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Giving & Tithing
by Crown Financial Ministries
Psalms 24:1 declares, "The earth is the Lord's, and all it contains," and in 1 Corinthians 4:7, Paul asks, "And what do you have that you did not receive?"
God owns everything and all blessings come from Him. We are to be good stewards – managers – of the many blessings for which we should be thankful. Money isn't our possession; it's God's possession, which we hold in trust.
Giving is an external testimony of God's ownership of everything in our lives. And tithing is one of the first standards of giving found in the Bible – Abraham tithed 430 years before the Law was given to Moses.
Under the law in the Old Testament, giving a tithe was required.
The tithe is not a limit. God's people in the Old Testament were to give nearly one-fourth of their income each year.
God doesn't own just 10 percent of our money; He owns the other 90 percent too.
Tithe and give with the right attitude. Not out of necessity, but with thanksgiving to the Lord.
Let your children witness your joyful giving and teach them the importance of commitment.
Beyond The Tithe
Giving beyond the tithe should be an outward material expression of the spiritual commitment of a willing and obedient heart. When giving beyond the tithe, give out of your abundance, according to the principle taught in 2 Corinthians 8:14.
Faith promise – A commitment to give a certain amount. It's understood that if God doesn't provide the funds, you're not obligated to give them.
Pledge – An absolute commitment to pay something. This type of giving is presumptuous, but a faith promise is scriptural. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1).
Non-cash – This includes your time or services to an organization or gifts such as food, furniture, and clothing. You may also give gifts with appreciated values (an asset you bought at a low price that is now worth much more), such as stocks, bonds, real estate, or anything that grows in value.
Draw the line on borrowing – It is not scriptural to borrow in order to give. It requires little trust to borrow money. In the Scriptures God never uses a loan to manifest His will in the lives of His people.
Balanced approach to sacrificial giving – Sacrificing to give is a way to honor God, but this should be the result of a heart attitude and not a desire to impress others.
Remember that God is more concerned about the attitude of your heart in giving than the percentage or the amount given. Nevertheless, the minimum He asks His people to give is the tithe.
Check out this Tithe Calculator http://www.nacba.net/Documents/tithe.htm.
Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.
Old Testament Stewardship
Stewardship permeates the pages of the Bible because how we respond to God is at the heart of the Book. Often, stewardship is thought of only in terms of finances, but the Bible teaches that stewardship is a far greater concept, involving how we respond with all of our life to Him who is the giver and sustainer of life? When God created humans, He made them to have “dominion” over all of the earth (Genesis 1:26). Dominion was not intended to be domination or exploitation. Dominion was God's call for human beings to be good and gracious managers of God's creation. Unfortunately, the sin of humanity interrupted God's plans for His world. Humankind became selfish, seeing the world as a means to its own self-centered ends. The things of the world were now seen as possessions with humans as owners, not as God's stewards. God's intention for His world did not change. He still desired that people see God as the Lord of everything and themselves as the managers of God's creation.
New Testament Stewardship
The call to absolute commitment to Christ is the central theme of the New Testament (Mark 8:34-36). Jesus asked for obedience to God's original intention for the world. Jesus was calling for a radical reversal of the world's values (profit) and a revolutionary return to God's purpose (lose life for My sake). Jesus never seemed to be satisfied with a slice of the pie of our obedience. He did not rejoice in the tithe or a big offering as much as He did in the sacrificial, complete giving of a widow. but Jesus called all disciples to absolute surrender of ourselves and our substance to Him. The early church certainly saw all that it had as a gift from God for the good of each other. “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common” (Acts 4:32). Of course, our economic system and sheer numbers of people today prevent this kind of complete sharing, but the amazing thing was the attitude of the church members to what they possessed. They saw none of it as their own. All of it came from the loving heart of God. That is why the sin of selfishness of Ananias and Sapphira was so serious (Acts 5:1). The apostle Paul preached and taught a single-minded commitment to Christ. He reminded the Philippians that the source of thanksgiving was not in things but in our relationship to God in Christ (Philippians 3:13-14). Thus, the New Testament concept of stewardship centers in our commitment to Jesus Christ. When He becomes our Lord, He becomes Lord of our time, talents, finances, and everything. We realize that we are not our own, but we are bought with a price.
Butler, Trent C. Editor. "Entry for 'STEWARDSHIP'". "Holman Bible Dictionary". http://www.studylight.org/dic/hbd/view.cgi?number=T6020. 1991.