Tag Archives: finances

Feb 11 – Stop Giving

Exodus 36-38

I know of a fellowship of believers who took on an extensive building project. Lead by the Lord, they didn’t do a fund raiser. They didn’t take pledges. They didn’t hire a consultant. The pastor simply shared the plans with the congregation, and the money started rolling in.

People gave generously as their hearts were moved to give. In fact, the congregation was so generous with their gifts, that after a time with the building project’s expenses more than met, that pastor had to ask his church to stop giving.

True story.

Sometimes I think we strategize God right out of the picture. Sure the money is pledged and the buildings get built with the help of consultants and fund drives these days. But I’m not sure why we don’t trust God a bit more to move in the hearts of His people to fill a need instead.

The example I gave above can be found in the chapters we read today in Exodus. The children of Israel gave generously toward the building of the tabernacle. And God never once told anyone they had to. He simply laid the need on their hearts and they responded above and beyond.

And God is the same today as He was back then. Maybe its us who have changed.

 

 

Feb 7 – 10% Blessing

Exodus 25-27

A while back I posted something concerning tithing. You know, the 10% of our earnings we’re supposed to give God. A blogger friend of mine , a man whose posts I might sometimes disagree with, but whose opinions I always respect, appreciate, and seek out, pointed out that the concept of tithing is not a New Testament Church thing. That church, he reminded me, gave everything they had, they took care of needs as needs arose without doing the math.

(nightlightblogdotcom.wordpress.com. I encourage you to check out his blog, especially today’s from Hebrews 10. It’s so good!)

Maybe that’s why Exodus 25:1-8 got my attention today. God told Moses to put together a tabernacle made of gold, silver, bronze, leather, oil, gemstones, and more. But God didn’t require anyone to give anything toward the construction. His instruction to Moses was to collect those things from “every man whose heart moves him.”

My church is starting a very needed building project, and we’ll need to raise some big bucks. How would God have me contribute? I want to be one whose heart has been moved, and I want to be obedient.

Let me ask you this: If church giving wasn’t tax deductible, would you still give what you give right now? Our government is talking a lot about a flat tax. Would your church survive?

Here’s what I hope. I hope our churches, my church’s building project, will all flourish because we Christians put down the calculator and give as God moves our hearts to give. Maybe He’s giving us 10% of His blessing because that’s what we’re giving Him.

Wonder what it would be like if we really did give Him everything.

God Loves A Cheerful Giver

Tithing is a touchy subject for many churchgoers. And woe to the preacher who feels led to speak on the subject during a Sunday morning service!

A lot of time we use our finances as means of control. “Don’t shop at that department store because they accept gay marriage”. “Don’t buy that soap because the company donates to Planned Parenthood”. “Don’t buy that brand because they advertise during that ungodly TV show.”

Money talks. And I don’t think it’s a bad thing in the above examples. As stewards of God’s provisions, we need to be intentional about where we spend our money. But does the same principle apply to the money we give to our churches?

Paul speaks about the giving record of the church in Corinth in the 9th chapter of his second letter to that church. He talks about their promised financial gift. He tells them about the importance of financial support of the ministry, and likens it to seed sown for a harvest.

Scripture tells us to bring our tithe to the storehouse and leave it there.

I remember, when I was a teenager, I was standing in the foyer of our church on a Saturday. A woman who lived in the neighborhood walked in and handed me an envelope. “This is my tithe,” she said. “But you tell the treasurer I don’t want a dime of this going to the preacher’s salary.”

I did what she asked. The treasurer said for me not to worry about it. He said she does this all the time.

Dear one, that’s not Scriptural. If you don’t like how money is spent at your church – tithe anyway. Go ahead and become an elder, or get on the governing board if you want. Voice your opinion. If you are convinced that God is not in the running of that church, and you’ve tried and failed to make a difference, find another church. But remember, God didn’t tell us to give 10% with strings attached.

It’s our responsibility – and privilege – to plant seeds for the kingdom. That’s what your tithing is intended to do.

And God loves a cheerful giver.

December 17

I Timothy 3-6

I’ve often said that if I ever win the lottery the first thing I’ll do is buy an ocean front home on my favorite Georgia island. If I ever win the lottery it’ll truly be a miracle. I’ve never bought a ticket.

So many people are looking for some kind of windfall. Maybe they spend thousands of dollars on the lottery or maybe they jump from job to job expecting the next one to be the one where they’ll bring in the big bucks. Some even compromise on what they know is right in order to get ahead. How much money is enough?

Paul said if he has food and clothing he is content. He makes it plain that godliness is not a means to financial gain and anyone who says it is has a corrupt mind. (6:5) “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap… For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”. (6:9&10)

The Bible tells us to do everything as though we were working for God. It’s not wrong to work hard and expect compensation for our effort. It’s not wrong to work for a promotion if God can be glorified in the effort. But what is your motivation?

In chapter 6 verse 11, Paul tells Timothy to pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, and gentleness. I don’t see anywhere where it says to pursue a six figure income. Being rich is not a sin. But if riches are your focus – that is a sin.

Can you be content with having food and clothing? Can I? Let’s not forget that there are some people in our world who would consider themselves quite rich if they had warm clothes, a place to call home, and a full stomach. So just how rich are you?

Father, I pray that my priority will always be you. Thank you for blessing me with everything I need. Forgive me if I look with envy at those who live in those million dollar condos on the beach. I don’t ever want to seem ungrateful for all you have given me. May I pursue the things that matter – righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness, and eternity with you. And, Lord, show me how I can help others who have financial struggles and may you find me faithful.