I know that it’s a grossly over used figure of speech but man, how time flies. Here we are. February. By now all of your tax information and interest statements should be in. Then it’s on. What will I pay? How much will I get back? I need tires for the truck. Rent’s due. All this rain showed a leaky roof. All legitimate concerns as far as I can tell.
Something else that’s coming out this month are your giving statements. If you attend church and give a biblical tithe, this statement is a detailed summary of your seed planting in the local body. There are a lot of opinions on that and believe me, I’ve heard them all.
I found this from sometime back: “What in life are you under-funding and over-expecting?” Return is dependent on investment! It seems that church is the only place where people think no investment should net a full return.
It reminded me of what the apostle Paul said to the Corinthian believers, “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.” 1 Corinthians 16:2
Now I know this collection was specific but it's the principle alive here that I’m interested in. It’s that word “first” that grabbed my attention. “…first day of the week…” is a very strong indicator that early Christians no longer regarded the Sabbath or seventh day, as their day of worship. It was the first day.
The Lord was risen on the first day. The Day of Pentecost was the first day. The disciples gathered on the first day of the week to break bread, “Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread…” (Acts 20:7) Now, they are to lay something aside for the saints on the first day of the week.So, if we'll do it first, we know what's left for the week. Then, we trust that God will make that enough.
What we will give to the church should not be a last minute decision as we run out the door on Sunday morning. Would that money made a divine appearance. Sadly, it does not. Giving is a part of worship. We are encouraged by scripture to be generous and the tenth was in the OT, a command. Now it is a starting point for the pure in heart.
Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Tithing isn’t a salvation issue. But, it is an obedience issue and if you are a believer, your giving should be in proportion with how the Lord has prospered you. It is the one thing in life that is the same for everyone.
There’s also the added benefit that it will teach you to put the Lord first and that is a divide that I am just not willing to take chances with.
I’m not trying to start a debate forum. So if you need to put something in the comments, just write the word "First".
I put the Lord first.
Tomorrow is Sunday. Find you a church and get in it. If you're looking for one, give us a go. Christian Fellowship Church on Winstead Dr. Service starts at 10:30am. We look forward to seeing you there.
-Pastor Butch