What does the Bible say about planting a seed in the right ministry and what verses back it up? How are we blessed by our offerings and what verses back it up?
The concept of being able to “seed a ministry” and receive a hundred or any other fold back in financial gain is not biblical. The nearest statement to this concept is found in 2 Corinthians when the Apostle Paul says,
There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints . . . 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 . . . 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. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. (NIV) 2 Cor. 9:1, 6-12
Before we explain this passage, you might be interested in a study entitled, “Tithing or Giving?”
The above passage simply says that when we give to the saints, God will bless us according to our gift. If we give little, God will give us little. If we give much, then God will give us more. The apostle is talking about giving to the saints, which includes pastors, missionaries, and others. if we sow little we will reap little. If we sow more, then we will reap more. God says that there is a principle in giving.
Does Malachi 3:8 imply that we are robbing God when we do not give a tithe to Him?
Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, “How do we rob you?” In tithes and offerings. (NASB) Malachi 3:8
The answer is found in the study entitled, “Tithing or Giving?” Tithing was actually taxation in the Old Testament. In the New Testament God has changed the rules and only asks us to give as we desire. But the divine principle of sowing and reaping is still there.
What do we reap? We can reap money, but that is not the only possibility. As the apostle said in 2 Cor. 9:10-12, there is a reward in righteousness and thanksgiving to God by others who receive your gift. There are other rewards also. Here is one example of a reward where God reaps the benefit of our sowing.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. (NASB) 1 Corinthians 3:6-7
God also tells us that because our pastors have sown spiritual blessing, they should reap a financial blessing. The Apostle Paul did not take any money from the Corinthians, but he did teach them this principle.
If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? If others have this right of support from you, shouldn’t we have it all the more? But we did not use this right. On the contrary, we put up with anything rather than hinder the gospel of Christ. (NASB) 1 Corinthians 9:11-12
But the concept of receiving back a certain amount of money because you have given to the correct ministry is not biblical. God only talks about giving to other individuals and to your church. There is a great risk in giving money, time, or effort to someone or some organization that you do not really know and cannot watch. When a person gives to an organization or to missionaries they cannot see or observe week after week, there is a greater risk that they may be contributing to an individual who is a false teacher, immoral, or unbiblical in his activities. However, it is important to give to our missionaries in order that they may preach Christ to other cultures. It is best to regularly commmunicate with them in some way in order to know them. Here is the biblical principle.
Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure. (NASB) 1 Timothy 5:22