Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
This past Sunday the leadership of The Journey set something before us that they felt was important for us to know: Our giving has been down significantly this year! The good news is that due to a couple good years of giving coupled with being fiscally conservative, we have been able to put aside some savings. We’re currently paying all of our bills and have a financial cushion that has enabled us to deal with this financially lean season. To bring you up to date since this announcement, we had a great offering this past Sunday. The total was over $28,000, which brought us to being behind budget by a little over $36,000. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness!
A Gift In Disguise
This could actually be a really great gift from God because it gives us an open door for a critical conversation concerning personal financial stewardship and generosity. We know that The Kingdom of God will be supplied and that our God is not financially tight but there is an issue of obedience and blessing at stake for each one of us individually!
I happen to know people first hand who feel like since they cannot give at least 10% of their income they don’t give anything at all and I think this really missed the mark set out by God Himself for New Testament Christianity. The idea of a 10% “tithe” comes from Old Testament Judaism where God required each person to give in order that an entire nation and all religious activities could be financed but if we were to look closer at all of the required giving of the Old Testament Law we would discover that the real percentage was more like 30%.
A New Standard
The New Testament concept is different than the Old! New Testament giving is based on what you and God come up with together in your heart… what you can give worshipfully, in faith, and cheerfully! But why should we let some “Old Testament” standard best us? Why shouldn’t it be our goal to figure out how to get to a place where we can give at least 10% to The Kingdom of God? And what better “Kingdom of God” venture is there than where you go to church, where you serve, and are served? I believe that the local church is the hope of the world!!!
Why Not Start Somewhere?
If you can’t figure out 10% I would encourage you to start where you can and be consistent! God’s New Testament standard makes provision for you to get in the game with 1%, 2%, 5%, or whatever but start somewhere and be faithful! Do it cheerfully! From there you’ll have the joy of watching new manifestations of God’s faithfulness in your life!
It’s a huge rush to learn to love God and His Kingdom in such a tangible way! Add to this the joy, confidence, and passion that comes from obedience to God who has supplied us so richly. Consider this parting thought from Paul’s letter to the Philippian Church, which in context promises God’s faithfulness in our material needs after we’ve been generous in our giving to Him and His Kingdom.
Philippians 4:19 my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.