Summary: The example of the Macedonian our Corinthian churches give us tremendous advice on the sensitive subject of tithing for NT believers today! Advice that is easy to understand requiring very little interpretation!
So much is said about tithing and yet it is probably the most difficult subject for me to speak on. I think it would be actually easier if the church was wealthy. Why is this such a sensitive subject? Or maybe its me, but why is it so hard to preach on?
What about to you? Think about it for a moment; Is Tithing a sensitive subject for you?
Now, let me assure you that I am NOT coming to you today on this subject because of our financial needs. This is not a lesson to make you feel guilty! Instead, as each of the sermons have been in the last few weeks, my goal is that God will use the sermons He has given to me through this series to help prepare us as a church for what we believe is going to be an exciting 2010!
#3 in our series preparing us for the upcoming 2010, deals with not only HOW MUCH WE GIVE, BUT WHY WE GIVE IT and more importantly DOES GOD USE IT?
Week 1: the subject of Open Doors using Revelation 3:7-8.
Week 2: Effective Prayer and the importance of always remaining in an attitude of prayer not only in our personal lives, but maintaining an attitude of prayer for our church and its leaders.
Week 3: Effective Giving
Each of us says we would love to have a closer relationship with God; that we want all He has for us. However, none of us would dare say we can get closer to God without obeying His Word. His word is truth and it is God’s bond with us, so to speak. He wants us to have all He has for us. I say it almost every post lately, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” James 1:17. Why do I say this? Because it is truth. God only wants good for us, however we must obey His word!
So being a NT Believer, “What is required surrounding the subject of Tithing?”
Corinth has started collecting money for the poor in Jerusalem (1 Cor. 16.1-4) but the effort had slowed down (8.10-11)
One of the purposes of 2 Cor is to was to encourage the Corinthians to finish the collection they had started.
Paul uses the generosity of the Macedonia churches to encourage the Corinthian church to finish what they had started.
In order to encourage the Corinthians to continue in what they had started, he tactfully used the example of the Macedonian churches.
Paul says …
1. “we want YOU to know”
2. “out of severe trial” (NLT – ‘they are being tested by many trials and they are very poor, but they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed with rich generosity’)
Though small, poor, and many trials, they are joyful, and overflowing with generosity. This says so much about other small but obedient churches.
1. “testify that they gave as much as they were able”
1 Cor. 16.2 ‘you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income – saving it up’
a. based on their income that decided what they were able