“The Gospel is free, but spreading it costs money!”
A quotation from Rodney Howard-Brown
What we in the Community teach on Giving….
We need to think very clearly, work methodically through this subject, and see it from the right perspective. Then we may understand and be blessed.
Let us remind ourselves of some aspects of God and Creation, by asking some questions.
Who is God to you? How big is your God? These are relevant questions and should make you think about your priorities in life and how God expects you to order them for His glory today.
We should be aware that if God has called us in saving faith, then He has a call on our lives and therefore expects something from us.
He is The Creator and we are His workmanship and need to follow His plan and purpose for our lives, or we will be desperately unhappy in this life and we cannot expect his blessings.
Did God create your Universe? Did God breath life into you? Did God make you a steward of the resources given to you? Does God want you to give to his work of establishing His Kingdom here on earth? Did God say He loves you? Does God want to bless you? Does God want you to give in Faith? Does God want you to be joined to a local Church? Does God want you to support those in His Kingdom who minister the Word? The answer is YES!
Tithes and Offerings.
The Old Testament talks of ‘Tithing’, which is a serious biblical principle.
The Bible explains that we are to give one ‘tenth’ (a tithe) of our income back to God, because it was God who gave us what we have in the first place. We believe that tithing is the very start of giving, we believe that ‘love gifts’ and ‘thanks offerings’ are to be given after the tithe is placed into the treasury.
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me….” Malachi 3: 8.
When we tithe, we are acknowledging that it is God who owns all of the world’s resources, and therefore it is His money and not ours. He expects us to place a tithe back into the Lord’s Treasury, it then becomes an act of obedience, in faith, and therefore we show complete trust in God for our daily bread. Otherwise we are being disobedient and rebellious and God cannot bless us. The windows of heaven will remain closed to us, regardless of what else we do for God, by way of other good works!
This is alien to worldly thinking (and some churches’ teaching too) because it goes against the modern mindset that finds its security in money (mammon). This way of thinking leads us to give in a benevolent and charitable way that appeases our consciences and seduces us into believing that its quite ok to give God our small change; the pocket money that is left over, once we have taken care of what we want to spend the money on (money that we are mistakenly led to believe is ‘our’ money). This also includes our spending on whatever pleasurable pursuits or hobbies that we might have, rather than giving God the ‘first-fruits’ which are taken off of the very top of our income.
We all want you to receive the blessings from God and this is an opportunity for us to get our lives back in line with God’s will and reap the rewards of a blessed and prosperous life. It is important to believe that God truly wants to bless you and so long as you give obediently in faith, He will do just that.
God is unable to deny His word and therefore cannot bless you when you rob Him of what He is due from you. In order for us to joyfully tithe, it helps to understand that we can really make this work for us; we must first sit down and work out a budget properly – how else can we become good stewards? Then we work out ten percent of our total income. It seems hard at the time, but that is what God expects to get.
Once we write the cheque, then we must leave it with the Lord’s appointed people, to deal with the finances of the church. Obviously we must learn to ‘cut the cloth accordingly’ after we have tithed, and to live within our means. We do that by trusting in a loving God to supply our needs and to prosper us, even to the point of supplying any increase too.
“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this,” Says the Lord of Hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it” Mal 3: 9,10.
Notice that we are to bring “..all the tithes into the storehouse…”, in other words, it is not for us to decide to use part of our tithe to buy something for our church, or to give a part or all of our tithe to a charity. If we want to give to the poor, we are to offer love gifts out of a heart of love and sacrifice. A love gift ought to be given joyfully, only after we have given God His portion back (our tithe) whereas, a love gift is to be given out of our own portion that is left over, after we have paid our tithe.
It appears that those ill informed people who are against tithing are the ones who give very little and certainly are not even regular givers to the Lord’s work. It means that they are falling down in this area and do not have enough true faith in God’s plan for their lives. Especially in trusting Him with their finances.
This is mainly due to a lack of teaching on the subject generally. Or perhaps procrastination and lack of conviction to serve God’s plan. Although some people will get offended by this, we still need to understand that our very well being and blessings are tied in together with tithing. The windows of heaven are closed to us if we do not tithe and that is in the area of healing too.
How can we expect God to heal us if we rob Him of what is rightfully His, as the tithe is not ours to use, so it blocks the blessings we would otherwise have. You cannot buy your healing though and this is an important fact. We could never have enough money to pay for all that God has promised to do for us when we honour Him in obedience, and fulfil our commitments to Him. Many friends talk about giving to charity, and of charitable giving, when in reality we all need to start with what God says about all aspects of our lives in his Word (the Holy Scriptures - the Bible).
Give from a loving and cheerful heart and bind satan from hindering your blessings from a legal standpoint. God really wants to bless your life and He will, when you obediently and freely offer all that you should, remember you cannot out-give God!
Thanks offerings are to be freely given from a heart of gratitude to God. Often offered when you just want to say thank you to God for something He has shown you, or done for you, or for others close to you.We are also to give of our time, by being available to each other in Community and
”…to do good to all people, especially the household of God.”
We are to share by helping others less fortunate than us for example using our vehicles to give people lifts and there are many other ways to share what we have with others, whenever we can. We can also be a support to those in need whenever the opportunity arises.Trust God in your giving. As you sow, so you will reap in this life. It is the law of seed time and harvest.
So why not partner with us and seed into this ministry, and be blessed through giving, to support all of God’s work in Agape Community.
There is much more to this teaching about obedient giving, sowing and reaping and prosperity in and through God. We supply much more in depth teaching within in Agape Community Church.
We believe that the tithe is to go into God’s house the local church. We would counsel that the tithe should always pay first for the expenses of a meeting place and the support of the appointed leaders in spiritual ministry of the Word, as priority. Other things which are also important, yet not the main mission of the local church are to be given out of love and come from the love gifts and thanks offerings we give.
We should all be reaching in, to love and give until it hurts. Remembering also to give also to the poor and those who are needy of our time.Bless His Holy name.
Amen and Amen.