The Best Life: Week 3
The Best Test
Isn’t it crazy that as our blessings go up, our generosity decreases? In the United States, the most prosperous nation in the history of the planet, we give away 3.1% of our income to charities. Those who make less than $10,000 a year give 5.2%. But those who make more than $200,000 a year give only .07%!
The Best Test is God’s Test. God wants to know if He can trust us to be faithful with all that He gives us. God wants to know:
Will I trust in the Blessing or the BlessEr?
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven?” Luke 16:10-11
Money makes false promises to us like: “I’ll give you security, freedom, power, and significance.” But these are lies.
Only in Jesus can you have true security, freedom, strength, and significance in your life.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.” Matthew 6:24
Money is not the root of all evil, but the love of money is the root of all evil. Money is a tool we can use for good or for bad.
“Those who love money will never have enough. How meaningless to think that wealth brings true happiness!” Ecclesiastes 5:10
How much is enough? Usually, it’s just a little bit more.
I will give God my first and Best, so He can bless the rest.
“One-tenth of the produce of the land, whether grain from the fields or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord and must be set apart to him as holy. Leviticus 27:30
The word Tithe literally means 1/10th.
Giving is not an obligation as much as it is an opportunity.
We don’t GOT to give, we GET to give to God.
Isn’t tithing an Old Testament law? As Christians, we are not under law, but under grace.
Tithing is not an Old Testament law, it’s a Biblical principle found in Genesis 14 that was given before the law was ever given. Grace is greater than the law and God’s grace for us is so great that we should want to bring more. Jesus often raised the standards for His followers.
Jesus affirmed tithing. Jesus said, “You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.” Matthew 23:23
Tithing is training wheels. It’s not the finish line, it’s the starting place.
4 Blessings of Tithing
I get to be a part of what God is doing to save the world!
So far in 2018, 70 people have gone public with their faith in Jesus through baptism at The Connection Church. When you give, you’re a part of making that happen.
The church is the only entity that will last forever. That’s why everything we do at The Connection Church is about changing people’s eternity.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house.” Malachi 3:10
The storehouse in the Old Testament refers to the local church in the New Testament.
I get to show that God is first place in my life.
God doesn’t want your leftovers. When you give first, you know you’re putting Him first and your priorities are straight, so you can enjoy what you have left.
“The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God in first place in your life.” Deuteronomy 14:23 (TLB)
To find out what’s most important in your life, look at what you do with your time and your money.
The Principle of the First:
Whatever area in your life you put God first in, God will put all the other pieces of that area in order. Where you choose to not put God first in your life, those areas will never be in order.
I get to say thanks to God.
When I give, it helps me grow in gratitude. It’s a tangible way of saying “THANK YOU!” to God for giving me my job and my health.
Always remember that it is the Lord your God who gives you the ability to produce wealth.” Deuteronomy 8:18
“How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me?” Psalm 116:12
He’s given me so much, it would take everything I have and more to ever repay God’s goodness to me.
I get to grow in my faith.
God uses our finances to grow our faith.
“‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty,’ and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.'” Malachi 3:10b
This is the only place in the Bible where God says it’s okay to test Him.
God can I can do far more with 90% than I can do by myself on 100%
We give to God because He gave first! He did this first. That’s what He did with His Son Jesus!
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
God brought Jesus to us so Jesus could bring us to God.
The 90-Day Tithe Challenge
You can make this commitment to bring the first and the best, the full 10% tithe, for the next 90 days to the local church and you will see that God is so faithful. He will bless your life in ways that you can’t imagine!