Summary: This message deals with the concept of tithing.
" SLIDE #1
" Have you ever heard that all the church is out for is your money? :
" Well, hold on to your wallets today! JUST KIDDING!
" Before we dig into the subject for today, I want to begin by first saying that FCC is one of the, if not the most generous giving congregations I have been blessed to be a part of.
" Those who are a part of the FCC community do a fantastic job of sacrificially giving to the ministry and work of this church.
" The second thing I want to say is that today's message is not really about trying to get more of your money, the main thought is to make sure we understand what tithing is, and how it is related to giving in general.
" In my personal experience and in the experience, I have had over the years dealing with folks, particularly those within the church, one of the last things many of us turn over to God is our checkbook.
" There are many reasons for that, and not all of them are really greed related, for many, they are survival related.
" Or as was in my case early in life, I had a hard time managing my money making it hard to give God control over my finances.
" Money is an important subject.
" According to an article in Preaching Today Magazine, "Jesus talked much about money. Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions." http://www.preachingtoday.com/illustrations/1996/december/410.html
" Just for reference, did you know that the average American gives 2.6% of their income to charity every year? https://www.1fortheworld.org/blog/2017/10/24/the-average-american-gives-29-to-charity-every-year-how-much-do-you-give
" That is all charities. Now that is the average, differing income levels give more or less, but when averaged out, it comes to 2.6%.
" By contrast, the government, local, state and federal?
" According to a USA Today article written by Motley Fool from March 10, 2017, "If you add up the four income-based categories of taxation (Federal, state/local, Social Security, and Medicare), the average American's effective tax rate is 29.8%. This is in addition to any consumption-based taxes paid, such as sales tax, property tax, or other taxes on specific items." https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/personalfinance/2017/03/10/whats-the-average-americans-tax-rate/98734396/
" Today we are going to dig into the subject of tithing, if you have been in church long enough, you have probably heard the term, but today, let's examine what tithing is all about.
" We will be in a variety of passages this morning, so take note of them if you want to look them up for reference later.
" Let's begin with our first observation!
" SLIDE #2
I. What is a tithe?
" Let's begin our journey this morning by defining what this word means.
" The word means a tenth, it was used in the context of a religious act of giving a tenth for the support of a religious purpose.
" Making our trek more difficult is the fact that in many English translations, they have stopped using the word TITHE and are now using the phrase A TENTH, which is a 100% correct, literal translation of the Greek and Hebrew.
" The concept of the tithe pre-dates the Old Testament Law. The first instance where it is mentioned in the Old Testament is Genesis 14:17-20 concerning Abraham and Melchizedek.
" This account is shared in the New Testament in Hebrew 7:1-2
" SLIDE #3
" Hebrews 7:1-2 (CSB) - 1 For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of God Most High, met Abraham and blessed him as he returned from defeating the kings, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, his name means king of righteousness, then also, king of Salem, meaning king of peace.
" There is no recorded demand of Abraham for a tenth. Neither is an explanation given about why Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek.
" Jacob also, long before the law of Moses, promised that he would give to the Lord a tenth of all he received (Gen. 28:22).
" When God established the Law, the concept of tithing was more prevalent in Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.
" God spoke at Aaron on the subject in Numbers 18:20-32.
" Leviticus 27:30-33 elaborates on the tithing portion of Moses' commandments, stating that every tenth of the produce of the land-whether vegetables, grain, or fruit-belongs to the Lord.
" It also records that a tenth of every herdsman's flock and herd belongs to the Lord.
" The passage instructs the Levites to rely on these tithes for their sustenance since they have no lands of their own.