Generally in the New Testament Christians did not give money or assets to the Lord. Giving in the NT is always directed to other people. What the Christians did do was to give themselves to the Lord. Everything else followed from that.

Sometimes, we are told, they gave enthusiastically. They really wanted to have a share in certain projects or causes. They were motivated from within by a godly desire to have a part in what God was doing.

Sometimes, we are told, they gave generously. This is the main idea throughout the Bible. They were open hearted and open handed.

But behind the generosity was another understanding – also gained from the OT. They knew where their wealth came from. They trusted God to supply all their needs. They knew they served a generous and reliable God who would never let them down.

Jesus taught them this as well. He even went so far as to say that the way they gave was related to the way God would give to them – not just what he had already given, but that in a sense they could set the standard of how God gave to them by modelling their own level of generosity to others.

It is a scary idea. Could we ever give to others more than God could give to us? I have seen it in practice many times. Many ordinary, not very well off Christians have discovered that you can never out-give God.