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Newsletter : September 2011

29 Aug

Knowing how the times are, I thought that it was appropriate for me to include a question I recently received because many of us may be struggling with the same issue. Here’s the question:

I have a biblical question about tithing. I’m on disability and on a low limited income. I’m having trouble paying my bills as it is. Does GOD expect me to tithe even with little or no income? Will he understand my situation? Will I still go to heaven if I can’t tithe?

And my response with some alterations:

Salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone so my answer to whether or not you will enter heaven must go directly to that issue alone (Ephesians 2:8-10). If you have repented of your sin and trusted Christ you are saved by God’s free gift of grace. Even so, what I will say is that God does look at the condition of our hearts. If you are genuinely saved, your heart should desire to do everything possible to give freely and fully to the work of Christ’s kingdom. I do not teach that you should give merely a tithe, but rather that you should give sacrificially. Let me explain further.

Think with me about the account of the widow’s offering found in Luke 21:1-4. The widow could not have had much money, in that day only men worked. She obviously had expenses even if she only provided food. As she came to worship the true and living God, she could not imagine coming without a gift to show her faith in Him. Thus she scraped together all that she could and gave. It was only two small coins worth no more than pennies, but Christ said her gift was sacrificial and a mark of faith. Our heart attitude should always be to give to God, not because we must do so to enter into heaven, but because we want everyone to know just how greatly Jesus has blessed us. When we give out of our poverty, it shows our real heart priorities.

Thus, I say this. If you know you are saved by Christ’s gift of grace through your faith, then examine your finances. Cut out anything you can do without. Cut back on what you do need. Do all you can to stay out of debt. Do all these and whatever you can to give, even if it is just a few dollars or cents a week, so that no one will mistake who you trust or how he has blessed us. God Bless!

I encourage you all to consider how you are giving and what that says about you faith in Christ Jesus. Place your trust and hope in Christ’s free gift of grace and give sacrificially this month to 1) make sure our budget need is met for September, 2) make sure that we receive our Janie Chapman State Mission Goal, and 3) make sure our $9,000 budget shortfall is a thing of the past by the month of October.

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