What's the big deal about giving?
In Mark 12:41-44, there is a story of Jesus at the Temple. As He is there, He notices the various people coming in and placing their money in the offering boxes. Lots of people are coming in and giving various amounts, but He points out a specific widow to His disciples because of her gift. Not because she gave a huge amount, her gift was actually very small, but because she gave all she had. Her desire to honor the Lord through giving was what was huge.
Giving is an act of worship, obedience, celebration, and thanksgiving to the Lord. It is one of the ways that we acknowledge the kingship of Jesus Christ over all areas of our life, including our finances.
Our gifts are known as tithes and offerings. Tithe literally means "tenth" or 10%. A tithe is the act of giving the first 10% of the income we receive back to the Lord. An offering is anything given above and beyond that. A tithe is merely a starting part since we are ultimately called to live a life of generous stewardship (Proverbs 11:25, 2 Corinthians 9:11).
Through the discipline of giving, we learn to put God first, we acknowledge that all things come from His hand (1 Chronicles 29:14), we affirm our trust in God that He will supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19) and we assert that His values of loving people are also our values (1 John 3:16-18). Giving is a personal choice. He desires that we do so willingly and with joy and thanksgiving (2 Corinthians 9:7). The Bible also teaches that what we do with the resources we have received is a reflection of what is important to us (Luke 12:34).
(For further study: Exodus 35; Psalm 112:5; Proverbs 11:24; Malachi 3:10-12; Matthew 6:1-4,19-21; 10:8; 26:6-13; Luke 11:13; 19:8; 21:1-4; Acts 20:32-35; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; Hebrews 13:6)