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First Pres Blog

Giving Changes Us

Posted by Tim McConnell on

Each October, our congregation takes time to prayerfully consider how we will give of our finances in the coming year. Our giving is not primarily about funding the church—rather, we give to allow God to reign in our lives in one of the areas where it's hardest to do so: our wallets.

What We Teach About Giving
  • God’s acceptance of us is not dependent upon our behavior, but has been won by the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Our giving does not gain us more love or favor from God. (Gal 2:16)

  • Like all of the Law, the law of the tithe (10 percent giving of firstfruits) convicts us of our need for grace, but also reveals to us a path of righteousness. It is a good and healthy goal. While we do not work to please God by our good behavior, we respond to God’s love and grace with a desire to serve Him. Jesus assumed His followers tithed, and still does. (Luke 11:42)

  • Tithing is a matter of giving and receiving—in other words, it’s part of a relationship. Tithing, like prayer, is active participation in relationship with God. God gave His Son for us. Jesus gave His whole life for us. We owe all that we are and all that we have to God—our whole lives. From that perspective, 10 percent is a very small amount and should be seen as just the beginning—a starting minimum for our giving. (2 Cor 8-9)

  • God expects the church to be funded at 10 percent of our collective incomes. When we fall short of that, we cannot be surprised to see the church appear weak, sick, and ineffectual in the world. (Malachi 3)

  • Putting God first in our finances is liberating. Greed is like a dragon. It skulks through our neighborhoods whispering in the windows, “Never enough. Never enough.” We slay that dragon by the tithe—and we must. Kill it now before it carries away your heart, your marriage, your peace, and eventually returns to swallow your children. (Mt 6:19-24)

  • Putting God first in our finances builds our faith and trust in God, and also orders the remainder of our budgeting. Healthy priorities emerge and useless waste is eliminated.

Giving Changes Us

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