Being a member of the church implies that you are a born again Christian and that you are in the Family of God. It is a wonderful experience to be united in the bond of love and enjoy the fellowship of fellow believers. You don’t have to agree on everything that happens. You don’t have to be present every time the door opens but at the same time there should be some evidence of being faithful to the body, being consistent in worship and Bible Study and in supporting the church with Tithes and Offerings.
A tithe is 1/10 of your income. In the Old Testament people were compelled to give a tithe of their first fruits to the Lord. The New Testament goes beyond the teaching of the Old Testament and instructs Christians to give in proportion to what they have received. Rarely is a tithe in proportion to what we receive. In some cases it is little more than a tip to the Lord. Some people give more to a waiter in a restaurant than they give to the Lord. One test of whether or not we are growing in our relationship to the Lord is the amount that we give for His Kingdom’s work. As we mature in our faith and grow in our relationship to God, we should be giving beyond the tithe. Increasing our percentage of giving year by year is a mark of Christian growth. If you are truly giving in proportion to what you receive, would it be 15%, 20%, 30%? Each Christian has to answer that question for himself.
Giving an offering requires giving beyond the tithe. In fact, if tithing is all you do, you have not reached the level of an offering. Growth in stewardship is a challenge but a rewarding one. God loves a cheerful giver. God loves a generous giver. Anytime we go beyond the basics, anytime that we stretch ourselves in serving God and in giving to his work we grow spiritually and His name is honored.
No born again Christian should ever be content with just making a contribution. No born again Christian should ever feel good by seeing how little they can give. Mediocrity does not please God. Just getting by shows no love or enthusiasm for God’s work.
God requires first fruits, the best. He wants to be our first love, the object of our devotion. Give of your best to the Master, naught else is worthy of His love.
In His Love, Charles