at all costs, due to insecurities, fear or conflicted motives. Jesus wasn’t scared of talking about money and we believe His teachings on the subject that giving with a generous heart can lead to amazing opportunities to share the truth of the life changing Gospel of Christ.
One truth we must continually remind ourselves of is that everything comes from God–Every good and perfect gift comes from him (James 1:17). Of all things, our finances certainly are gifts from God. Money is a tool by which the Church can do great things for the kingdom of God.
One way to align yourself with the ways of the Lord is to give regularly to your local church. Amazingly, some studies report that tithing in the church is as low as 5 per cent. Many are torn on whether to tithe but instead of focusing on “the law of tithing”, consider that it is to our benefit to be generous and gracious givers:
“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.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
It’s a simple and clear truth: God loves those who give earnestly out of a love for Him and others.
Here are some reminders as to how our Money can help spread the good news of Jesus:
1. It’s God’s money – not ours.
Consider the following scriptures:
“To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” Deuteronomy 10:14
“Everything belongs to God, and all things were created by his power.” Hebrew 2:10
“The earth belongs to the Lord, and everything in it — the world and all its people.” Psalm 24:1
The bible reminds us many times that everything in the world belongs to God. This includes our finances. The same way we give our service, our gifts, our time, our praises, our worship and our love to God, we should give our finances to him as an acknowledgment that he has blessed us with money in order to have life’s essentials and to bless others in need.
In addition, we must be good stewards of our finances, praying and seeking ways for God to use our finances for his Kingdom. An excellent example of this is giving someone an Encounters of Hope gift card that not only provides for someone’s needs, but also shares the gospel with them as they use it.
2. Showing people that Christians really are selfless and generous.
One of the greatest ways to spread the gospel is for us to be people of action. In other words, caring, giving and loving others in ways that make the world notice. This is what Jesus means when he says, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (John 13:35). Giving someone $100 shows that we care and love others and want to help because of the love we have found in Christ.
3. Money grabs people’s attention.
Giving people money turns heads and approaching money in a way that is counter-cultural grabs people’s attention.
Matthew 6:19-21 explains what makes followers of Jesus different. Our treasure isn’t in the world or in money or possessions or in earthly physical things that can be taken away or destroyed.
Our treasure is Jesus himself, not our stuff that will soon fade away.
When we are willing to easily part with money (that isn’t ours to begin with) it says with a bold and loud proclamation that we value something that is far bigger, something that outlasts the physical materials of this world. Giving money away with a grateful heart for what Jesus has done allows us to share why our treasure is in heaven. When you give that $100, you also have a reason why and an opportunity to share the love of Jesus.
4. Giving paves the way for God to move in your own life too.
Consider the parable of the talents from Matthew 25:14-30. In this story, the master gives different amounts of money to three of his servants. The first two put their money to work, and came back to their Master with more and were considered “good” and “faithful”. The third however, held on to his money and hid it, doing nothing. He was afraid and didn’t want to risk losing what he was given. Ultimately he was cast out from under his master’s care for his lack of action.
Like the first two servants however, we need to be willing to step out and take a risk. We need to learn how to put to good use the gifts that God has given us – from our talents and abilities to our finances. In turn, God invites us deeper into his care and his kingdom, giving us more responsibilities and providing for us in even greater ways because of our faithfulness. How amazing it will be when we stand before God and he reaches down to us saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
Consider these things when you are questioning whether you should give. Along with what God has given you, you have also been tasked with sharing the love of Christ, to give yourself away and to put to good use the gifts from God.
Don’t know where to start? Simply pray and ask God to show you a need that you can meet with what you already have and watch as he begins to move.
We simply must be good stewards of our finances, praying and seeking ways for God to use our finances for his Kingdom. An excellent example of this is giving someone an Encounters of Hope gift card that not only provides for someone’s needs, but also shares the gospel with them as they use it.