Monday, May 10, 2010

Giving Seminars

A couple of Sundays ago I had the priviledge of being asked to do a day of seminars at Vad lui Isac church on the subject of "Giving to the Glory of God"
Other churches in the region were also invited and members from Manta and Pascani churches were among those who came about 270 in all.
We did 2 seminars in place of the morning service and then lunch together followed by another 2 seminars in the afternoon.
We looked at what our motivation for all our giving should be from Prov 3:9,10 i.e to honour God - by recognising that all we have comes from Him.
We then looked at how Abraham and Jacob did exactly this - they recognised that victory and the supply for life came from Him and they manifested this recognition by honouring Him in returning a tithe of all they received to God.
Jacob even said "...of all you give me I will give a tenth back to you.." Gen 28:22
What we then discussed was that this tithing had taken place 400 years before the law was given and that in my view God gave the law of tithing to remind the people of Israel what was pleasing to Him since they had got so far away from God by the tienm the law was given that they no longer knew what was pleasing to Him.
Thus tithing far from being a law should be a minimum goal if we want to honour God with our increase.
We looked at how the Bible shows 2 categories of giving to the glory of God. "Tithing" which we defined as "To give back to God a tenth part of your increase into the church, unconditionally as an honouring acknowledgement that all you have comes from God" Prov 3:9,10; Mal 3:8-10
and "Free will offering" which we defined as
" Every other kind of giving to the glory of God that comes from the remaining 90% of your increase or from your wealth"
We looked at some of the different categories of free will offering such as helping poor belivers ( as we see in 2 Cor 8:1-15 ), further giving into the church budget, supporting a ministry in your church, supporting a missionary or missionary organisation, helping the unsaved poor, a church building project etc etc and then we looked at how God teaches to do these things with our free will offerings ( although it is not obligatory ). We then looked at how to be good stewards of the many demands in these areas examening such passages as Math 5:42 in the light of 1 Tim 5:9,10.
There seemed to be a good, positive response to what was taught and Andrei the pastor of the church told me that the giving in the church increased fourfold the following Sunday.
My response;- "Let's see what it's like in a few months"
Pastor Mark

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