A Serving Church Gives
The Bible teaches, “God is a giving God,” (James 1:5, Matthew 7:11; James 1:17, Psalm 37:4,and many more). It teaches “we are created in the image of God,” (Genesis 1:27). Jesus said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher,” (Luke 6:40). John teaches, “whoever abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked,” (1 John 2:6). So we can conclude that if God is giving then we should be giving. But what does it mean to give?
We are going to look briefly at three areas of giving this week, Over the next three weeks we will look closer at each giving method and how it impacts, not only, our spiritual life, but also, our physical life.
Tithe - ma’aser (Hebrew) literally means a tenth. Jewish law required the people to give a tenth of everything; cattle, sheep, grain, fruit, wine, oil. These “tithes” were used to take care of the Levites as their job was to be the ministers to the nation of Israel. Some will argue that we are no longer under the law but two things come to mind, 1) Jesus said He came not to abolish the law but to fulfill it, and 2) the tithe predates the law. Abraham began giving a tenth to the Lord long before the law was ever written. So do we give as a matter of the law or as a matter of the heart. More on that next week.
Offerings - If you were raised in church you were taught to bring your tithes and offerings to the church. What is the difference between the tithe and the offering. The tithe is the portion set aside for the purpose of giving back to God, the offering goes beyond the portion designated to God. The offering is sacrificial, giving to meet needs as God directs. The offering does not have to go to or through the church but it is given under the direction of the Holy Spirit to make a Godly difference in someone’s life. Offerings are going the extra mile.
Time - I have heard many people teach that the tithe is not just about our money it was also about our time. Yet they can’t provide any scripture to support their teaching. God doesn’t want ten percent of our time. Jesus died on the cross for our life. We owe Him everything. It is not a selfish thing for God to want that, He wants our life because He can do more with it and through it than we could ever dream of. Everything we do should be done in service of the King. Work as unto the Lord, if we see someone in need we help them, visit the sick, feed the hungry, care for the widow….ten percent of our time is not enough.