Summary: When it comes to giving many Christians stop...at nothing! 6 Guidelines for Giving God’s tithe on God’s day that God’s work might be done in God’s way. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
Wrapping Things Up
I. THE ORDER OF THE OFFERING. (1-3)
1. PRIORITY ASPECT - 1ST DAY OF THE WEEK (SUNDAY) Bring God’s tithe into God’s house on God’s day that God’s work might be done in God’s way.
This is when Christ rose, not the Sabbath. This is when the church met to worship, so to our 7th Day friends I say that after you worship on Saturday, come back the next day for THIS act of worship called Christian giving.
It’s about priorities. God’s day is the first day, not Monday like most of us think of it. And it’s all God’s money, but He requires the firstfruits from us. If you give Him the first, it helps the rest of it to last. If you wait ‘til the end of your budget it’ll never happen. We all have too much month left at the end of the money!
2. PERSONAL ASPECT – EVERY ONE OF YOU.
When it comes to giving many Christians stop...at nothing!
He’s talking to believers. So if not saved, this does not apply to you. If you ARE saved…He’s talking to you! Why do some feel like they are the exception to God’s rule? Or like they can have some sort of side arrangement with God. Some feel they make too little, but in God’s perfectly fair plan they don’t have to return much to Him. Some feel they make too much, and that it’s not fair to them to carry so much of the load at church. [Please join me in giving that person a wedgie!] How about being thankful for the way God has prospered you!
3. PRINCIPLE ASPECT - LAY BY (PLAN OR SAVE UP)
You really should have a budget. Being a good steward doesn’t just happen naturally…you must make it happen on purpose. Too many live haphazardly, in survival mode all the time, just trying to figure out today and this week. We need a plan, and God loves it when His plan comes together…that’s when we see Him work miraculously and see His higher plan is much better than anything we could imagine!
God always comes thru for us when we put Him first. We see His hand of provision in our family every single week it seems. You’d think we would never worry anymore as much as He has proven Himself, but we still do many times. We have faith that He will provide, but when we have doubts, it just serves to give Him more glory when HIS plan comes together in the end even better than we could plan.
4. PLACE ASPECT – IN STORE (STOREHOUSE)
Mal. 3 calls the church the storehouse. It’s God’s house, but it is to be the store house out of which many are fed. A central clearing house, and not for food primarily, but spiritual bread and water and meat. “That there may be meat in mine house.”
It’s a key part of God’s plan. Yes, the water of life flows freely here to anyone who wants to partake, but let’s remember that the plumbing costs money! There will always be some along for the free ride, and they are welcome, but real maturity comes [Jesus says] when we start carrying our share of the load. “Where your heart is…your treasure is.” In other words, God knows He has your heart when He has your wallet!
We may have to come to the place that we enforce the charge for our meals here, but we’ll never force the tithe or offerings. It is for you to give, not for us to take.
Ill.—many churches have gone to a bank draft system-but is that giving or the church taking? Hmmm…
5. PROPORTION ASPECT - AS GOD HATH PROSPERED.
God’s plan is fair, and it’s not about the amount, it’s about the faith to return a portion…an equal portion for each one. How much can God trust you with? If He can trust you to give out of little, perhaps He can trust you to give if you have more. Maybe He will decide to prosper you more? He has me! This is my testimony, and many others I believe. It’s not a magic lamp to rub, and this is not prosperity preaching.
Ill.—tithing doesn’t automatically fix your finances, past, present, or future. Being a faithful steward means ‘of the other 90%’ as well! If you choose to live in a prison of debt God will let you.
Most people who tithe are also faithful w/ the other 90%, if they are doing it right they are giving God ownership of it all, not just the tenth, and the proof that you are doing it right is in God’s blessing and continued provision.
6. PURPOSE ASPECT - NO GATHERING. (LAST MINUTE)