Summary: The local church cannot function without the tithes and offerings of its members. This sermon, part 2 of a series on local church issues, deals with the blessings of giving both for a local church and for those who give.
Support GBC Through Stewardship
Series: Get on the Ship
January 13, 2013
TEXT: Turn with me to Matthew 6
This is the second sermon in a series titled, “Get on the Ship” that focuses on important local church issues and our responses to them. We’re examining these important ways to “get on the ship” so to speak, in the local church: Partnering through Membership; Supporting through Stewardship, Participating through Ownership and Growing Deep through Fellowship.
Today we’re going to be talking about supporting Grace Baptist Church through stewardship. Actually, stewardship is a much bigger subject than my main focus here today, which is giving tithes and offerings through your local church. Stewardship is the concept that EVERYTHING we have belongs to God and is on loan from Him and that we are merely managers of these assets which we are to invest for eternity, and which we will give account for before God.
But today I want to restrict our study to one aspect of stewardship and answer the question, Why should I tithe and give offerings to my local church? Now sometimes people say, “Hey, I don’t want to hear preaching about money and giving; preach on something SPIRITUAL.” Well, I would suggest to you that money and giving to God and tithing to your local church are some of the most spiritual things we could talk about in church.
Let me give you a little quiz:
• Do you know in how many verses Jesus discusses faith? Roughly about 500 times.
• Do you know how many times he talks about prayer?—Again, about 500 times.
• How about money?—Well, Jesus talks about money over 2000 times in the four Gospels.
Apparently Jesus is very concerned about how you handle your money. In fact, let’s read our text in Matthew 6:19-21 – “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
You see, where your treasure is—what you spend your money on—reveals where your heart is, and that, dear friend, is intensely spiritual. Adrian Rogers said “A faith that hasn’t reached your wallet, probably hasn’t reached your heart.”
Illus. – One of my church members came up to me once after a sermon on giving and said, “Pastor, I’ll be honest with you; when you preached that sermon this morning, it HURT.” I said, “Jim when you go to a doctor for your annual check-up, he will often begin to poke, prod, and press various places, all the while asking, ‘Does this hurt? How about this? What about here?’”
If you cry out in pain, one of two things has happened: Either the doctor has pushed too hard, without the right sensitivity…or, more likely, there’s something wrong, and the doctor will say, “We’d better do some more tests. It’s not supposed to hurt there!”
So it is when pastors preach on money and giving and tithing to the local church. Certain members cry out in discomfort, criticizing the message and the messenger. Either the pastor has pushed too hard (and I don’t think that’s the case here since I only mention money once a year or so)…or perhaps there’s something wrong. If you’re right with God, it’s not supposed to hurt there. If it does, it’s a heart issue and heart issues are spiritual issues.
So let me answer this question: Why should we tithe and give offerings to our local church?
First, let’s define our terms. – What is the difference between the tithe and an offering?—
• A TITHE is ten percent of your income given to God.
It is an exact percentage and it never changes—exactly 10%—no more, no less. Although WHERE we give ABOVE the tithe is up to us, I firmly believe in “storehouse tithing”—the idea that the tithe itself belongs to the local church.
Also, contrary to what some teach, the tithe is not limited to the Old Testament Law:
> It was practiced by Abraham in Genesis 14:19-20 almost 2000 years before the Law was ever given.
> Long before the Law, it’s recorded in Genesis 28:18-22 that Jacob vowed a vow to always give God a tenth of all he had to God.
> In Leviticus 27:30-33 the tithe was codified as part of the Law of Moses.
> In the ministry of Jesus, in Matthew 23:23, Jesus said that the hypocrites and the Pharisees OUGHT to have tithed, and they certainly did, but not to have left weightier matters undone just because they had tithed.
> In 1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Paul, speaking to the local church in Corinth, laid down the principle of regular giving through the local church on a systematic basis, rather than haphazardly or on a whim.