John Jackson shares principles from Scriptures about giving faithfully and thankfully.
The Specifics of God’s Giving Plan
1) God has established the principle of first fruits to be given to Him
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9-10)
2) God has established the practice of the tithe
“A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.” (Leviticus 27:30)
3) God has established the place of the local church
“Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” (I Corinthians 16:1-2)
4) God challenges us to tithe as a test!
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10)
“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” (Joshua 1:8)
Give Lavishly! Live Abundantly! (Helen Steiner Rice)
The more you give, the more you get
The more you laugh, the less you fret-
The more you do unselfishly, the more you live abundantly
The more of everything you share, the more you’ll always have to spare
The more you love the more you’ll find that life is good and friends are kind
For only what we give away, enriches us from day to day
“So all the skilled craftsmen who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left their work and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the LORD commanded to be done.” Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work." (Exodus 36:4-7)
32% of born again believers claim to tithe, but George Barna’s calculations suggest that it really is only 12%
“A checkbook is a theological document. It indicates who and what we worship" John Maxwell
We strive to model that among our church leadership. We give away 10% of everything that is given here. And, we operate on faith that God will bring people here who will be faithful...and we will lead in the same fashion.
UNCOVERED BLESSINGS …Great idea (comes from Brian Kluth). Each week, make a list of the “blessings” that God gave you that week (money you saved on a special deal, or a gift received, or extra money earned. Tithe 10% off that amount and put into your blessing fund. Give 10% to the church as a tithe, and then use your 10% blessing fund to be a blessing!
RECOMMENDED STEPS FOR “COUNTING YOUR BLESSINGS”
Here are some important things I've learned to help identify the Lord's tangible provisions and blessings in your life each week:
l. Try to count your blessings as a family, couple, or individual at a similar time each week with a pen and paper (or notebook) in hand. Sandi and I look back over the week every Sunday night before going to bed and now have a notebook full of hundreds of entries of how God has cared for us over the past several years over-and-above our normal income.
2. Think back over the following areas and write down anything that comes to your remembrance:
MAIN INCOME? If you were paid during the week, write down the amount. We always used my income here and put any second income or extra income in our blessings fund. We've then given 10% of my regular income to our local church.
ADDITIONAL OR UNEXPECTED CASH? Gifts, overtime, bonuses, 2nd salary, investment returns, sale of any item, refunds, inheritance,. etc..
PEOPLE'S HOSPITALITY? Meals, lodging, entertainment, etc.
SPECIAL HELP OR ASSISTANCE? Help with car or house repairs, emergencies, use of equipment, free babysitting, etc.
DISCOUNT AND SALE ITEMS? Clothing, household items, garage sales/thrift shop savings, car items, tools, furnishings, recreation, etc.
PURCHASE OF NEW POSSESSIONS? When my wife and I buy something that's a major item or a luxury item, we sometimes include the cost of these items in our blessings fund and give an extra 10% to the Lord's work.
3. Write down a financial value for each item OR (very important) write down the amount you "WOULD HAVE BEEN WILLING TO SPEND” for the item. For example: A family member gave me a $1000 radial arm saw they no longer needed. I would never have been able to afford a $1000 saw, but I might have "been willing to spend" $200 on a used radial arm saw. So, in this case, I put down the value of this blessing at $200 (not $1000). There- fore I ended up giving an extra $20 to the Lord's work -- not an extra $100.
4. Add up the value of the total number of blessings for each week and take 10% of the total and decide where to give it OR set the week's amount aside by writing it in your notebook or putting the money in a special place or account that you will consider your "BLESSINGS FUND."
5. Faithfully give your local church 10% of your main income. Then begin to joyfully and generously use your "Blessings Fund" to help support missions, special projects and needs, and Christian workers and organizations.
Money is a tool, test, and a testimony. “If therefore you have not been faithful in the use of worldly wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you” Luke 16:11
...little boy given a quarter for offering...came home, mother saw him with candy..where get money to buy? Oh, I didn't need quarter at church, the usher got me in free!