2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”(NIV)
Let me tell you a story about my friends, John & Mary. They never wanted to admit it but for most of their marriage they didn’t tithe regularly. They grew up in church, heard all the sermons about tithing, and even knew what the Bible had to say about money. They had all the head knowledge but never really participated.
When John & Mary decided to become debt free, part of their process was to recognize their need to surrender. They surrendered their mistakes, their marriage, and their money to God. They humbled themselves, confessed their pride, and asked God for help. Surrendering control of their money was a hard but important step to take, and they knew that giving to God was part of the equation.
During this time, John & Mary finally admitted out loud what they had always been convicted of in their hearts. When it came down to it, they didn’t trust that God was really going to take care of them. They learned that giving is an expression of love and worship, but their fear outweighed their love.
Even so, John & Mary were determined to start. It wasn’t easy. They argued with God about giving Him money that He didn’t really need when they could have used that money to pay off debt. Little by little, they began giving to their church. At that time, it wasn’t a full 10% of their paycheck, but it was something, and they began to develop the habit of giving on a regular basis and then increased it to a full tithe. And then as they were obedient God gave them revelation to give an offering, which was above and beyond their tithe. They understood that giving God 10% of their income had nothing to do with whether they needed the money to pay bills, or whether it was an old covenant command that Jesus came to fulfill. It wasn’t done out of guilt or even something that would bring them unlimited financial blessings. Tithing had everything to do with love and obedience and then the revelation to give an offering came from an overflow of God’s richness and blessing.
Loving God means obeying God. Giving is an expression of our love. When we give God the first of what shows up in our checking account we acknowledge that He loved us first. We worship Him with our gift because God gave us the ultimate gift: Jesus. We, like God who sacrificed His Son, give to demonstrate our love.
Over the past 3 days we’ve been praying & fasting and asking the question “What if everyone…?” What if everyone fasted, prayed and believed? What could God do? What would happen if all the John & Mary’s at C3 Church gave out of their love, obedience and revelation…what do you think would happen? I believe with all my heart that God has a big vision for C3 in 2011 and for us to accomplish that big vision EVERYONE needs to give God their first and best.
Malachi 3:10 says, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. 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 there will not be room enough to store it.”
We can’t out give God. He has more than enough to take care of you and His church. I believe that together we can make a difference in the Kingdom of God by giving out of our love, obedience and revelation. Let’s take a step forward by faith to do what is needed so God may work in us and through us to complete His vision for C3 Church in 2011.
As we take time to celebrate what God has done over the past 12 years let me encourage you to sign up to be a Kingdom Builder. A Kingdom Builder is someone who is committed to giving not only their tithe but also an offering above and beyond. November 14th is our Commitment Sunday so let me encourage you to fill out your commitment card and bring it with you that Sunday morning. And then on November 21st we will come together and believe God for a SUPERNATURAL Offering.
Let’s be a church where EVERYONE fasts, prays, believes and gives so the Kingdom of God may be built up and lives will be changed for all eternity!
Written by: Chris Pipes