Drinking Deeply

Sunday, February 12, 2006 at 1:36 PM

Tithing (4)

All my planned posts on tithing are complete:

Tithing: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

A few things that we all do agree on with tithing, whether or not we believe it is an obligation or not.

1) Christians are to be known for their generosity and support of one another, even at cost to themselves.

The widow in Luke 21 is commended for giving out of her need:

1Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3And he said, "Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."

The churches at Macedonia are commended for giving out of their need, and generously at that, in 2 Corinthians 8:

1We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own free will, 4begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints-- 5and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. 6Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7But as you excel in everything--in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you--see that you excel in this act of grace also.

The rich are urged to give generously, as they have received much in 1 Timothy 6

17As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. 18They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, 19thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

2) Giving is done joyfully.

2 Corinthians 9 points us to the simple fact that God loves a cheerful giver.

7Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

3) Giving is done as an act of worship and devotion to God.

Jesus encourages us to give as an act of sacrifice, to store our treasures in heaven in Luke 12

33Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

4) We should not be asking "is 10% enough" but we should be asking "how can I continue to support the church which has given me so much?"

Finally, a quote from Jim Elliot:

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."

The world is the Lord's and all is His. Glory to the Lord in the highest.

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