A revolution is defined as a complete or marked change in something, a sudden shift or distinct adjustment in ideas or methods. If the church needs a revolution certainly financial stewardship and giving would qualify for one of the needed areas.
As we know giving to churches and donations to non-profits are less in this decade than former decades. We are certainly seeing a shift in the wrong direction regarding the support of religious organizations. We are also experiencing a needed shift in the methods of how to properly approach the area of raising funds.
In the older days the preacher would just guilt the church for lack of support or condemn them for their lack of faith to donate consistently. They bible calls this “a tithe.’ Tithe means a “tenth.” And the Old Testament saints were demanded to bring their tithe to God’s house or else they were cursed with a curse.
Today. we resist the thought that believers or Christians are cursed if they fail to bring their 10% to the church. We have a biblical reason. The reason is the scripture says that every curse was nailed to the cross.
I do not believe that God curses those who fail to tithe, but I do believe that those who fail to give God His portion are missing the highest measure of God’s blessings!
Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”, (Galatians 3:13). You see the curse of the law was broken at the cross. The curse that results from the lack of giving is no longer a principle of God in the New Testament.
So does that mean we are exempt from giving? No of course not.
Let’s first reason a little. If giving in the New Testament is not for today then why did God and the Holy Spirit write so many verses on giving, stewardship, and generosity? God quantifies the importance of money by the number of references placed in New Testament. If this was not a conversation God wanted to have, he would have not added it in scripture. Remember, it is His book.
Generosity and giving have always been God’s idea.
The Old Testament tithe is fulfilled in the New Testament saint being a giver. The amount is not a number it is described with words such as cheerful giver and generosity.
The tithe is a good guideline but not compulsory by God because in the New Testament we are not commanded to give by the law but by the leading of the Holy Spirit and our hearts. It is best described as the believer displaying a generous heart.
The generous person does not give more because they have more, they have more because they give more.
God’s word gives us a myriad of promises for financial gain and increase equal to other areas of life and living. God promises to return to us a portion of our contributions. I am also of the thought that these rewards return through several ways and not just money. Although I believe that God can also reward us with funds.
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
We must get past the tithe and dive deeply into developing a heart of generosity. One of the greatest tensions we must remove is fear. Our worst enemy is the lack of faith. Our greatest test is knowing that God will re-source our giving. We must learn to trust God at all costs and learn that we only steward our money and not control it.
The truth remains if we think we own and we control it, it most likely controls us.
And God so knows our hearts and tells us that we do not have the means to love God and love money simultaneously. So if we love money more than God our hearts are in trouble, and that is the root of all evil in the human heart. The truth is there are not many Americans possessed by demons but there are many possessed by possessions.
Let’s grab a few keys from I Kings 17:8-15
Elijah and the Widow
8 Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 9 “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, indeed a widow was there gathering sticks. And he called to her and said, “Please bring me a little water in a cup, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.”
12 So she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I do not have bread, only a handful of flour in a bin, and a little oil in a jar; and see, I am gathering a couple of sticks that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.”
13 And Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go and do as you have said, but make me a small cake from it first, and bring it to me; and afterward make some for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the Lord God of Israel: ‘The bin of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil run dry, until the day the Lord sends rain on the earth.’”
15 So she went away and did according to the word of Elijah; and she and he and her household ate for many days.
Can you believe you are reading this? Can u believe the audacity of this prophet to demand that he be fed first?
Why would God allow or demand this?
Because God knows that the key to her future is not what she keeps but what she gives.
This story sounds unreal but it’s surreal. It truly depicts the way that God works. He works through sowing and reaping and He will not be mocked by it.
A few points to embellish our thoughts:
1. We have an incredible opportunity
We know that money is simply a tool. But it is a tool of strength and great value. Money provides large options and grand opportunities. Therefore we must learn that our giving is as necessary as it was in the Old Covenant. Our giving creates opportunity for us to increase and meets others needs.
2. We have a vast obligation
Deuteronomy 8:18 declares that God gives us wealth to establish His covenant on the earth. That means that our wealth and how we manage it is a contributor to God’s ways and means being released in the earth. This is not a demand it is an obligation to use our money God’s way.
OK, I am done. This topic always stirs up the readers.
Now it’s your turn. Your comments are solicited and appreciated.
This message was posted first at ThomasMcDaniels.com
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