22. Offerings

In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Mark 12:41-44

Memorise This Verse: Ephesians 4:28 ‘He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something  useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need’

Afterwards Talk About This:  When and why should we give offerings.

Something To Do Before Next Time:  Seek God as to when he next wants you to give an offering.

Written Diploma Work:  Discuss the difference between a tithe and an offering.

Meditate Word By Word On This Verse:  Deuteronomy 15:7

So we have seen previously that the tithe is the amount that the bible would indicate that we as believers are to render to God however, should we work out our tithe down to the last penny, give it and then fold our arms and say that we have done our part?

Well, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament there are references to be open handed and generous. In fact, is it not the case that if we are allowing the love of God to flow out of our lives we will not be able to help ourselves but be stirred to compassion as and when the need arises?

So as well as giving God the tithe it would appear that this should be the minimum and that we should be open and willing to give extra (better know as offerings) as we feel led of Holy Spirit.

For example we have seen several scriptures in the Old Testament that refer to tithing but in addition to these there are further exhortations to not stop at the tithe but to be ready to give extra when necessary.

For example, Deuteronomy 15:7 says, ‘If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hard hearted or tight-fisted toward your poor brother. Rather be open-handed and freely lend him whatever he needs’.

It would appear, that due to vast amounts of needs in the world there isn’t a set amount we should give as our offering but rather we should be available and willing to give when the need arises, and we feel it is our responsibility to meet that need.

This same exhortation to financial openness and generosity is also found in many places in the New Testament as in the case of where to give, there are no hard and fast rules but it simply exhorts us to be open and willing to give where we see a need to do so.

Ephesians 4:28 ‘He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need’

1 Timothy 6:18 ‘Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share’

Romans 12:13 ‘Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality’

Hebrews 13:12 ‘And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased’

Since God has called his people down the ages from all nations and backgrounds and different financial backgrounds to give offerings to different people and projects the bible does not lay down any hard and fast rules about giving offerings over and above the tithe.

Perhaps the only rule is that we have a generous and willing spirit, and are ready and willing for God to use us in this area. If we give our tithe and not one penny more then we have come short of God’s best as we have only given the minimum requirement. As we cheerfully give offerings over and above the tithe we enter into the fullness of God’s best for our lives and we make ourselves a channel of his blessing to many people around.

This need to have a willing and generous and cheerful spirit when it comes to giving offerings is seen in 2 Cor. 9:6 ‘Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver’.

It would appear that as we start to mature in our giving we will move from do so either reluctantly or under compulsion to an area where we cheerfully and joyfully give offerings to the work of God. Stopping at the tithe or reluctantly giving a few small offerings on top shows that we are falling short in this area and are not as excited and expectant about giving as we should be.

So in conclusion in the question of how much to give, the bible leans towards us giving a tithe as the minimum and beyond this to give offerings on top as well. The bible doesn’t give any hard rules as to how much our offerings should be but as we mature in this area of giving we will become joyful and willing and expectant in our giving and hence our offerings will get bigger and bigger.

Moreover, as we mature in the area of giving and offerings, we will start to look for opportunities to give as giving now becomes our joy and heart’s desire. The bigger and more frequent our offerings are, not only will bless more people but we will more blessed ourselves – may God put people and projects our way that we can give offerings to.

A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations

Pray for Chad

7,650,982 people, 55% Muslim – 22.78% Christian

Islam and Christianity increasingly battling for the heart and soul of Chad.

This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.

The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.

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