My Strategy for Giving Away Millions

What if we could create millions of dollars only to give it away?

How many missionaries could be supported?  How many evangelistic outreaches could be funded? How many God glorifying books could be published? How many hungry could be fed? How many lost could be reached?

I believe there are lots of people who God wants to use as extravagant givers in this generation. People who will lay down their own agendas, change their pre-conceived notion of  “success,” and humbly obey what God has for them.

So what is it going to require?

Freedom from the love of money

I heard someone say that the reason God doesn’t give everyone a million dollars is because it would destroy them. Which is probably why 1 Tim 6:9-10 says this…

But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (NASB)

Discipline and Sacrifice

Looking at the wealthiest people I know I almost always see discipline as a defining characteristic in their lives. They learn how to consistenly work hard to reach a goal, whether they feel like it or not.

All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Hebrews 12:11 (NASB)

Obedience

I can’t imagine reaching this goal without being diligent to obey God’s Word and instructions…

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Joshua 1.8

Onto the plan

So, as the title of the article suggests, this is my plan and outline for reaching this goal. I am sure God has different paths for each person, and as they say, there are many ways to skin a cat, and I guess the same can be said for giving away millions of dollars.

That leads us to the strategy. I realize that this will probably take many decades – I am okay with that. Sometimes God’s way takes a bit longer. This is kind of a long-term plan that I am still trying to figure out how to fulfill it – but I happen to know the one who does know how.

Step 1 – Give

Giving sets things in motion. As repeated as it is, it can’t be repeated enough: you cannot reap what you don’t sow. If you put seeds in the ground, they will eventually yield fruit (and more seeds). If you don’t sow the seeds, you don’t get the fruit or the seeds. I don’t understand how God’s law of giving works, but I know it does work. Just like gravity – it is a law that He established that we can’t really cheat – we can just learn to work with it.

“Give, and it will be given to you…” Luke 6:38

“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness…” 2 Cor 9:6-10

John D. Rockefeller said this about tithing… “I never would have been able to tithe the first million dollars I ever made if I had not tithed my first salary, which was $1.50 per week.”

I think God really likes it when we take the small thing that we have and do the most with it. I realize that I will never be able to give away millions of dollars unless I am continually trying to stretch my giving muscles with what I have now.

Step 2 – Pay off all Debt

It is no secret that I don’t like being in debt. I have had moments where I could really relate to Proverbs 22:7 – “…the borrower becomes the lender’s slave.” So much of our country is willingly becoming slaves to lenders just so they can have more toys. It is far better to have a few less toys, and owe nothing to anyone.

Then after considering how much debt impairs our ability to give, it is easy to see why you should get out of debt. I mean it is pretty difficult to get yourself to a place where you can give a lot if all your monthly income goes to paying interest to lenders.

We have made some tough sacrifices to get out of debt over the last first few years, but the fruit has been a lot of debt paid off  and a lot more financial peace. We were strongly influenced by Dave Ramsey’s Plan and I recommend it for just about anyone trying to get out of debt.

Step 3 – Start a business

After reading quite a few books on business and entrepreneurship I became well aware that there is generally a lot more earning potential for business owners than employees. I tried the “corporate” thing and realized that wasn’t what I wanted or what God wanted either.

About a year before I left the Rat Race (working in Corporate America) I started this website. I figured out that I could make money with it – doing something I love and helping people in the process. It was my first attempt at starting a business. Having heard horror stories from other business owners, I just assumed it would be terribly difficult and would suck all the joy out of my life. It turns out you can run a business and enjoy your life at the same time! That doesn’t mean it is easy, you just need to figure out how to stay encouraged. That helped me realize that it wasn’t  the nightmare of a challenge that some people made it out to be.

In terms of reaching my goal, it seems like running a business is a great avenue. As a self-employed worker, I no longer have a cap on my income. The more I put in, the more I get out. As an employee, it seemed that increasing my income often depended on the company’s success and on whether or not I was better (or played more politics) than the other 10 people up for the promotion. I am sure some people will be able to reach their goal climbing the corporate ladder, but I think I am going to prefer the entrepreneurial path.

Step 4 – Defy Parkinson’s Law

Parkinson’s Law states that expenses rise to meet income. So if you make $50k and then get a raise to $53K, you will quickly wonder where that raise went. In fact, in my case I remember often feeling worse off financially after getting a raise, because I normally started spending when I heard about the raise and after taxes I realized it wasn’t quite as much as I had thought.

This is the same reason you see millionaires go broke.

In principle this should be easy, but in practice it is difficult. The key is to keep your expenses constant, regardless of how much money is coming in. But most of our country seems to think that if you get a raise, you have to immediately increase your standard of living.

My plan to prove Parkinson wrong is to maintain my standard of living as income increases. Then (in theory) I will have an increasing amount of disposable income for the next step: paying off the house as soon as possible.

Step 5 – Pay off House ASAP

I can’t wait to get my house paid off. I am excited for the day when the most expensive bill I have to pay each month is to the electric company. We have a little student loan that is just about paid off (our last remaining non-mortgage debt) and then our next financial goal is to get the house paid off as quickly as possible.

The thing about paying off your mortgage early is that just a little bit of effort can go a long way. Paying an extra $50/month on an average mortgage will allow you to pay it off 3 years early. What if you could jack that amount up to $200 or even $500 extra each month? It is exciting to think about how quick you could get it paid off.

And then, when it is all paid off, along with all the other debts, you are in a position to have a large chunk of disposable income. This of course will lead to an ability to give way beyond 10% to the local church, support missions, and other great ministries.

Step 6 – Invest Wisely

While I started investing about 6-7 years ago, I have put most of it on hold as we have been paying off our debts. After all the debt is paid off I intend to spend more time and energy finding good investments that will help amplify the process.

While part of the investing will be in some more traditional investments like stocks and mutual funds, I plan on continuing to strategize and find ways to create businesses that help people and bring money in advance God’s Kingdom.

Step 7 – Give

It starts with giving,  it continues with giving, and it ends with giving. We are designed and created by God to be givers. I remember being one of those sad souls who believed that hoarding what I had would lead to the most joy. How wrong I was.

True fulfillment comes from giving, not getting. “Things” are nice, but at the end of the day, isn’t it much more valuable to be able to positively affect someone’s life?

Summing it all up

Over the last few years I have come across quite a few Christians who have this desire to be extravagant givers – who don’t really care about keeping up with the Joneses, but who want to dedicate their earning power to God’s purposes.

My encouragement to them (and myself) is that we have to start small. It doesn’t matter how much you make or how little. It doesn’t matter how much debt you have, it doesn’t matter how much education you have.

Regardless of whether we have 10 talents or one, how we handle what we have in front of us determines what happens next. We just have to use what God has given us and start moving in the right direction.

Hint: Getting in debt is probably not the right direction!

I still have to remind myself that getting in debt is only bringing me farther from my goal. But every time I choose not to spend $500 on a shopping spree, and pay off debts instead, I am just that much closer to reaching my goal.

“I’d give like that too if I had a lot of money”

I remember having a cynical attitude and thinking “of course if I made a bunch of money I could give a bunch” – but that really isn’t true. God looks for people who are faithful in a small thing, that He can trust with big things. The key is to prove ourselves faithful with what we have been given, so that we can do a lot more.

And just for a real-world example, I remember hearing about a woman who never made more than minimum wage who ended up leaving $3 Million to a charity when she died.

Obstacles will come

While this is my plan, I know full well that challenges will come and that it will not be easy. I also understand that being the simple guy that I am that I can’t pull it off in my own power, but I serve the same Lord who fed thousands from a few loaves and fish. God knows my heart and my desire and I am fully expecting that as I manage my talents wisely He is going to bring it to pass… for His glory.


















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38 Comments
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  1. Awesome Bob
    Thats my dream as well . Love this site

  2. jbledsoejr

    Awesome plan! I love how it starts with giving and ends with giving! It looks like you are well on your way!

  3. I recently read a book by Peter Singer, “The Life You Can Save”.
    What a read!

    It talked about giving money to those in extreme poverty
    1) Why it’s morally wrong for us *not* to give,
    2) How much we should give, and
    3) What organizations make the best use of donations.

    I give my tithe to the church, but I can’t wait to regularly give more than my tithe, and to give to organizations which directly impact those living in extreme poverty!

    Great post!

  4. Awesome plan Bob. That reminder about being faithful with what you have now before He can trust you with bigger things is very challenging, yet must be obeyed. Your post about making money from a blog is one that I still turn to every now and then for help and encouragement. Thanks for that!

  5. Very clearly laid out, I love it! I definitely love numbers 1 and 7, and need to work more on them. Sometimes I’m not the cheerful giver that I need to be.
    Very encouraging post, and a plan that most should follow (with the exception of starting one’s own business…)

  6. Starting a business or being self employed is a must. You will never make lots of money working for someone else. Great tips. I have to print this one out. :)

  7. Our pastor recently preached a series “Mind Your Own Business.” He said that God has given each of us a business (our personal finances) and we should treat it accordingly.

    We are on a similar plan to become completely debt free so that eventually we will live on less than half of one salary. I look forward to the day we are able to give offerings that are as large or larger than the amount we tithe!

  8. Wow. Incredible article Bob. I believe that one day you’ll be giving away millions . . . it’s evident that God has given you the right heart and resources to do so!

    I especially needed to be reminded of the Corinthians passage, that God loves a cheerful giver! I found myself getting caught up in whether to tithe my net or gross income. I think God is calling me to cheerfully tithe my net income and cheerfully give more when I can!

    Thanks to you and your wife for being the inspirations that you are. God bless you and your desire to manage God’s money well!

  9. Great plan Bob! It’s fun to see you well on your way to living the dream!

  10. I agree with Financialbondage, having a business is essential. Even if you don’t make a lot of money, it offers a chance to do what you really want to do in life, and to do it without the distractions inherent in a group setting.

    When we work in a company, a large one in particular, a certain go-along-to-get-along factor kicks in, where we start wanting what others have or want and we get into that group behavior immitation game. God can certainly work through us in such an environment, but free from the bonds of the group, we can be so much more.

    Each of us is made individually and has unique contributions to make. In a company environment, we’re urged and sometimes required to conform. One way to break out of that constraint is self-employment and even if you can’t jump the fence right now, you might still be able to start a side business for the day when that opportunity comes.

    Sometimes just by having a side business we enjoy a tieline to sanity that keeps us going!

  11. A very well written article Bob. I agree with just about everything you lay out. I am also working my way down that path. Currently we are giving about 25% of our net from our $70K income with a desire to do much more. There is a temptation sometimes to limit our giving for a period of time to expedite our mortgage payoff. It is important to remember that being debt free allows us to give more, but we don’t need to be debt free to give.

    I also like your business plan and have toying with that myself. I haven’t figured out how, or had the faith to just jump, I provide for my family (three kids 3 and under) without my day job though. I also refuse to spend less time with my family which would be needed to start a business in my off time. It seems kind of like a catch-22. Hopefully God will provide clarity there someday.

    All in all, I enjoy your posts and look forward more. It is easy to “know” these steps. It is encouraging to see others successfully taking them. Keep up the great work!

  12. Great article Bob – definitely a challenge and an inspiration.

    Phillip is also an inspiration…giving 25% on $70K salary! And a desire to do much more. I can see Phillip as one who will give millions. Hopefully, I can too.

  13. Good article. I am also in the process of building wealth with the plan of having most of it go to charities and such. I definitely think the most important step there is Step 4- making sure expenses don’t grow with income.

    I disagree with the commenter that said being self employed is a must. While it might increase chances, one can certainly still build up a lot of money while working for someone else, as long as a) they get pretty decent pay and b) they use it well. The post itself ended with the example of the woman that made only a little bit of money yet still gave millions away. In fact, I was planning on writing a blog entry on her sometime shortly.

  14. While most of this article is really good and spot-on, I have to take issue with the line:
    “And just for a real-world example, I remember hearing about a woman who never made more than minimum wage who ended up leaving $3 Million to a charity when she died.”

    Oh really? That’s not even mathematically possible. It struck me as wrong because I don’t make more than minimum wage, I live super-frugally, and I can barely make ends meet after paying the most basic of bills & tithing. I save as well (and am debt-free to boot), but after the necessities are met, the savings are minuscule, and even after saving diligently for almost 30 years, I barely have enough savings to live on for more that 4 or 5 years (probably less, once taxes are taken out).

    Let’s suppose this alleged woman worked from the time she was 18 til the time she was 80. That’s 62 years. And let’s suppose she was fortunate enough to keep a full time job all those years, working 40 hours a week. That’s 2080 hrs per year…times 62 years=128,960 hours worked in her life. Let’s just say she made an average of $6.00 all those years (a very generous “average”, considering minimum wage is *now* only somewhere around $7.25, and 30 years ago, it was closer to $2.35)…. she only could have made a total of $773,760 in her life. And that’s GROSS. That’s not accounting for taxes, health insurance, FICA, and whatever else they take out of paychecks. Furthermore, that total doesn’t even address any money spent for even the most basic of bills, like housing and food. So even factoring in super-amazing investments and compound interest, I don’t see how she came up with $3 million savings, working minimum wage her whole life. I’d love to know how. (in other words, I bet she had a sizable inheritance given to her sometime in her life as well).

    • Thanks everyone for the comments, glad to see that I am not the only one with this desire!

      BD, this is a bit of a tangent, but I will pursue it just for clarification. I saw the story on one of the news stations business channel and the woman was an avid investor. I don’t remember what companies she had invested in, but had picked some big winners. You are right just saving money itself on a minimum wage isn’t likely to yield a 3 million nest egg, but picking the right stocks and steadily investing I can absolutely see how it would be possible.

      Stepping back a bit too, it isn’t about the number. Just today I read about the 2 widows mites and how Jesus praised her giving because she gave sacrificially. I have no idea how much I will be able to give over my lifetime – small or large it doesn’t really matter, the point is that if I am obedient to God and His Word, then I will be successful in His eyes…

  15. Great advice! I agree that paying off debt is key to being able to give more and being more at peace with your checkbook. My husband and I are earnestly doing everything we can to pay off the last of our debt. But it does make me wonder how I will handle being finally out from under debt. What will I work towards then?! I am excited to know that God will enable me to give more to missions whenever my debt is gone!

  16. Gholmes

    Loved this post, at first I was dubious when I saw the title. What a great goal. I am adding a giving goal along with my retirement goal today! Going to track it along with my other goals. Made me think long term about giving.

  17. Olivia

    Thanks for the comments. We don’t make much but are debt free and trying to be faithful. The goal in my mind is to give more to the Lord than the government gets in taxes. It may be some time off as myDH hasn’t been getting COLA consistantly and we still have kids at home. But you’re right, it’s great fun giving money away. We don’t always find out how it worked out. But it’s especially cool to do it behind the scenes (stick it in the offering plate in an envelope with someone’s name on it) and hear someone say maybe months later,”Someone gave us a gift and it came at just the right time.” That’s such an encouragement.

  18. I don’t want to be the only ‘negative’ sounding person on this good post, but I have my doubts and emotional obstacles toward giving.

    I wanted to share my story to be honest about my background, and how this came to be.

    When I was young, I recall attending church with my dad, where the pastor would weekly read aloud the amount each couple gave as “special offering” that Sunday, yes, their names in public and the amount, of course, thanking them. That left a bad taste in my mouth, because my family was poor.

    My dad was working almost minimum wage, and supporting us, a family of four immigrants. He literally could not tithe. As kids, we wore the same clothes straight for a week because we could not afford to do laundry regularly (not that we even had that many clothes).

    Every cent mattered just to get us by. My dad however, was a good Christian, and he wanted to serve faithfully in whatever way he could help with service in any way, whether it was helping out with the church bulletin, or whatever. My sister and I were at church from 9am to 6pm on Sundays straight because my parents went to 2 services and served.

    But the pastor there didn’t see this as right. He met with my dad to confront him about how he was not paying his 10% tithe. He was a man with 6 kids driving a nicer car, and living in a house, opposed to our one bedroom apartment. My dad was obviously disappointed, and maybe upset by him. We ended up leaving that church.

    Then we went to another church. It turned out to be very legalistic. I didn’t know as a kid what legalism was, though, because I didn’t know what the gospel really was. I grew up there, and I eventually became a Christian there. I ended up falling in debt because of that church. My parents could not support me through college, and I could barely live off of loans. By the time I entered college, our family was considered middle class I suppose, but we had really no savings, and I had to work 12 to 17 hours a week just to make enough for rent.

    But at the church, we were all EXPECTED to go to mission trips. We weren’t given any opportunities to raise money (full time student with no extra time, and no internet) and we were expected to just “charge it”. This would happen almost every year. Yeah, that racked up to thousands as we flew to other countries for about 3 summers.

    My other friends also did this, so I thought this was all normal. I thought I’d somehow have all this money to pay it off when I got a job.

    So I get my first job. Church tells me that I have to give my first paycheck to God. How? i thought. They meant give it all to church. I’m thinking “huh? How would I pay my rent?”. So I “disobeyed” and paid my rent and gave the rest to church.

    Anyways, with my job, I thought I’d have plenty on money to start paying off my credit card debt. I didn’t. I had to start paying my student loans. They didn’t have to tell me about tithe. I already did it on my own. Then of course, I needed a car to get to my work. More debt. My parents were barely making it on their own still, as my mother was no longer physically able to work. Before I know it, I don’t have all that much money left over for anything.

    Then church would have the special offerings for the building, or for missions, or some other love offering. Because of that I was not able to pay off my debt earlier. I was going month to month. Sometimes, just when I thought I was seeing some wiggle room, another special offering would come up. I was starting to hate these special offerings, because like I said, our church was legalistic, and your leaders would know if you didn’t give. On top of that, my parents declared bankruptcy, and I had to support their costs of living.

    So down the line when I got married, I had no money for a nice ring, and could only afford a minimal wedding band. I barely had enough credit on my card available for the wedding costs. Fortunately, I was able to switch jobs, so I took that opportunity to pound down the credit card debt in about 4 years. But I can’t seem to get at the car loans because both our cars broke down and we had to get replacement, inexpensive ones). Just when I paid them off, they broke down. I am now in another cycle of paying off more debt, and I find it difficult to give when I am not being extravagant, but still can’t get out.

    Part of me blames all those mandatory “special offerings” some of which I knew weren’t even necessary but still collected by the church. Maybe if my experience with giving was more voluntary, I would be more open.

    I supposed part of why I’m venting is because I find it hard to now buy a home because we have little savings for a house, even a relatively small one.

    When I look back, I do have to thank God for providing me with jobs in the first place. But because of my experience, I have a hard time in fully embracing the joy of giving. Nothing really miraculously providential happened to me when I gave out of my nought. Rather, I just fell more into debt.

    I hope you guys can at least pray for me, that my attitude toward giving could start with a clean slate and that I would too make it a goal to give more, but out of joy in the future. But I sure have had somewhat bad experiences with church in this area of giving.

    Thanks for reading.

    • Nicole Nurse

      This comment so hurt my heart, for Churches are not to force anyone to obey God’s law we have to understand that if we want to be blessed on earth we have to do: ALL OF HIS LAWS, COMMAND AND INSTRUCTIONS for Christ to release the Blessings upon us. I believe we have the power to choose where we want to Tithe and sow, for there are many Church Administration that is using Church funds for their own gain and not for the edification of God’s people or the poor, the widow and the orphan. Giving is a choice a choice for God to fulfill His PROMISES, we have to ask God for WISDOM and discernment to know where is “Good soil or bad soil” because if you give into “bad” soil you get no results.

      Pray and ask God to guide you to where to Tithe and sow. You can consider the my Ministry that I am setting up to really reach the people by giving them funds to get out of debt, start a business, college funding and general outreach programs. Right now out of my pocket I give to orphanage in India and it feels so good to see pictures of those kids. (True Believer Ministry – truebelieverministries@gmail.com or nicole.r.nurse@gmail.com

  19. Olivia

    Dear A,

    I really feel for you and will try to remember to pray. The Lord doesn’t judge someone by what he doesn’t have and we’re certainly not allowed that privelege. I’m grateful we don’t know who gives what at church. (Romans 14:4-12). Criticism within the body really stings. Pray for those pastors who taught their own ideas. I fear for guys like that. Teachers will incur stricter judgement and those that cause little ones to stumble will bear millstones.

    Grace is free. We could never earn it.

    I understand what it feels like not to have something growing up, but not to your extent. My dad was a sculptor, so like most artists he didn’t make much. And we know what it’s like now sometimes. Paul learned contentment. Christ learned obedience. So we follow their examples.

    The only thing I can encourage you to do is be faithful in what God has entrusted into your care at this moment. (Whatever form that takes.) Even if you don’t “feel” joy or some miracle doesn’t occur as a result. Everything we have is a gift from Him. We stand before His face in how we handle it.

    I remember a story about an elderly psalm singing Scottish Presbyterian. He didn’t celebrate holidays, only the sabbath. A young child, daughter of a seminary student he taught, gave him an egg she had decorated for him for Easter. He received it graciously. God too looks at the heart.

    On another note, and I do this too, to worry about home ownership or feel deprived by not having one is distracting. My husband is a pastor, we live in a manse. There is no way in a million years we’ll be able to afford our own place. We can barely keep our car going. But God has been faithful, so you pray for me too.

    Thanks.

  20. @Olivia,

    Thank you for that wonderful encouragement. I will pray for you too.

  21. Monica

    Dear A-
    I am astounded and saddened by your experiences in the church, and I can totally understand how you feel concerning giving and tithing after going through what you have.

    However, I just want to encourage you to give it another shot! :) Both tithing and giving are biblical truths and when they are practiced they activate the Kingdom of God in our lives. I don’t understand it, but it works. I think one of the most important things that God asks from us is obedience even if we don’t understand.

    Even if you can’t start doing both right away, start making steps to reorganize your finances or lifestyle to support these principals, and when you do that it starts to unlock the blessing of God. It really is a faith thing and you probably won’t understand it, until you do it. By no means am I saying its easy, because its not it requires diligence, work, and sacrifice but when you honor God he definitely rewards you for it.

    I have never had a lot of money, even growing up my dad was a truck driver (and had 2 or 3 side jobs/hobbies to raise extra money to support us) and my mom stayed home with the five of us kids. I had to pay my way through college and incurred a lot of debt but I have never seen lack, there have been some really tight times but God has always provided for us.

    And one more reminder… the Bible does say that God is our provider. Not our jobs, not the government, not anything else. God is our provider! If you really believe that I think that God can take you to a new step in your finances and your beliefs about giving and everything else for that matter!

    So I just wanted to give you a little hope, and just say give it another try! God is Good!

  22. Loved this article. Reminds me of Haggai 1:1-11, in which God basically says that he is withholding the fruits of our labors because our mind and focus is not in HIS purposes (in Haggai’s example, rebuilding the temple, but I think the passage carries a more general message).

    Also brings to mind Deuteronomy 8:18, in that the Lord gives us the ability to create wealth. We can do all that we can, but it will remain fruitless unless God decides to bless the work.

    Thanks for a great article – can’t wait to pass it on.

  23. An easy way to be a Cheerful Giver is to provide a toy-filled birthday gift bag for a child living in poverty on their birthday. For details visit www. Cheerfulgivers.org

  24. Bob, this is very inspirational and impressive. You cannot fail persuing God’s direction for your life. I am very humbled and happy for you. Your advice really helps me in my financial situation also and gives me good food for thought about a better plan. —–Carol

  25. Hi everyone, I just wanted to know if I am supposed to offer my first paycheck from a new job to God. I normally pay my 10% when I have an income but my parents were telling me I have to do that. I don’t know if they are just saying that because that’s what they feel or if it’s because it’s what a christian is supposed to do. Please help me out with any bible verses or something because I will be glad to give if that’s what I should do. Thanks

  26. Rob in Madrid

    Hey James, if you want a really really good understanding of tithing I would recommend reading Richard Morris’ book The Blessed Life and his follow up book The Blessed Life 52 week guide it is one of the best books I’ve read on tithing. The first is his story of how he came to tithing, the second the scriptural basis for tithing.

    A it’s very sad that you had such a bad experience with church, unfortunately the enemy has taken a biblical truth and twisted and ruined it either by legalism (your experience) or by the prosperity gospel. I would ask God to lead you to a church that is more grace oriented.

    PS my own opinion is that tithing needs to be taught more but churches that emphasis it shouldn’t take up an offering, if it is in peoples heart to tithe they will give!

  27. This all sounds great and wonderful and there is nothing better than giving but for the first time in my life I find myself not being able to give. I survived ovarian cancer three years ago and lost my husband in the meantime, I have a 12 year old daughter and seem to be going backwards no matter how much I work or how much I strive to make ends meet its just not happening. I work at the hospital, pianist at my local church , work when I’m not at work and going backwards. Any advice.?

  28. Hi Bob-
    Feel inspired by this. Especially the opening paragraph stating “…God wants to use as extravagant givers in this generation”. Feel the same way. Thanks for all of your insights and stepping out to post your plan that is clearly God directed.
    Also wanted to share insight on BD’s questions regarding the 3 million dollar donation. The woman was Grace Groner, a secretary for Abbott Labs. In 1935 she purchased $180 of Abbott Labs stock and upon her death at age 100, it totalled not 3 million, but 7.1 million. Not bad. And she left it all to Lake Forest College where she had graduated from in 1931.
    To Paula, I think you are the reason I stumbled on this article today. I can’t imagine what you are going through. I can relate a tiny bit, as I have felt stretched to no end to build a business in one of the worst economies in US History. I have not been able to make ends meet either, yet somehow they have and I focus on that. The word says not to worry about tomorrow, that todays worries are enough. I encourage you to start there. Focus on those words and talk to God about what they mean to you. How he wants you to apply them and have them written on your heart. There are great promises in relinquishing trust in our own ability and allowing the true living waters to quench our thirst. I don’t mean to sound so mystical, but this is a process that I have been working through and have observed in A LOT of people around me. I’ve found that the more I trust in Him, the more my faith grows, and the more I know Him. I think this is the great irony of how I started this post, and what Bob sees as being a giving generation: there are many of us out there that are in similar situations and I think that these times are being used for Kingdom purposes. I see a great many people focusing on who they are in debt to, who they are serving, who it is that they have paid their sacrifice to and realizing that they have stepped away from the truth. I myself have committed to becoming debt free by the end of next year through the will of God, the love of Christ, and the guidance of the spirit. I have no other reason to believe that it could be done by my hands, but know that all things are possible for those who love Him. So specifically I can only advise you to trust Him, follow Him, and talk with Him always. My best and I look forward to hearing of the Glory of God working in your life.

  29. Great post Bob,

    I too can’t wait to pay off the house. When its paid off then #1 becomes the highest priority. Being charitable is a great thing if you have the means. Hopefully one day, I can do it as a job. Wouldn’t that be great.

  30. Bob,
    When I saw the title, I wondered if you were talking about giving $1 million over my entire life. I have recently starting giving away the things in my attic and other parts of my house that are in good condition—I’m starting with what I have now. I supported a child overseas until my debt overtook my finances. I want to get back to the “giving place”.
    From the bottom of my heart, right now, all I want to be able to do is GIVE. I have been reading II Peter 1 and getting to know God and Jesus our Lord more. I discovered that God has some favorite words that I also appreciate: abundance, plentiful, overflow, more, fill, pour…Wow! That’s where I want to be in my giving. So, yes, I would love to give $1 million away!

  31. very inspiring! thanks for what you do.

  32. Thanks Lori – I appreciate the encouragement!

  33. Thank you for this article and your website. I found it by chance but am so glad I did. Going thru rough times right now from job loss but your site is very inspiring and this article on giving is great.

  34. We love this! This is our dream as a couple- to give away millions of dollars. It’s awesome to find kindred spirits out there who have the same dream, and even better to find a plan out there to do it! We are so encouraged and excited to read this!

  35. Seen once on Pastor Chris (TV) A thing I had never thought of – poverty among many other things is something our Lord was sacrificed for. We are redeemed of it. I am in serious poverty but can see it easing up little by little as I remember each day of the things we are redeemed of. And yes by giving even though it looks like you cant really does help.

  36. This article, along with every other article I’ve just read on your blog, is amazing! I really think that Christian’s should focus more on giving and less than living on more. It seems like we always think that we somehow deserve all the money we make and forget that it belongs to God.

    I have gained much inspiration from you! I am currently starting up my first blog (after spending some time writing on HubPages), and playing around with YouTube. I would love to get to the point were I could make enough money from my blog to support myself and spend more time serving others.

    I look forward to reading your blog and learning more tips. Thanks for writing!

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