Tuesday, November 29, 2016

why I give & #GivingTuesday

Today is#GivingTuesday which is a time where organizations around the world encouragepeople to give to particular causes. Late Sunday night I share a letter asking people to give $5 to ourchurch to complete our new campus and send that request to others.  Would you do that with me?  CLICK HERE to read that post.

(NOTE: much of the following came from an article by Perry Noble)

I thought it would be helpful to hear why Julie and I give our money.  This is a disciple, tithing and giving, that we started a long time ago, and we have come to believe that God blesses as we are faithful with what we have.  We would challenge you to give and use well what comes in to your life.  This would include not only your money but time and abilities.

If someone were to ask me why we give, here are some reasons we would share.

First, we desire to fully follow of Jesus.  We have trusted God with our salvation and his promises, but we have found it hard to trust Him with our money.

Then we realized what God said in Scripture is true.  Several years ago our finances were in horrible shape.  Jesus said that we should tithe in Matthew 23:23.  Jesus said that our hearts will always follow our money in Matthew 6:21.  Jesus said that we can not serve both Him and money in Matthew 6:24.

We concluded that it was a impossibility to fully follow Christ without completely surrendering our finances.

Second, we believe it is impossible to out give God!  Either the Bible is true and can be completely trusted or it cannot be trusted at all.  We have never met anyone who regretted in their decision to live by Biblical principles.

The Bible says in Proverbs 3:9-10 that if we will put God first He will bless us.  In Malachi 3:10-12 He says if we tithe that God will pour out so many blessings that we will not have room.  The Bible says in II Corinthians 9:6-15 that if we sow financial generosity we WILL reap generously.

I believe it is IMPOSSIBLE to out give God. When we live by faith and make Him first in our lives, He will honor us doing so because He said He would.

Third, we believe that the church is the greatest organization to change the world!  We completely believe based Scripture and our personal convictions that the tithe belongs to the local church.  We also believe that Christians should be the most generous people and should be the first to financially support worthy causes. But I also believe Scripture is clear that the tithe should be brought to the local church.

Malachi 3:10 says the tithe should be brought to the house of God.  Jesus said in Matthew 16:18 that HE will build HIS church.  Colossians 1:18 and Ephesians 1:22 say that He is the head of the church!  Ephesians 3:10 says it is through the church that the wisdom of God should be made known to the world!

What other organizations and causes are doing is not bad; however, the church is the only organization around for 2,000 years and is the only investment that will continue through eternity.  And, when the local church is working right, there is nothing more powerful and breathtaking in the world because it's the place where lost people are found, found people grow to love Jesus more, addicts are set free, people who were excluded get included, hopeless people find hope, marriages are restored, forgiveness is extended to other people and God gets the glory for it all!!

Finally, we believe giving protects us from greed.  Look at Luke 12:13-21, I Timothy 6:6-10 and I Timothy 6:17-19.  These passages directly to greed and materialism and how they have the potential to take our eyes off of Jesus and put them in places they do not belong.

We have found God to be faithful and that He will bless those who give as He directs.  These are our reasons for giving.  Our prayer is that this will encourage you to this about how you use your money and how you give.  You really cannot out give God!!!

I close with where we give.  We begin with the church as I shared above, but there are several other places where we give that have hold of our heart.  This is places like missions and missionaries that we know.  This would be in ministries to those in poverty close by and around the world.

Luke 12:33  NLT
Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.

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