Below are 4 points to help you discover the joy of giving! Several points are taken from the book the Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn.
God’s or Yours?
How do you view your money? Do you view it as yours or as God’s? Let’s be honest, we live in a culture whose anthem sings “You earned it, you worked hard, play hard.” “Get yours”. This is the worldview that we have grown up and live in. As followers of Jesus, we need to recognize the current worldview and discover what a biblical worldview is. So, what is the biblical worldview in regards to money?
"You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day." Deuteronomy 8:18
"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts." Haggai 2:8
"Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine." Job 41:11
"The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein" Psalm 24:1
A Biblical worldview of money begins with the understanding that God owns everything. That’s everything: your house, your car, your money, your family, even your very life.
When we start to view everything as God’s rather than ours, it changes the way we handle everything we possess. We move from an 'owner' mindset to a 'steward' mindset. He gives us these things to steward! How freeing is that? He gives us a spouse to care for, kids to parent, a house to host people in, and money to live open handedly with.
There is a great story about John Wesley. John was a pastor, evangelist, and theologian in the 1700’s.
One day when John Wesley was away from home, someone came running to him, saying, “Your house has burned down! Your house has burned down!” Wesley replied, “No, it hasn’t, because I don’t own a house. The one I have been living in belongs to the Lord, and if it has burned down, that is one less responsibility for me to worry about.”
Everything is God’s. We have the honor of stewarding the things He gives us.
Will you Rob God?
This is a heavy statement. Robbing God? Really. How? In Exodus, God gives us the Ten Commandments as a guide for the best way to live life. The eighth of the ten commandments in verse 20:15 says “Do not steal.” Yeah, okay, that makes sense, don’t take what’s not yours. How does this relate to tithing?
"Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need." Malachi 3:8-10
A couple things to note. How have we robbed God? In your tithes and contributions. When we don’t give God our first fruit, our tithe, we are keeping for ourselves what is rightfully His. We are stealing from God. A tithe is simply the first tenth. The first 10% of our income. Since all of our money is his, all of our income is His, He wants you to give the first 10% to Him and steward the rest of the 90%. What else does it say? Bring the full tithe in….. That the windows of heaven would be opened and blessing poured out. God doesn’t require the tithe to be lame, no he demands the tithe because He wants you to trust Him and He wants to bless you. He wants to bless you! Giving the first to God requires faith, not knowing if you will have enough for the rest. The first belongs to God. Before we see the blessing of God, we give it in faith. We recognize you first God and put you first in our life and trust you to take care of the rest.
Eyes on Eternity
Use tithing as a base for your giving, but don’t stop there, learn to become generous givers. At Antioch, you will regularly hear us exhort one another, “Let us be a generous people who give to God, His Church, and His purposes in the earth”. We want to have our eyes set on things above not on earthly things. I’ve recognized in my own life that my heart goes towards where I put my money. What you spend your money on can also reveal what you treasure. As followers of Jesus, let us be a people who recognize that Heaven, not earth is our home. Let us be ones who treasure Jesus, the author, the perfecter of our faith. Our salvation, our Redeemer, our All in All.
WHERE SHOULD I GIVE MY TITHE AND WHAT DOES IT GO TOWARD?
If you consider Antioch your church home, starting with a tithe here is a good idea. If you desire to give above your tithe, give to other organizations, missionaries, and initiatives. As for me and my family, because we have received so much and grown so much at Antioch Ann Arbor, we give almost everything to this place.
When you give to Antioch, not only does it honor God, and you get a tax deduction, but you get to partner with us in making disciples here locally and throughout the earth. We are self-funded. The money that comes in goes to meet the basic needs of our church and allows us to plan for the future. What comes into our church is the money we use to pay rent, purchase books/resources, pay staff members, give to ministries like Lifebuilders in Detroit and Navigators in Hamtramck, to fund overseas missionaries and invest in God’s purposes in the earth. Our hope is that as we grow, we will be able to offer more programs, resources, hire more staff, and give more money to support missionaries and church plants throughout the earth.
Click this link if you would like to give Antioch Giving Page
Helpful ways to become a consistent tither is to setup a profile on our Giving portal (link above) and setup a recurring donation. Another way is that as you create a budget each month, let giving be the first money you put your income towards, rather than giving out of your "leftovers."
About the Author: Jason serves as the connections pastor at Antioch Ann Arbor. Jason loves helping people discover who God is and who they are in Christ. He is usually next to one of hte four prettiest girls on teh face of the earth (his wife or three daughters.)