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Key Verses on Generous Giving

While much has been said or written on the subject, the best place to look for sound teaching on generosity is the Bible. Both Old and New Testaments teach generosity as a way of life for God’s redeemed people—not as a rote duty but as a joyful response to God’s saving grace. To help you get started, we have listed several key verses from Scripture on stewardship. Click on each passage to read stewardship Bible study notes where available. For a more extensive list of passages, see our stewardship concordance.
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  • God Owns Everything, and We Are His Managers
    • Psalms 24:1“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”

    • Leviticus 25:23“The land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.”

    • Haggai 2:8“ ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

    • 1 Corinthians 6:19-20“You are not your own; you were bought at a price.”

    • Deuteronomy 8:18“Remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”

    • Romans 11:36a“For from him and through him and to him are all things ...”

    • 1 Corinthians 4:2“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”

    • Matthew 25:21“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ ”

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    God Is Exceedingly Generous
    • John 3:16“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    • Romans 8:32-33“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”

    • 2 Corinthians 8:9“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

    • Matthew 7:11“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

    • 1 Timothy 6:17c“... God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”

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    Wealth Is Fleeting, and Accumulation Is Dangerous
    • Proverbs 30:8-9“Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’ Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.”

    • Luke 6:24“But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort.”

    • Ecclesiastes 5:10-15“Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep. I have seen a grievous evil under the sun: wealth hoarded to the harm of its owner, or wealth lost through some misfortune, so that when he has a son there is nothing left for him. Naked a man comes from his mother's womb, and as he comes, so he departs. He takes nothing from his labor that he can carry in his hand.”

    • Mark 10:25“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    • Proverbs 23:4-5“Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches, and they are gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.”

    • 1 Timothy 6:9-10“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

    • Luke 16:25“But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony.’ ”

    • Deuteronomy 6:10-12“When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

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    Giving Is the Antidote to Greed
    • Mark 10:21“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ ”

    • 1 Timothy 6:6-7, 17-19“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. ... Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

    • Luke 12:15-17a, 19b-21, 33“Then he said to them, ‘Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’ And he told them this parable: ‘The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ... “[I] have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you.” This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God. ... Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. ...’ ”

    • Malachi 3:8-10“ ‘Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, “How do we rob you?” In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.’ ”

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    We Must Live Today in Light of Eternity
    • Philippians 3:20“Our citizenship is in heaven.”

    • Hebrews 11:25-26“[Moses] chose to be mistreated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time. He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.”

    • 1 Timothy 6:17-19“Command those who are rich in this present world … to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”

    • Psalms 90:10, 12“The length of our days is seventy years—or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away ... Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.”

    • Psalms 39:5b“Each man’s life is but a breath.”

    • Romans 14:10, 12“... For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat ... So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

    • Matthew 19:27-29“Peter answered him, ‘We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?’ Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.’ ”

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    Our Hearts Follow Our Money
    • Matthew 6:19-21“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” [cf. Luke 12:34]

    • Matthew 6:24“No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” [cf. Luke 16:13]

    • Deuteronomy 17:16-17“The king, moreover, must not acquire great numbers of horses for himself or make the people return to Egypt to get more of them, for the LORD has told you, ‘You are not to go back that way again.’ He must not take many wives, or his heart will be led astray. He must not accumulate large amounts of silver and gold.” (cf. 1 Kings 10:14-11:13)

    • Ecclesiastes 5:12“The sleep of a laborer is sweet, whether he eats little or much, but the abundance of a rich man permits him no sleep.”

    • Matthew 6:1-4“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

    • Proverbs 18:10-11“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. The wealth of the rich is their fortified city; they imagine it an unscalable wall.”

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    God Prospers Us Not to Raise Our Standard of Living, but Our Standard of Giving
    • 2 Corinthians 9:10-11“Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”

    • Luke 3:8a, 10-11“ ‘Produce fruit in keeping with repentance ...’ ... ‘What should we do then?’ the crowd asked. John answered, ‘The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.’ ”

    • Acts 20:35b“[T]he Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”

    • 2 Corinthians 8:7, 13-14“But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. ... Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality ...”

    • Acts 4:32, 34-35“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”

    • James 2:14-17“What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, ‘Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

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    We Must Withhold Nothing from the God Who Gives Everything
    • Luke 14:33“In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”

    • 2 Corinthians 8:1-3, 9“And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability ... For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

    • Mark 1:16-18“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him.”

    • Acts 4:32“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had.”

    • Matthew 10:38-39“... [A]nd anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”

    • 1 John 3:16-19“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence ...”

    • 2 Corinthians 9:6-9“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: ‘He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.’ ” [quoting Psalms 112:9]

    • Luke 6:38“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

    • Mark 12:43-44“Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’ ”

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    Our Giving Must Reflect God’s Agenda
    • Proverbs 19:17“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.”

    • Luke 19:8“But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’ ”

    • Acts 10:2-4“[Cornelius] and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, ‘Cornelius!’ Cornelius stared at him in fear. ‘What is it, Lord?’ he asked. The angel answered, ‘Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God ...’ ”

    • Galatians 2:9-10“James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me. They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and they to the Jews. All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.”

    • James 1:27“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

    • Matthew 25:34-40“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ ”

    • Luke 8:1-3“After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who ... were helping to support them out of their own means.”

    • 1 Corinthians 9:14“In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.”

    • Philippians 4:15-17“Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid again and again when I was in need. Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account.”

    • Romans 12:13“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”

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    Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.


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