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Summary: Generosity with our money is one of the most essential parts of our faith.

First Things

Living a Generous Life

January 19, 2020

Generosity with our money is one of the most essential parts of our faith.

Genesis 14:18-20 NIV hundreds of years before the Law

“Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”

Malachi 3:6-9 NIV

"I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says the Lord Almighty. "But you ask, 'How are we to return?' 8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.

"But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' "In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse — the whole nation of you — because you are robbing me.

• Did Jesus abolish all this with the New Covenant? Did God Change His Mind?

Mark 12:41-44 NIV

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything — all she had to live on."

Jesus noticed the percentage and the sacrifice.

• If Jesus noticed it then, I wonder if he pays attention today to our percentage and our sacrifice.

Acts 4:32, 34-35 NIV

“All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.”

• Tithing and generosity had changed from an obligation to the Law to a joyful expression!

• The New Covenant age did not abolish the idea of giving to the local fellowship.

• Jesus birthed the local church and intended for his followers to be generous

• All the giving in the New Testament was directed to the local fellowships in each city.

Lauren Winner Duke Divinity School

I know of nothing that will transform someone’s spiritual life more abruptly than beginning to tithe. If we want to learn about dependence on God, tithe. If we want to have our treasure in heaven, tithe. If we want to have any hope of having solidarity with the poor, tithe.

Three principles are taught throughout Scripture:

1. Everyone should give as they’re able.

• Poor stewardship is not an excuse.

2. God should always get our first and best.

3. Giving is worship.

We’re not donors. We’re worshippers.

The Table:

Matthew 6:21 NIV

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

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