Free Will Giving

2 Corinthians 9:7 New International Version (NIV) Vs7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Matthew 5:5 New International Version (NIV) VS5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

 

There are differences between a command and a fundamental principle. Because we are under the new covenant, the only commands we should follow are love God and love others as ourselves.

Matthew 22:36-40 New International Version (NIV)

Vs36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Vs37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Vs38 This is the first and greatest commandment. Vs39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  Vs40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Our money and how it is spent and stewarded reflects our hearts. We are not to love money.

1 Timothy 6:10-16 New International Version (NIV) Vs10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

Final Charge to Timothy

Vs11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Vs12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. Vs13 In the sight of God, who gives life to everything, and of Christ Jesus, who while testifying before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you Vs14 to keep this command without spot or blame until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, Vs15 which God will bring about in his own time—God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, Vs16 who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

Looking back to Old Testament book of Malachi and demanding 10% from your church is a move no pastors should be making, even worse if it’s accompanied by the promise of “payback” from God.

In the end, isn’t it about giving cheerfully according to needs that we see and according to what we can afford to give?

2 Corinthians 8:11-16 New International Version (NIV)

Vs11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. Vs12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. Vs13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. Vs14 At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, Vs15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.”

The Truth that sets us free is that tithing is rooted in the Jewish Law, and most of us Christians are what the Bible calls Gentiles (non-Jews). As Gentiles we were never given the Jewish law. Romans 2:14 New International Version (NIV)

 

14 Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.

Some will note that Abraham offered a tenth to an Old Testament priest Melchizedek before the law.

Therefore they claim that tithing preceded the law and is still mandatory for us today. Should we as Christians emulate Abraham who killed people and stole their belongings and then offered a tenth of his spoils of war to the ancient priest that he honored.

The bible in the last book of the Old Testament speaks to the Jews not to the Gentiles (Christians)

Malachi 3:10 New International Version (NIV) Vs10 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.

Here is the message we need to always remember when giving of our money and most importantly of our time.

Matthew 5:1-11 New International Version (NIV)

Introduction to the Sermon on the Mount

5 Vs1 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, Vs2 and he began to teach them.

The Beatitudes

He said:

Vs3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Vs4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Vs5 Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Vs6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Vs7 Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Vs8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Vs9 Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Vs10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Vs11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Vs12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

Salt and Light

 

13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.

 

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 

He is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything from us (Acts 17:25). This means we can give freely from our hearts and not out of any expectation that we’re going to be paid back. The pleasure we get from giving comes from the act itself, knowing that we are meeting someone’s need and furthering the gospel. That’s the Christian message of freedom in action.

 

Jesus only mention super lightly about tithe BEFORE His death & resurrection aka: before New Testament begins - Hebrews 9:15-18 (New International Version) Vs15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. Vs16 In the case of a will,[a] it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, Vs17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. Vs18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood.