Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Our Thoughts on Tithe

"The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Psalm 24:1

Everything (more than just 10%) belongs to the Lord! On earth, we are simply His stewards. He entrusts us to manage all He owns in the ways that will glorify and honor Him. We need to use our time, talents, and treasures wisely and according to His will.

We need to give all of ourselves to the Lord. Many give 10% and consider that the rest of their resources can be spent at their discretion. Let’s realize that God owns all of us, including our resources. Let’s spend them as He leads us by His Word and His Spirit. The New Testament portrays the concept of freewill sharing and equity among believers. "Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: ‘He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little." 2 Corinthians 8:13-15

We, as the body of Christ, are called to reach out to a lost and dying world. We need to deny ourselves, carry our crosses, and follow Jesus. We need to live lives of "New Testament" simplicity, and not in luxury and self indulgence. We believe there is a significant mismanagement of God’s money among His Church (the body of Christ) in affluent countries. The Church should not be spending billions of dollars on church buildings, church salaries, and unnecessary/extravagant personal items/hobbies/property. (Certainly, the worker deserves his wages, but his work must be in accordance with the Father’s will. The Church is not a business.) These resources should be spent on reaching the millions of people who have never heard of the Gospel even once, and on providing them with the Word of God in their own language. Sadly, we are spending the majority of our resources on the areas of the world where Christ has already been preached. "More than 95 percent of the total church budget in the United States is spent at home to maintain programs rather than to reach out in mission. Of the five percent that goes overseas to mission, less than half of one percent is used to reach the lost." (K.P. Yohannan, The Road to Reality, p. 118) It is unjust to share the Gospel of Jesus repeatedly to people who have already heard when there are those who have not heard the Gospel of Jesus even once. These resources need to be quickly redistributed so that the majority of the Church’s resources are sent to the unreached people groups of the world.

We need to give to native missionaries who are reaching the unreached, to organizations that are actively sharing the Gospel in unreached areas (i.e., CRU's Jesus film ministries), and to organizations that are actively translating the Bible into unreached languages (i.e., Wycliffe).

We should also generously give food, clothing, shelter, and medical supplies where possible to the neediest from among mankind. We need to give to those who could not otherwise receive the basic needs of life from anyone else. Many of us are so comfortable and wealthy compared to these needy ones. If we live simply and pool our resources together, by God’s grace there will be enough for everyone throughout the world who is in need (remember the five loaves and two fish). We need to join together in praying and giving to those in need across the world as God directs.

"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7

"Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Luke 12:33, 34

Striving to be good stewards,
Eric and Urailak

~ To find other Spiritual Sundays participants, please visit here.


Ginger~~Enchanting Cottage said...

It is one of my deepest prayers to be able to reach out to others.

Charlotte said...

It is so true. Everything we own and all that we are belongs to the Lord. We need to remember that but I think it is easy to forget. Thank you for the reminder.

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