Outdoor Service Continues
Sunday’s Worship Service will be in the parking lot. I hope you are able to attend. While you are there, please remember to practice social distancing.
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY
Hello there Member of the Faith Family,
I trust and pray you are doing well. Perhaps you have heard that President Trump recently determined that all places of worship are essential and should be opened up for people to gather. The Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz, so far has not responded to the President’s request. Therefore we here at Faith EFC will continue to meet outdoors at this time. If anything changes we will let you know.
Over the last few weeks I have been sending out articles to you on topics that are matters of discipleship. This morning I want to address a topic that for some can be a sensitive subject,
“tithing.” “Pastor, are you sure you want to bring up this subject with record unemployment and the stock market down?” To be honest, now is perhaps one of the better times, because when finances are tight we try to be wiser with our wealth.
What Is a Tithe?
If you ever attended a church service you have probably heard the word “tithe.” Tithing isn’t an idea that a group of ministers made up to get your money. In Hebrew, the word “tithe” means “tenth.” In the Bible, God commanded His people to give 10 percent of their gross income to go back to Him; as Leviticus 27:30 says – “A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” Wow, I bet you didn’t know a tithe is considered holy. Also Malachi 3:10 declares, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.” One of the first examples of tithing is found in Genesis 14:17-20, there Abraham gives a tenth of his gain to a priest of God by the name of Melchizedek.
Why Should I Tithe?
First off let me clarify some misunderstandings about tithing: your salvation isn’t based upon if you give ten percent to the church or not. Our salvation is based on our trust in Christ’s work on the cross. Also God doesn’t ask us to “tithe” because He is poor and He needs it – remember God owns everything. The reason why He encourages us to tithe is because tithing is a way to show that we trust him with our lives and our finances. Or putting it another way, tithing is a way to worship the Lord.
Is Tithing For Today?
One comment I have heard over the years is that tithing was an Old Testament principle. Actually when Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek in Genesis 14 that happened before the Law was given. Jesus himself affirms tithing in the New Testament when he says in Luke 11:42, “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” That’s not to say that tithing is the only way to support the church. An “offering” is another way of giving unto the Lord. This amount is additional to your tithe.
What Happens When I Tithe?
Giving ten percent to God helps support the work of the church locally and globally. Through your generosity, we have a place to worship, bills are paid, those with needs are helped, the minister’s salary is given and missionaries are supported. Also when you give you are blessed; Malachi 3:10 “’Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ’and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.’” After reading this you may be like, “Cool I can’t wait to give so that I can get.” Just because you tithe doesn’t mean you will win the lottery next week. Also giving to God doesn’t mean that things won’t break down or your kids won’t need new clothes. Billy Graham speaks about how God blesses when he said, “We have found in our own home, as have thousands of others, that God’s blessing upon the nine-tenths, when we tithe, helps it to go farther than ten-tenths without His blessing.” Consider as well that God’s blessing upon you may be something other than material wealth. He may bless you with greater peace in relationships, greater peace in your soul or greater joy knowing you are helping further the work of the Lord.
Where Do I Tithe?
The local church where you attend is the place that you should give your ten percent. That’s because it’s the local church that is ministering to you. Missionaries and other organizations can and should be supported but that is with funds beyond your tithe.
I hope this helps you in understanding what a tithe is and why it helps the work of the Lord. If you haven’t been a person who tithes, I encourage you to begin today. If you are in debt to the point that tithing will put your further behind financially, then I encourage you to give what you are able to and God will honor that. But then when things turn around begin to tithe. In my life I can testify that when I tithed even though finances were tight God blessed my family. Feel free to email me if you have any questions of thoughts on this subject.
P.S. If you want to learn more about tithing and finances check out the “daveramsey.com” website. Dave is a Christian who does a great job on helping people manage their money God’s way.