Daily Thoughts : April 21st
1 Cor 16:2 On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
We find here the origin of the practice of giving in church. For the Christian church the Sabbath was replaced by Sunday and that's when the church met together. There was a recognition that there are needs that we can meet – they can be needs of poverty that needs alleviating, or they can be the basic financial needs of running a church with a building and full-time ministry (if that is what you consider necessary). These are all legitimate needs to be covered by such giving.
Tithing was an Old Testament practice which indicated that God wanted His people to be givers. A giving mentality is a mentality that is freed from materialism. It is one that sees a need and reaches out and meets it as God leads.
What is the basis of how much we give? If we want guidelines, perhaps we may say it is to be according to our income, so there is to be no trying to keep up with others. We once took an offering for a church weekend away and instructed the church, “Ask the Lord for what He wants you to give, but if you hardly have anything, then please DON'T give.” The offering covered the need almost twice over. We then had to ask the Lord what to do with the excess!
Many of us are well off and I believe God expects us to give generously, especially when we see needs in those who have little. It is an indication of our freedom and our love for others. We can afford to give, so let's make sure we bless God and we bless others. The tithe or 'tenth' principle is useful to break the bondage of materialism, but once you get past that, why not ask the Holy Spirit to teach you to give in abundance when you have needs presented to you. That is freedom.
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