I trust you with my soul, and my finances

In Blog, My Year, Weekend Recap by Anthony Knight

Weekend recap-

If you were away from us at The Journey Church this past weekend, here is what you missed:

As we enter our sixth week of our MY Year series we will be preaching over the 12 spiritual formation markers that we want our church to abide by. The sixth spiritual formation we talked about this past weekend was the following:

A kingdom-first kind of generosity with financial resources 

Tithes in the New Testament

There are Christians who believe that the command to tithe is not found in the New Testament. Although there is not a blatant command in the epistles or Gospels, Scripture is very clear that God still commands His children to give to the Lord.

In Matthew 23, Jesus is opposing the Pharisees and religious leaders for their hypocrisy in their relationship with God. Jesus says,”Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others”(Matthew 23:23).

In these verses we see Jesus accusing the religious leaders for only being obedient in their giving while being disobedient in showing justice, mercy, and faithfulness. However, if we pay close attention, Jesus says, “These you ought to have done, (justice, mercy, faithfulness), without neglecting the others, (tithing).” Jesus specifically says, “…without neglecting the others,” which shows us Jesus’ expectation for us to tithe.

Will a man rob God?

It is clear God wants our first fruits. Proverbs 3:9 says,“Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce.”  Since He is gracious enough to give us our lives, our jobs, and our faith, we should have no problem with giving Him our first fruits. We can see all throughout Scripture and all throughout Christians’ lives that this is not so.  In Malachi 3:8-10 God asks a question: “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.”  God answers His own question by stating, “You have robbed me in your tithes and contributions.”

What we have to understand when it comes to giving our money or robbing the Lord is that we do not give because He needs our money – we give because it is a sign of our trust in Him.   

Do you trust Him?

Scripture is very clear that God needs nothing from His creation (Psalms 50:10-20). He is completely independent from His creation and everything that is in this world is already His in the first place (Psalms 24:1). When God asks us to give Him our first fruits, it is because He wants us to trust Him with our money. A major problem throughout the Church is we trust Him with our souls, but we rarely trust Him with our finances. Instead of giving to the Lord what is rightfully His, we hold onto our money to make sure we can take care of our necessities and comforts.  This way of handling finances shows number one: we are more worried about ourselves than living in obedience; number two: we do not trust that the Lord will provide for us.

A kingdom-first kind of generosity with financial resources 

Followers of Jesus should have a kingdom-first attitude about everything, especially when it comes to their finances. Instead of falling into materialism, mismanagement of money, and missions apathy where you have no emotions invested in God’s Church flourishing, Christians should follow this pattern with their finances:

  1. Give
  2. Save
  3. Live

Statistically, only 10-25% of Christians tithe and out of that number the average Christian only tithes 2.5% of their income. Many will make the excuse that they cannot live off of 90% of their earnings. They will say giving this much is not in their budget, but remember – we are all tithing to something. Your money is going somewhere. There are many people who make less than you or who have more bills than you, but still tithe 10% of their earnings. This is because they have dedicated themselves to approach their finances with giving first, then saving, and finally living off the rest. Our trust must be in the Lord, not in ourselves.