First of all…THANK YOU for being open and willing enough to even read this information. No doubt you have a desire to be blessed, but to also be a blessing to others. The incredible thing to remember as you consider giving is that God has already given so much to you…and He desires to bless you in the future! And the pathway to financial health is through Biblical Stewardship.
BIBLICAL STEWARDSHIP STARTS WITH THE TITHE, A CONCEPT STRAIGHT FROM GOD’S WORD.
“10 Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple.” – Malachi 3:10a
The scripture above says “the full tithe”. Other translations say words like “all the tithe” and “the whole tithe”. The scriptures below provide additional background for tithing.
“24 …because I have given them (the Levite priests) the Israelites’ tithes, which have been set apart as offerings to the LORD. This will be the Levites’ share… 26 Say this to the Levites: `When you receive the tithes from the Israelites, give a tenth of the tithes you receive – a tithe of the tithe – to the LORD as a gift.” – Numbers 18:24, 26
5 The people responded immediately and generously with the first of their crops and grain…all the produce of their fields. They brought a tithe of all they owned. – 2 Chronicles 31:5
‘Tithe’ literally means ‘one tenth’. In biblical times, one tenth of what was produced by the people was given back to God. In our day, one tenth of what we earn is given as the tithe.
The tithe was set apart for the costs of the temple, and for the priests ministering to the people. In our day, the tithe goes to support the local church…its ministries and minsters.
The tithe was given out of the people’s “firstfruits”, meaning the first tenth of their earnings…not the last tenth. A person’s best was given to God, as it should be given in our day as well.
The tithe is not an option for believers. God has instructed that the full tithe, one tenth of our income, be set aside and given back to God as our top financial priority.
OFFERINGS, DIFFERENT THAN THE TITHE, ARE TO BE GIVEN AS GOD LEADS YOU.
Offerings are given as an individual feels led. A person hears from God and gives accordingly. The cause and the amount are between the individual and God.
One of the greatest opportunities to give offerings is to pledge to be a Kingdom Builder…from neighborhoods to nations, we want to introduce people into the saving power of Jesus Christ. Our church is reaching our community through school adoption, as well as planting churches. Globally, One Church supports over 30 missionary partners around the world. Other opportunities include building improvements or next gen development.
Offerings are not to be given in place of the tithe or as part of the tithe. They are given above & beyond the 10% we give as tithe.
OBEDIENCE IN THE AREA OF STEWARDSHIP WILL BRING GOD’S FAVOR & BLESSING.
Malachi 3:8, 10 gives a glimpse of God’s two-fold heart on the topic.
“8 Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day. “You ask, “How have we robbed you?’ “The tithe and the offering – that’s how! … 10 Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams…” – Malachi 3:8-10 [MSG]
The seriousness of the subject is seen here…giving is a command of God.
The passage also expresses that God will
“throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it”
if we honor God in this area. God commands us not to test Him in any area, except in this area of giving. He says
‘Test me…try it…let me prove it to you.’
God stands by this promise…if we obey Him financially, we will be blessed financially.
God has surrounded this whole topic of giving with peace and happiness, not with reluctance and sorrow. Giving is not a chore…it is not a monthly bill. It is our opportunity…to be blessed and to be a blessing.
Look at the following scripture. The Apostle Paul writes…
6 Remember this – a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each make up your own mind as to how much you should give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully. 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
Sometimes being faithful financially is hard, especially if we don’t have specific things and ideas in place to help us. Here are some tips to help you find success in biblical stewardship:
Treat the tithe as a non-negotiable. No matter what season of life you are in…no matter how tight your money is, give the tithe with commitment and faith. In God’s economy, 90% is greater than 100%.
Give the tithe first. When you get your paycheck…when you come into unexpected cash…make giving of your “firstfruits” your goal.
Give offerings to worthy causes; in particular, give to causes that are making a proven, lasting spiritual impact. Ask God to put a passion in your heart for missions and for lost people.
Give in response to God’s voice, and give generously as He leads. Take confidence as you hear from Him. This will help you to not feel pressured to give when the opportunity is there but God has not laid it on your heart to give. Remember, however, that no gift to God goes unused by God.
Do not procrastinate or forget the priority of giving offerings. It is much easier to give as you take in the money than it is after you glimpse the bills as well as all the things you’d like to buy; so give monthly, at the 1st of the month.
Give without the goal drawing attention to yourself. The Bible says to give so that your left hand doesn’t know what your right hand is doing. What that means is that God intended giving to be between Him and the giver, not to be shared with others as a way to gain “spiritual props”. Our duty in giving is simply to be faithful.
Remember…it’s all God’s money anyway. We’re just stewards – servants entrusted with it to live and do God’s will. It is more blessed to give than to receive.
Story after story of God’s faithfulness can be found as you start talking to people who have chosen to become biblical stewards financially! A sacrificial joy in generosity…miracles in job search, advancement, and investment…divine providence in the day-to-day…these are just a few hallmarks of a life of obedience in this area of giving. If you have any questions about Biblical Stewardship, simply ask a pastor today.
~ BIBLICAL STEWARDSHIP ~
But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving. – 2 Corinthians 8:7