Servitude and Giving
To understand the concepts of serving and giving we must understand the heart of the matter:
Dying to serve – John 12:23-28
We were served and now we serve others – John 13:14-15 We reap what we sow – 2 Corinthians 9:6 / Galatians 6:7
The Need of Service: God desires for us to be His vessels.
Therefore said he unto them, the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.
The Call and Response: He keeps calling and our answer is yes or no, everytime.
And I heard a voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. (Isaiah 6:8)
And he said unto them, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed Him. (Matthew 4:19, 20)
The Spirit of Service (Attitude of Gratitude): Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. (Psalm 100:2 KJV)
Humility - Philippians 2:4-8
He chose us to be His fruit – John 15:16-17/Galatians 5:22, 23
He chose us to be His fragrant offering – 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 /Ephesians 5:1-2
Motivated by Love: Love never fails…
If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Cor. 13:3 NIV)
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13 NIV)
Saving Service: Meet people where they are…A need for cultural competency and empathy over tolerance.
To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men that I might by all means save some. (1 Cor. 9:22)
Reward of Faithful Service: At the end of the day this is what we want to hear.
His lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. (Matthew 25:21 KJV)
And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. (John 4:36 KJV)
What Are Tithes and Offerings?
The giving of our tithes (1/10th of our income), and offerings to our local church is God's way of supporting your local church and its ministries. Faithful stewardship which is the responsible handling of our possessions involves giving the first fruits of our increase to the Lord (Proverbs 3:9, 10)! Not because God needs our money (Psalm 24:1), but rather out of obedience to His word by faith.
According to Malachi 3:8-10, the Lord is very serious about every Christian making sure money does not become a “god” (1 Timothy 6:10).
Giving our money to the Lord is like the giving of our time, and our love - it always costs us something - and it should! As we grow in the Lord, our giving demonstrates the proof of our love and trust for the Lord (1 John 3:18; John 14:15).
Why Do We Give to the Local Church? (1 Cor 16:1, 2)
1. To obey God (Proverbs 3:9, 10) - do it first out of obedience!
2. So that it can be self-sufficient, not dependent upon the government, bazaars, or bake sales, but upon the people who assemble together.
3. So that God’s man (the pastor) can be full-time for serving the Lord, serving you, and reaching the lost, instead of having to work both a job, and do the ministry!
(1 Tim 5:17,18)
4. So that God can bless you, knowing that you seek first to bless and honor Him. Based on the measure you give… (Matt 6:33, Luke 6:38)
What's Your Relationship with Money?
“What is your financial condition? Are you in debt and if so, how deep? Are you living from paycheck to paycheck? How much money have you set aside for emergencies?
Here’s a real tough one – do you have any money invested? These questions will have us to understand the type of relationship we have with money” (Mario McGowan – CEO of Direct Tithes an online service for churches).
It is important that we understand that debt impacts more Americans than anything else associated with money. The bible says in Proverbs 22:7: The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender.
What God Really Desires for You?
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health as thy soul prospereth. (3 John 2)
As we can see in the above scripture that God’s desire for his people is prosperity and good health. God’s desire for His children is for them to be blessed spiritually and naturally. “What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, who is out of debt, and who has a clear conscience?”(Adam Smith- 1700’s Scottish Philosopher).
Simple equation on tithes and offerings:
Tithes = 10% of first fruits (Income)
+ Offerings = Sacrificial giving over and above the tithe
= Opening the flood gates of heaven (tithes) + reaping a bounty of blessings in proportion to what you sow (offerings)