Some of the greatest privileges of the Christian life are presenting our tithes, giving our offerings, and the stewardship of the resources that God has entrusted to each of us.  The Bible gives us direction regarding tithes, offerings, and stewardship.  It defines each and shows how each is distinctly different from the other.  It explains the purpose for each and guides us on how we should direct our tithes and offerings.  The Bible also tells us how we should steward (manage) that which God has entrusted to us.

A TITHE:

…is literally ten percent of everything in your possession.  God gave the commandment to Moses on Mount Sinai that a tithe of everything from the land belongs to the Lord (Leviticus 27:30-34).  Thus, a tithe is that portion of what you possess that belongs to God.  Abraham practiced tithing 400 years before Moses received God’s command.  Jesus, when asked if the tithe commandment still applied, confirmed that it did in Matthew 23:23.

AN OFFERING:

…is a voluntary gift to the Lord of that part which you are free to spend.  Reference is made in both the Old Testament (Exodus 36:3-7, Ezra 1:4, and Malachi 3:6-9 to cite three) and New Testament (Acts 2:44-47, Acts 4:32-33, and 2 Corinthians 9:8-11 to cite three) to offerings being both distinct from, and in addition to, tithes.

STEWARDSHIP:

…describes the way in which you manage the part of God’s possession that He has delegated to you to spend.  The entire 16th chapter of the gospel according to Luke is devoted to the principles of good stewardship.  Paul wrote to Timothy, “. . . and ask them (the believers in Ephesus) to be generous and willing to share.  In this way, they will lay up treasures for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1Timothy 6:18-19)

Key to both our theology and our philosophy at Agapé Christian Church is that giving back to God what is rightfully His is an honor and a blessing and a form or worship.  We believe that God abundantly blesses those who obey Him, and giving our tithes and offerings is a form of obedience.  Therefore, we believe that our giving should be generous and sacrificial.  We believe that giving is an act of cheerful worship, not a response to a law.

Some have asked, “What are we supposed to do with our tithes and offerings?” The Bible provides the answer.  The purposes of the tithe are to support the work of the Lord, to care for the needs of the poor, and to act as a constant reminder that all we have belongs to God.  God said through Malachi, 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 you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:10-12)

Others have queried, “Why should the church receive the tithes and offerings on behalf of God?”  Again, the Bible provides the answer.  Near the end of Paul’s life, churches such as Ephesus had been established for many years.  The time had come for a more formal organization and for instructions governing appropriate and inappropriate behavior of a church and its members.  Some early church members had been taking advantage of others charity, others had resorted to quarreling, and still others had begun to believe godless myths and old wives’ tales.

Paul gave Timothy instructions for choosing overseers and deacons to take care of God’s church.  They were to be believers, above reproach, who have demonstrated good judgment, exercised personal discipline and held to their faith with a clear conscience.  They were to first be tested and proven to be trustworthy in everything. (1Timothy 3:1-15)

Our church is not a building or a location or a tangible structure;  it is the collection of its people.  Not so different from the early church in Ephesus, our members have elected Biblically qualified elders and deacons to oversee the collection of tithes and offerings and to handle the appropriate distribution of them, in accordance with God’s expressed desires.  Not so different from Timothy, our leaders are instructed to command and teach the members of the church.  Godly men and women have been selected by the body to prayerfully and reverently carry out these awesome responsibilities.

The options and methods for giving that are presented as you explore the giving links are designed to make the process of giving easier for you and more consistent with how you handle your other transactions.  No method or option is better than another.  Technology, being what it is, has changed the landscape of transaction processing, and for each option, there is a group of members who would like the capability of using it.  The process is secondary.

The reason, to give happily to those in need and to always be ready to share whatever God has given you is the primary objective, for, By doing this, you will be storing up real treasure for yourselves in heaven – it is the only safe investment for eternity.  (1Timothy 6:18-19)

If you have any questions about the information on this page, please talk to Pastor Roger Monsma for help.

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