Deut 16:16 Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed.
When we give we are worshiping, saying with our gifts that God is worthy of these things that we give. When we give we celebrate God and the things that he has given to us. When we give we surrender to God by stating that we are fully trusting in him for provision for our lives.
2. We are foolish to hold on to things with a clinched hand, because there is nothing on this planet that does not belong to God and that he could not reclaim at any time.
1 Ch 29:14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.
Job 41:11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
3. When we give to God by giving to the care the Church, our gifts are “a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”
Php 4:18 I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.
What is a steward?
“A steward is a person who by God’s grace belongs to God. And, because they belong to God, they recognize that ultimately everything they are and have belongs to God and has been given to them as a gift. Therefore, they then seek to both enjoy the gifts God has given them, as well as invest those gifts in others and the future by distributing them wisely. This includes everything from time, money, skills, etc.” -Darrin Patrick
Old Testament giving regulations:
- 10% went to fund the ministry of the priests. (Numbers 18:24-26)
- 10% went to fund festivals and celebrations. Festivals we yearly celebrations and worship meetings designed to celebrate to provision of God. They were mostly associated with feasting on God’s provision of bounty. They were not too dissimilar to our cultures view of Thanksgiving. (Deut 12:10-11, 12:17-18, 14:22-27)
- 3.3% went to help the poor. (Deut 14:28-29)
- Occasional additional tithes as needs arose and God moved people to give more. (Exodus 25:1-2, 36:2-7)
Additional OT scripture related to giving:
- Mal 3:8-10 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.
- Pro 11:24 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
COMMON QUESTIONS REGARDING GIVING
1. What should I do if I cannot afford to give?
The church is here to help you in situations where you have a need that has or is causing you strain (injury, single parent, difficult circumstance, etc).
- 2 Cor 8:1 We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord,
However, it is clear in scripture that how you spend your money shows the condition of your heart. So a better question would be, “Can I afford not to give?”
- Mark 12:41-44 And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. 42 And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. 43 And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. 44 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
- Mt 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
- 2Co 9:6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
2. How much should I give?
This is a matter for you to genuinely take to God. Pray and ask God to move in your Spirit. Take counsel with your spouse. Seek wisdom from God given leaders in your life, parents, mentors, pastors and others.
We believe that 10% is great place to start. If we truly believe that God is sovereign and is in control of our money and our situations and we truly have surrendered to him and rightly call Jesus our Lord, then circumstances have little to do with what and how often we give.
- Php 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
- 2Co 9:6-8 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
- Luke 12:22-25 And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
3. Is my gift tax deductible?
Yes. If you give in a recordable way via check, online or cash in an envelope marked with your name, date and amount given. We have a deacon who leads in the book keeping areas of our church finances and issues quarterly statements.
4. I can see myself having a problem with consistent giving, will North Church help to keep me accountable?
Yes. We seek to be gospel centered and community driven in all that we do as a church. As such, we want to help you in every area where you feel like you will have a tendency to fall into disobedience. Finances are one area of the life of the church member can fall into disobedience. Our elders, community group leaders and even other church members that you engage life with will be glad to walk in accountability with you in these areas. Approach them via text, email or in person and express to them your desire to have accountability in this area. Another option is to setup recurring giving through our online giving.
5. Should what I give to North Church be affected by what I give to other ministries?
Covenant members of North Church should consider this matter as they seek to Lord in what to give. Our position as elders is that we are called to this expression of the Body of Christ (North Church). Since we are called to this body, we give first to its ministries and needs. As God calls us, we are to give over and above that amount to other ministries. This idea is rooted in the OT patterns of giving expressed above.
See the online giving process here.