These are the words of the Savior: “”Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.”
Tithing, giving, gifts whatever you want to call it. Everyone has an opinion on it in the Church. One study notes that only 10-25% of families give to their church. Christians in fact give about 2.5%. Along with those stats, 25% of Christians do not tithe at all. I am not here to say tithing is a New Testament idea or command, you won’t find that. Instead what you find is Christians who give over and beyond because that’s what Christ said to do. It’s blatantly clear that God calls us to give, and He loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7), who gives consistently (2 Corinthians 2:16), and those who give beyond sacrificially (Mark 12:41-44). Thom Rainer the President of LifeWay puts it this way, “Tithing isn’t just about what the church does with the money; it’s about the act of giving as an act of obedience.” Not giving is disobedience.
Jesus said in Luke 14 if you do not renounce all that you have then you cannot be His disciple. Man, those are some strong words. We have iPhones, nice cars, expensive homes, and piles of things boxed up and put away we will never touch again. Yet we do not feel compelled to give to our churches. We call it legalism.
Why give? Because if you attend church then you probably believe in that church. You like it and like the people. You believe in its outreach, programs, and so on. All these things take money and on average 10 churches a week are closing their doors. Churches cannot operate without proper finances, and that takes people giving because the believe in the power of God through the Church. I am not saying you can not have nice things, I am just saying when we get those over giving or they cause us not to give that’s a heart problem.
We give because it helps “the least of these.” Our church has benevolence fund that we help individuals fallen on hard times pay rent, buy groceries, and many other things. Without faithful givers to that then those we who need help would not give it, thus we would not be faithful to what Christ commands of us.
We give because in the SBC our churches give to the Cooperative Program. The Cooperative Program keeps seminary cost down for students so we can train pastors and missionaries with an excellent theological education. It funds over 5,000 international missionaries reaching the ends of the earth. It also funds NAMB (The North American Mission Board) which is planting churches that are growing and surviving at a rate of 97%, and is in the process of launching a church restoration plan. It’s simple we have been commanded to go and we have agencies who are making it happen. They need money to operate.
I am not writing this to guilt anyone into giving. These are simply some thoughts written out that I have been pondering. If we give I absolutely believe God will be faithful to use our churches.
Instead of giving all that we can to God through our churches because he made us righteous through His Son’s life and obedience on the cross we ask a question. We ask, how much do I have to give? He gave it all so eternally we can know and enjoy Him forever.