Right on the Money

I took some time today to finish a writing project that has been on my agenda for several weeks. It’s a tool we are going to use to educate on financial stewardship called Cents & $ensibility: Right on the Money. [The title is not original to me]. Here is the content of this guide: What is a tithe? The word “tithe” literally means “a tenth.” The principle of tithing appears very early in Scripture, seen in the life of Abram in Genesis 14. We see throughout the Old Testament that God’s chosen people were mandated by law to tithe, and when they neglected that responsibility they were “robbing God” (Malachi 3:8). The principle of tithing was also validated by Jesus (Matthew 23:23). Do we encourage tithing at LifePoint Church? Yes. Are we still under the law? Scripture teaches that Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17-18). This does not mean that the law is our motivator to give. We do not give because God’s law forces us to; we give because of God’s grace. Our motivation to give is the grace of God poured out in our lives through His Son Jesus Christ. What does the New Testament teach on giving? The New Testament teaches that Christians are to give 1) Regularly (1 Corinthians 16:2), 2) Sacrificially (2 Corinthians 8:1-5), and 3) Cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:6-7). How does that look in our daily lives? Regularly means that we give as often as we get, we encourage giving out of every paycheck. Sacrificially means that our lifestyle doesn’t determine our giving, but our giving determines our lifestyle. And cheerfully means that we don’t give begrudgingly or out of compulsion, but as a joyful response to God’s gracious work in our lives. Why do we encourage tithing? At LifePoint we believe that the clear starting point for biblical giving is the tithe, as it is the place where God started with His children from the beginning. The New Testament does not lower the bar in this regard, but Jesus Himself validates it. We also know from history that early church leaders such as Origen, Jerome, and Saint Augustine taught that the tithe was the biblical starting point for giving in the life of a Christian. Where do we go from there? What is an “offering?” We believe that tithing is the foundation, not the ceiling, of biblical Christian giving. At LPC we also teach and encourage the giving of what Scripture calls “offerings” or “free-will offerings.” We delineate between “tithes” and “offerings” in that an offering is given in addition to the ten percent starting-point, toward specific needs that align with the mission God has given us as a church. The vast majority of “offerings” at LPC come in the form of mission’s pledges. What are “mission’s pledges?” At LPC we support over 65 missionaries both locally and around the globe. As we prepare our church budget (in the late fall) in advance of each year we ask for monthly mission’s pledges to support these missionaries. This vital structure allows us to be good stewards of our resources, and have clarity about the missionaries we can continue to support monthly and add to our missionary roster. How do you get right on the money? We encourage every person who calls LPC home to follow the biblical standard of regular, sacrificial, and cheerful giving in tithes and offerings. Perhaps one of the great Scriptures on this subject is 2 Corinthians 9:6-8: 6The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all contentment in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. We believe that this is true. The givers of LifePoint Church will attest that when you align your life with the truth from Scripture and get right on the money: God’s grace will abound, contentment in all things can be experienced, and you will flourish in every good work. Resources on biblical stewardship: The Bible The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn Money by Jamie Munson Neither Poverty nor Riches: A Biblical Theology of Possessions by Craig Blomberg

About Pastor Andrew

Follower of Jesus, Husband to Carissa, Daddy to four daughters, Lead Pastor at LifePoint Church in Vancouver, WA.
This entry was posted in 2theSource, Life @ LPC and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s