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Tithes, Offerings & Sowing

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It is more blessed to give than to receive …

Acts 20:35

 

Recently at Newlife Fellowship was have had our annual AGM. Part of that process is to discuss the in house finances and how we manage them. We are not a church that focuses on money and people’s giving however we do believe that there are many scriptural principles concerning this. On May 8th 2011 one of our Elders Peter Bowen, gave us a presentation relating to ‘Giving, tithing & sowing.’ Below are his 2 messages to listen to and download if required and also a copy of his slides to demonstrate his message.


Peter Bowen – Giving, Tithing & Sowing part 1

Peter Bowen – Giving, Tithing & Sowing part 2

 

The slides below are a Power Point presentation

 

Giving & Tithing_1 slides

 

The details of the slides are available below for those who don’t have PowerPoint

 

Honouring God in our Giving

The Scriptural basis …

 

Giving:

as an act of Worship
in obedience to the Lord
to investing in the Kingdom of God
to support the Body of Christ & mission
to support those among us who live by the Gospel
out of compassion for the needy

Content:

The Patriarchal scriptural precedent
Tithing under the Old Covenant
Harvest and Offerings
Integrity in our Means & Giving
Are we Robbing God?
Investing in the Kingdom
Some practical guidelines

The Patriarchal scriptural precedent:

(First mention of tithing in scripture) Abraham gave a tenth of all he had to Mechizedek (the high priest of God who is a type of Christ) Gen 14v18, Heb 7v1-7
Abraham gave the very best – choicest spoils
Jacob promises to give God back a tenth of all that God gives him (Gen 28v22)
Note: Abraham & Jacob are the Patriarchs (Fathers) of promise – just as we are (Gal 3v6-9)and pre-date the O.T. the law of Moses by some 600 years.
So tithing in principle is not done away with by setting aside the law of Moses in Christ

Tithing under the Old Covenant:

A tithe was allocated to the levitical priesthood as reward for their temple (tabernacle) service (Num 18v21, 24)
Likewise God challenges us to support those who live by the Gospel (Our obligations to Keith & Pauline & also to Chris)
The Lord’s people tithed from all the produce that was sown (Deut 14 v 22)
All the first born of men and animals was devoted to the Lord
The tithe is for the priesthood, the foreigner, the orphan & widow
Given so that the LORD would bless us in all the work of our hands (Deut 14v 29)

Harvest and Offerings:

Choice First Fruits of the wheat & barley harvest brought to the Lord at the Feast of Weeks (at Pentecost)
The tithe from the fulness of the harvest brought to the Lord at the Feast of the Ingathering in the Autumn.  (Ex 23v16, 19)
“Let no-one appear before the LORD empty-handed! (Ex 23v15)
God’s economy – tithing brings fruitfulness of the land and peace of heart (Lev 26v3-6 cf v15-16)
Abundance and multiplication comes from giving to God (2Kings 4v42)
Giving (Sowing) from a right heart – Reaping in God’s Covenant loyalty (Hesed) (Deut 11v13-14, Hos 10v12)

Integrity in our means & our giving:

Does the Lord take delight in my offerings (Micah 6 v6-7)?
God requires Justice, Covenant loyalty, & a humble walk in God (v8)
God hates wicked scales, short measures and the riches of deceit (v10-12)
Otherwise we will sow much but not reap

Are we Robbing God?:

We can be robbing God in our (lack of) tithes & offerings! (Mal 3v8-12)
And thus bring our selves under a curse (lack of God’s favour)
Be careful to bring all that you know you should to God – don’t be deceitful, rather be obedient and generous
So that there is full provision in the Lord’s house
And put God to the test that you will be blessed by Him, in response
And he (satan) who Devours and Destroys will be rebuked
[Awesome example of Ananias & Sapphira (Acts 5v1-5)]
If we are waiting for a right time to start giving to God as we ought – we will never do it! (Eccl 11v4)

Investing in the Kingdom:

Principle of sowing in sorrow (sacrificially)  reaping in Joy (Ps 126v5-6)
Where is your treasure? – It is where your heart is (Matt 6v19-21)
Be free from worry over material needs (v25-26)
Seek first the Kingdom (v33)
Give sacrificially (widow’s mite) – participating in support of the saints worldwide (Mk 12v41-44, 2Cor 8v1-5)
Recognising that we have God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense (GRACE) (2Cor 8v9)
We reap what we sow.  Sow bountifully and keenly – not grudgingly or under compulsion (2Cor 9v6-11)

Some practical guidelines:

Not under legalism in Christ, nevertheless Tithing is a good starting point or target to aim for.  Let’s stop giving God the small change!
Seek the Lord as to His leading as to how much you give and then obey Him – (Clear conscience in our giving)
(Gross or Take-home?  Split families?) Give from the money that you manage (i.e. have control over)
Decide what belongs to God first, before any household expense (bills) or personal spend (Dividing the cake!)
Give the dominant portion of your tithe to the church where you are pastored and fed before giving to other ministries

 

 

 

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