Aug. 18 - Generous Giver
Many people think that churches are out to get your money. They may hear six months of good spiritual teaching from a pastor but the week the message touches on tithing, they clutch their wallets and think, “Ok here we go. This is what it has all been about.”
Greg wants us all to know two important truths about Newstart Church:
You’re welcome here even if you never drop a single dime into the offering plate.
Newstart will always teach what the bible teaches about finances.
Popular culture’s viewpoint on finances is commonly that of the Obligated Giver. People often view what they have earned or received as theirs and only theirs. They cling to it for dear life, valuing it above all else, unable to recognize that everything they have has come from God. So when God calls them to give that money away, they often do so under duress, out of guilt, for the benefit of a tax break, or to show others how benevolent they are.
The Bible calls us to be God-honoring, generous givers. We should give joyfully, not living as slaves to the “must haves” in life. It is so freeing to acknowledge that nothing you have is truly yours, but is all a gift from God. Therefore when God calls you to distribute it elsewhere in His kingdom, you can trust in Him and gladly let it go.
Often people give exactly 10% and not a penny more. But keep in mind when Scripture calls us to tithe, that 1/10 of all we have should only be a starting point. Another common misconception is that tithing makes us right with God, however there is so much more to consider for true followers of Christ. Jesus tells us:
Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
If tithing is so important in the life of a Christian, why don’t more people do it?
Some people don’t trust the practices of the church. Here at Newstart, we are open and transparent about our financial practices. For questions on this, please speak to a member of the staff.
Often people aren’t educated on the purpose of tithing. It’s not about the church receiving your hard-earned money. It’s about the individual’s obedience to the Lord and what giving it away does for your heart.
Some people want to start tithing, but don’t know how to change their lifestyle or their financial situation so they are able to. If this describes you, be sure to sign up for the Financial Peace University series that Justin Wilson will be leading this fall.
Sometimes people are just disobedient. They know what God is calling them to do, but still refuse to do it.
If you find you have a hard time parting with your income, devote your prayer life to asking God to transform your heart in this way. You can’t serve God and wealth at the same time. If you know you struggle with greed and selfishness, tithe! Giving is the perfect antidote for that! It takes our eyes off ourselves and directs them outwards and upwards.