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What happens when I give?I follow Jesus’ example • Matthew 10:8, Mark 10:45 I show faithful stewardship • 1 Corinthians 4:2 I draw closer to God • Matthew 6:21 I break the power of materialism in my life • 1 Timothy 6:17-19 I invest securely in eternity • Matthew 6:20, Luke 16:9-11 I receive God’s blessings in return • Proverbs 3:9-10, Luke 6:38
What does it mean to give responsibly?Christians are to give “according to their ability” (Acts 11:29). There are seasons to economic life. And there are economic responsibilities to our families and to our debts. In many cases, good planning over time will be necessary to move our giving into proportions that reflect our eternal priorities without reneging on legal and personal financial obligations.
What does it mean to give proportionately?We are to give out of what we have, not out of what we do not have. Each of us needs to prayerfully determine what generous giving is for each of our families… for some people, 10% is too low a starting point. For others, giving even 5% is a sacrifice. The goal is to increase one’s commitment up to and above 10% so that it models Christ’s love to our communities.
What does it mean to give sacrificially?Paul says about the Macedonians, “they gave as much as they were able and even beyond their ability” (II Cor. 8:3). That means they gave until it meant a sacrifice in their lifestyle.
How can I establish a regular plan of giving?Follow these three steps (families should do these together): Decide what percentage of your income you will give to the Lord’s work this year. Then ask two questions: On one hand, is this a sacrificial figure? On the other hand, is it a responsible figure? Now set aside the Lord’s portion first whenever the money is received. It is His, not yours. Remember – the more you trust God with your material treasure, the more He will entrust you with his spiritual treasure (Luke 16:9-12; II Cor. 9:10-12).
What do we mean by tithe?When we talk about the “tithe” we are referring to the Christian’s regular giving to the church. In the Old Testament believers were required to give a tenth of their income to support the work of ministry and the needs of the poor. However, if you were to include what believers were to give for feasts, sacrifices, gleanings for the poor, and special offerings…it would amount to 23%-25% of one’s gross income. The New Testament does not specifically mention the tithe, but since we are far more blessed and indebted to God than Old Testament believers, we assume that we are held more responsible for generosity, not less. Thus, many Christians consider the tithe (10%) a kind of minimum guideline for giving.
What do we mean by offerings?By offerings we are referring to your gifts that are given to the ministry of the church and the expansion of the Gospel that are over-and-above your regular tithe. In Scripture, these were called freewill offerings. An example of this for us would be a special offering that we collect to meet the needs of those in and outside of the church, giving to a missionary or charitable organization.
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