Dabar [theme]

He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under His wings shalt thou find refuge: His truth is a shield and buckler
Psalms 91:4

Be it ours,when we cannot see the face of God, to trust under the shadow of His wings. C.H. Spugeon

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Tithing;;;


2 Cor. 5:7 "For we walk by faith, not by sight."

It is easy to be misunderstood in the discussion of tithing. The import of what I wish to bring to the conversation is not the issue of the money, however the money is the issue, if it is an issue; the money isn't an issue, if it is about the faith.

I fully believe that God can do with any amount of financial resources, if it is 2 Cor. 9:7 "...give(n) as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver." The multiplication of resources in whatever application they are given is the sole responsibility of God for the increase. We as givers are only responsible and accountable for what we can do in faith, believing fully in the aforementioned premise.

In bringing to the conversation an essence of obligation, it is further assumed by myself, and I believe this will be made manifest in application, that the resources received will not be in excess of the needs of either the church nor any needs brought to the church to which we would feel compelled to alleviate. This again is a reflection upon my belief in the resources and multiplication of God, doing what He and only He can do with our obedient faith-based tithe. In the discussion of excess I do not believe that the Elders or the Bookkeeper will be drawing wages or salary from the coffers of the church, however I do believe that we will operate at a balanced and quite probably zero-balance expense to income ratio. [On a personal note I do not believe a church should have a savings account, at least not in the aspect of storing to compensate for lack of obedience or storing with a lack of faith for the provision of God.]

What I see as the heart of the issue of tithing is the principles of faith in practical application to that avenue of life to which most if not all people are intrinsically tied. It is in the tying or bondage we have to our money that we see the greater detrimental effect upon the health of the church, in that, the lack of faith expressed through the stewardship of money reflects throughout the church with regard to its ministry and the seeking of God first and the following of His leading. The promise of the blessing of God upon the bringing of the tithe I feel is in relation to the effect of the selling of land and the subsequent gifting upon Barnabas recounted in Acts.

We all have bills to pay!! We all have expectations of unforeseen expenditures!! We all have worries about the future and the cost!! We all have plans which have a cost!! We all say we have faith?? These events which are occuring are not the strictures upon faith, they provide the opportunity to release and let God be God.

James 2:14, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?"
James 2:17-18, "Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works."
James 2:20-22, "But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?"
James 2:24, "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only."
Faith can have no value if it is not followed by good works; that is, that it is not real faith, and that good works are necessary if a man would have evidence that he is justified. Faith does not operate outside the reality of obedience, faith does not in application negate action. Faith in application does not negate a change of attitude. Faith builds and edifies belief in God, His sovereignty, His provision. I wish to see God stirring in our midst, God penetrating into our souls and seeing afresh or for the first time His blessings upon our fellowship, our worship, our church and our community. I wish to see God's blessings manifested in an outpouring of the Spirit of God upon our meetings and our people both young and old. I wish to see the practical, pragmatic, realistic approach to our budgeting and stewardship shaken by the revealing of God's ability to do what is 'possible'; "for with men these things are impossible, but with God all things are possible"

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