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What's All this about Money?

From My Perspective by Jim Wies

In response to an inquiry... What About Giving?

Of course whole books have been written on the subject of

financial stewardship, so the topic will not be completely exhausted in

a article like this, but it is an important topic to God. In fact, 16

of the 38 parables of Jesus deal with handling money or possessions.

Not that God needs our money, nor that we are to be obsessed with the

getting of wealth, but because God watches how we will handle

"unrighteous mammon" in order to determine if He can entrust to us the

"true riches" (Luke 16:11)

On the matter of tithing, some folks mistakenly think that

tithing is out of the Old Testament law and consequently state; "we

are not under the law but under grace - therefore tithing is not a New

Testament concept". Actually, we see Abraham tithing to Melchizedek

400 years before the law. We also see Jacob committed to tithing after

his vision of the ladder to heaven. So we know that tithing is a

principle of faith, even more than a mandate of the law, which came

through Moses 400 years later.

Then as we move into the New Testament, nowhere do we find a

revoking of the pattern of giving in the manner that had been

historically established. What we see instead are some of the

principles of faith reinforced and amplified upon. The fact is, it

takes faith to give money away. Faith that God will rebuke the

devourer on our behalf. Faith that as we give, it will be given back

to us, "pressed down shaken together and running over". Faith that as

we sow seed, we will see a harvest in return, as it says

"What-so-ever a man sows, that shall he also reap."

While many rely on the abundance of Old Testament scriptures to

teach giving, (such as Prov. 3:8,9; Mal. 3:8-12) Paul the Apostle tied

a number of these principles together in his instructions to the

Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians chapters 8 & 9. For instance he

refers to the principle of sowing and reaping in 2 Cor 9:7-11; "So let

each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of

necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all

grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in

all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is

written: "He has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his

righteousness endures forever." Now may He who supplies seed to the

sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown

and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched

in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us

to God." Note that He gives seed to the sower - when He finds generous

people he increases them so they can be all the more generous.

Paul also was bold to promise God's faithfulness to the

Philippian believers who gave, that God would honor their faith and

generosity by being their provider. Phil 4:16-19; "For even in

Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that

I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.

Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from

Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an

acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply

all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus."

So to get real specific, What I believe the Scripture teaches is

not tithing as a burden, but tithing as a way to experience the joy of giving

as an expression of worship to God; an expression of faith in His promises;

an opportunity to demonstrate our love and support toward one another;

an opportunity to sow toward a harvest; and an opportunity to prove to

Him that He is more important to us than material things. Anyone with those

principles in mind would want to look for ways to be generous and try

to go way beyond a mere tenth of their income, sowing into ministries,

missions and the poor..

To be real transparent for a moment, for a long time I lived

under the inferior concept that I "had to" tithe, and nothing more. I gave Him

the "bare minimum", and saw a "bare minimum" return of provision on His

part. I then began to understand the real truth about giving and began

to look for ways to be as generous as I could within the boundaries of

proper stewardship of my other responsibilities, and have seen these

truths proven over and over and over in my life.

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