You’re selfish!

And guess what, so am I.

But the more we understand the grace we’ve received, the better we are able to exercise the grace to give. Saving grace overflows into giving grace. Freely we give because freely we have received.

Paul exhorts the Corinthian church to “excel in the grace of giving.” (2 Corinthians 8:7)

Now, the first thing that comes to mind when the topic of generosity is mentioned is money. But it’s not just about the money…money…money…

We all know that generosity involves many different facets – TIME, TALENT and TREASURES.

It is actually possible to give without being generous or at least in the spirit and attitude Paul referred it to.

We can give out of convenience – to stop a beggar from bugging us.
We can give out of guilt- because we feel bad about another’s plight.
We can give for self-benefit – to help because there’s a foreseeable return.
We can give for self-promotion – to help us stroke our already bloated ego.

What does it look like to excel in the grace of giving?


In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. (2 Corinthians 8:2)

Check out this equation:

The normal answer would be anxiety … depression… anger… irritation or even grumbling.

However, the church in Macedonia responded in overflowing joy. Now… that’s grace of God in action!


For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. (2 Corinthians 8:3a)

We’ve somehow lost the meaning of this word (sacrifice).

We’ve become such a consumer society that what makes us happy has become top priority.

If I get what I want, then I’m happy. But if my expectation does not match my experience, then I’m unhappy.

The church in Macedonia gave sacrificially. Top of mind wasn’t what they would receive but what they are able to give.


“Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.” (2 Corinthians 8:3b-4)

Giving when it’s compulsory is not a joy. However, when it is done from a cheerful and willing heart, then it doesn’t only feel fulfilling but honors God ultimately.

I love what Sir Winston Churchill said…

“We make a living by what we get;
we make a life by what we give.”



I wrote a blog on Tithing yesterday… (click here to read)

Here are a few testimonies that I hope will encourage you.

1. Jay

I started giving my tithes when I was still a student. My allowance that time wasn’t that big but I was in faith that God will increase it. The next month my allowance doubled. Thus, my tithes increased as well. The next month it doubled again. I decided to give more than 10% as an offering and the increase of my monthly allowance didnt stop. I was able to start a small business at 19 yrs old because of God’s provision and faithfulness. I even asked my parents to stop giving my monthly allowance because blessings were coming left and right. I was able to pay for my tuition fee to finish my last two years in college. God was so faithful even to this very moment.

2. Lee

Started tithing faithfully around 4 years ago, and I have tested how true God’s promises were when you stand in faith and give back to him what is His.

Since then I have been promoted at work, bought a new house, bought a new car. God said I would never lack for any good thing, and this has been true for me and my family, financially.

I remember reading something in the Bible that said when God blesses it would be so much that you wouldn’t have enough space for it – I can attest that this is true, I got to a point where I had no more space at home to put everything, that I had to give a lot away!

He blesses the work of my hands, so much that I find favor at work. All my bills are paid. I also have the privilege of blessing others.

I started tithing at the thousands, based on my net income. My husband and I have since moved to tithing on our gross income, and God has promoted, even my tithing, even at the hundred thousands.

It used to be hard to give it back to God, but as we started doing it faithfully, grace abounded so that even if I drop in P100,000, all I feel is joy at obeying God. I thank the Lord for putting me in the situation wherein I can show my love for Him by obeying Him.

Thanks for letting me share my experiences I pray that God continue be glorified!

3. Barbie

Hi Pastor. Your question is quite apt for what I experienced just last month. I have been a Christian for over 3 years, but tithing is one of my biggest challenges as my salary starts to increase. I work as a Director for Operations in a major callcenter, and tithing 10% would already equate to a callcenter supervisor’s salary for an entire month.

 One day, God just decided to help me understand that it’s not about the money (or the Price Tag, to quote the song), and He will provide for me no matter what. I decided to finally give my tithes…and a week after, my boss gave me a 10% increase for no reason!

 But it didn’t end there.

 I was being a bit crafty about my tithing, so I would calculate and compute up until the last peso, which technically defeats the purpose of my giving. Again, God spoke to me. He made me realize that He is over my finances, my wealth and all the good things that I have experienced and am experiencing today. He changed my heart and gave me a chance to really be able to give with a generous heart.

 The week after? My boss promoted me. He did not only give me enough to continue my tithes religiously, he also gave me MORE so that I can be a blessing to others. (Just typing this literally brings tears to my eyes.)

My prayer this year is for me to keep on giving, and for God to continue to expand my territory so that I can continue to represent him and rule over my material possessions.

4. Herbert

Last February when I became a Christian, I started to tithe. Calculating what I’ve been tithing, the amount pretty much is big and evertime I am tempted to think about that, the Holy Spirit reminds me of the business opportunity that I may start and I am not even financing it. The one who will finance is also a Christian and here’s the clincher, he doesn’t even fully know me and yet, the heart is there to help and the trust is just above and beyond.

As I was comparing the capital needed to start the business and the amount that I did tithe, its nothing. My tithing as whole is not even close to 5% of the actual business cost. God is just amazing when He promises to open the heavens and pour out blessing that we may not even be able to contain it.

Also, some of us may think that just because we tithe, we should expect something monetary in return but in reality, when God bless us because of our obedience, it comes in a whole lot more that we may not see it such as peace, joy, good health. Come to think of it, you can’t put value to these specially when it comes from God.

5. Chie

I have been praying to be debt free and this year (in April) I received an unexpected money which has allowed me to pay (and zero out) my credit card bills and has left me a few money to start my savings and has even allowed e to give to someone who has gone to a mission trip! Really, we cannot outgive God!

6. Ria

“Hi Pastor Pao. The very recent event that happened in our family was that my mom got hospitalized for 8days (3 days in the ICU). I remembered your preaching on week 1 about the God’s covenant. And the word of God really gave me and my family strenght to go thru everything. God showed himself so big. He honored His covenant with me. He healed my mom and miracles just happenned. I can share all the details but with all the complications, the list will be very long but bottomline is God and I have a covenant and He honored it.

And its not only on healing that God manifested His power, he also provided. God has been training me to be a good Steward, and I always give more than my tithe and has been practicing generosity in little ways that I can. Our hospital bill was huge. The insurance told us that they can only cover 1/5. But on the day of the discharged,God surprised me coz the insurance shouldered more than half. And not only that, the other half is already being shouldered by my stepdad. That was God talaga. He is the only one who can turn the hearts of people.

God is just soooo good. He is amazing and He loves me so much. I just want Him to be glorified with this testimony. “







I was convicted by my own message last night.

We’ve been going thru a series at Victory metrowide – Abraham’s School of Finance.

Last night’s subject was on Tithing.

Tithing shows up in the Old Testament many times. And it is a covenant He has established with His people.

First mention was in Genesis 14 when Abraham gives a tithe to the King of Salem who is also concurrently a High Priest – Melchizedek.

Second mention was in Genesis 28:22 when Jacob makes a declaration to God that as God provides for his needs, he would give the tenth to God.  Both were pre-Mosaic law.

Many more mentions right after than in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. (Lev. 27:30-33; Deut. 14:22-29)

The tithe is…

1. First
Proverbs 3:9-10. Honor the Lord with your wealth…the firstfruits of all your crops…

2. Whole
Malachi 3:10. Bring the whole tithe to the storehouse…

3. Holy
Lev. 27:30. A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.

Now the question that follows…

Is tithing in the Old Testament? Resounding YES.
Is it found in the New Testament? BARELY. (Besides a few references in Matthew 23:23 and Heb. 7:8)

Should we even tithe?

I believe God did not talk about tithing explicitly in the New Testament because He wants us to ask a different question.

It’s no longer “How much should I give?” but “How much dare I keep?”

John Piper clearly explains it when he said,

“And it is irrational to think that giving ten percent of that money to the church settles the issue of good stewardship. In a world of such immense need, and in a country of such immense luxury, and under the (Great) commission of such a powerful Lord, the issue of stewardship is not: Shall I tithe? But rather, How much of God’s trust fund dare I use to surround myself with comforts?”

I love Jesus because He is such a radical teacher. He would take things a step further.

Adultery? If you look at a woman with lust, then that’s adultery.
Murder? If you hold a grudge against a brother, then that’s murder.

Luke 3:11 says, “He who has two coats let him share with him who has none. And he who has food let him do likewise.” Now, that’s no longer 10%, that’s 50%.

Matthew 19:11, Jesus told the Rich Young Ruler, “If you would be perfect, go sell what you possess and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow me.” Now, that’s not even 50%, that’s now 100%.

Luke 21:1-4, Jesus commends the widow. “All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”  All means 100%.

Giving in the New Testament takes a radical shift.  It’s not even about 10% anymore.

Why is that?

Jesus really doesn’t want our money, He wants our hearts. It just so happens that our finances has an invisible string connecting to our hearts. He says in Matthew 6:21, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

He doesn’t want something FROM you. He wants something FOR you.  Remember, the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Ps. 24:1). He owns the cattle in a thousand hills (Ps. 50:11).  He doesn’t need anything from us.  But He wants our hearts.

So the question is no longer –
“How much should I give?” but “How much dare I keep?”

It’s no longer-

“Shall I tithe?” but “How much of the money that I hold in trust for Christ can I take for my private use?”

No longer-

“Can I afford to tithe?” but “Can I justify the lifestyle that consumes the 90% of my income?”

Remember the first principle of giving –
Everything that I have is HIS; None of what I have is MINE.

And as I said in my first statement, I was the first one to get convicted in my own message.





Our OVERFLOW series has really been very inspiring.  The past few weeks, we have been asking God to break some mindsets that don’t need to be there.

We’ve been hearing stories about God’s provision particularly in the area of sowing and reaping.

Here’s  another one by “May”.

One day I was believing God for a 24-inch iMac and an L-Series Canon lens. God impressed in my heart, that if I’m believing Him for greater things, I must also learn how to give greater things. That day I felt God was letting me bless my Macbook to someone. I struggled for a week coz that Macbook was my life (so to speak)! Anyways, I decided to let go of it and obeyed the persistent voice. I cleaned my files and put the laptop in the box already and declared that it was no longer mine. The following day, we got an unexpected call from my Tita. She was giving our family 1.5M pesos! We got the money and it was divided among us siblings. A week passed and I got my iMac and my lens plus an all-expense paid trip to Tokyo. 🙂

Here’s the thing: when I gave the Macbook to the person, she was in tears because she was praying for a laptop before she leaves for Japan and I gave it to her exactly the day before her trip. How God works!

Anyways, I’ve realized that God is never after the amount of what we give. But he’s after our hearts. It just so happened that that macbook was my life and he wanted me to let go of it to see if I really trust Him. If all I had was 100 pesos and I gave it all to God, then I guess that’s something big too! 🙂

Father God,

I repent for believing the lies of the enemy.

I believe that it is not Your will for me to be in lack.

I renounce anything that holds Your abundance from me.

I renounce anything that I have spoken against prosperity and success in my life.

I renounce poverty and the spirit of poverty.

I thank You Lord that You are not against me, but You are for me. You are my source, the One who supplies all of my needs according to Your glorious riches in Christ.

You will supply me bread for food.

You will supply me seeds to sow.

I will sow and I will be generous on all occasion.

I will be patient and I will wait.

I believe that I will have a mighty harvest!

LORD God I receive your provision, prosperity and success.

In Jesus’ name, Amen!


Jon (not his real name) emailed me and shared a story about God’s amazing provision.

Our OVERFLOW series has been ‘overflowing’ stories of God’s faithfulness.

Is it possible to outgive God?  That’s just not quite possible.

Here’s his story.

6 years ago, I started to sow my tithe properly (gross of taxes instead of net) and give a little extra to a mission partner. It was a big deal for me coz I’m very particular with saving money. Taxes were around 25%, tithe 10% and offering about another 5-10%, so all in all, I was going to give away 40 to 45% of my salary at that time.

Since that time, I have received a promotion or a special salary upgrade (if not both) every year. My salary is 5 times of what it was 6 years ago. Still expecting a promotion this year even though the year is about to end, and I have already received one at the start of the year. I’ve been sent on work related trips to Moscow, NY, Vietnam, HK, China, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. I have a “storehouse” that God constantly blesses. I have a beautiful wife and a soon to come son. God’s grace has allowed me to earn the trust of local top management (they say so themselves). I’m not toiling at work.

The best thing about it is that the best is yet to come!


Since we started our series entitled OVERFLOW, we have been receiving a FLOOD of stories on how God has been faithful to provide.

Here’s one of them from RMC.

Right after graduating from college, I wrote down stuff I wanted to do and when I wanted to do them. One of those things is to travel abroad, of course, but being a government scholar, I could not do that for four years, so my target was to go out of the country by the time I was 25 =).

Unfortunately my first job as a college instructor paid so low that I had more money as a student than as a teacher. But God said in Malachi to give my tithe faithfully and give an offering as well and I could test Him…so I obeyed.

By the time I had my 25th birthday I had my passport ready, but the amount in my savings account was so bleak I knew it was impossible to have my dream vacation if I just depended on it. But I held on, ‘coz I’ve seen God do miracles of provision in my friends’ lives and I reasoned He could do the same in mine.

By the middle of that year however, doubt was lodged firmly in my mind. I had regrets of ever giving my tithe, or of ever supporting missions and campus ministry. I computed the amount I gave away and I thought, I could have bought my ticket with it and spent it on some sightseeing. I complained to God but at the end of the day, I said, “I challenge you LORD… you said to test You and here it is! I hope You pass the test =P (kapal ng mukha ko)”

And God did come through! That Thursday, my cousin calls me up, “Ate, I wanna go to SIngapore and Mama is asking if you can come with me. She’s buying the ticket.” My jaw dropped and I did cartwheels (in my mind anyway =P). God is so good and He had even better surprises in store! When my older sister heard about it, she said, “Ok, leave your accommodations, transportation and sightseeing expenses to me.” It was awesome, because I even hardly touched my savings. And when I computed what was spent on me on that trip, I realized it was way beyond what I had given away.

God passed the test with flying colors ;).


Well, Allen and Violet Large gave 98% away.

July this year, they won the Lottery Jackpot in Canada.  After they found out about that they won, they started giving their money away to family, the fire department, churches, cemeteries, the Red Cross, Salvation Army and several hospitals.

The interesting thing was that Violet was battle cancer and going through chemotherapy at that time.

When asked why they gave most of it away, Violet’s answer was, “What you never had, you never miss.”

After this, Allen answered, “That money we won was nothing.  We have each other.”

The couple kept 2%, saving it for a ‘rainy day’.

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.” Job 1:21

You can read about it here.