A Pastor's Heart
|Posted on August 17, 2018 at 3:50 PM|
Today as we conclude our series on the Corporate Disciplines, we look at one of the most vital disciplines in the life of every believer. This discipline is a tangible realization about our priorities and about our investment in the kingdom through the local church.
The fifth corporate discipline for us to implement within our day to day lives is the discipline of giving. Giving is more than simply placing a few dollars in the plate as it meanders by in corporate worship. True giving is a discipline that requires personal sacrifice and devotion. Believers are called to set apart a portion of what God has provided them and commit that to the work and ministry of their local church. The result of this giving is a personal stake in the ministry of the local place of worship. You are committed financially and invested in the faithfulness of your church to the work the Lord Jesus has called you into.
In the Old Testament God always claimed a portion of what he placed under man’s authority as his own. In the Garden of Eden he claimed the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Under the Law he claimed ten percent of the first fruits that the harvest produced. In the New Testament, God lays claim to all that the believer is. He has claimed the totality of our lives as his own through the purchasing work of the Lord Jesus Christ. In this claim he has placed the call to fund the work of the church upon his people and we are to offer our finances regularly and faithfully.
The heart and soul of this giving is to set planned giving as your foundation. Whether you give a tithe (10%) of your income or you commit to give a certain dollar amount, this creates the base of your giving discipline. The work of growing your giving then upon your foundation.
Consider this, United Baptist Church presently has 75 adults attending worship regularly. If every adult made the commitment to give whatever they are presently giving plus $20.00 more a month the ministry giving within our church would increase by $18,000. That is $2700.00 more for the cause of global, national, and statewide missions. That is funding for Day at the Park, The Fremont County Fair Outreach, and Halloween Outreach. That is funding for curriculum materials, Bibles, and music. Those are dollars that go throughout Riverton for the spread of the Gospel and around the world making disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is the power of corporate planned giving within the hearts and lives of God’s people.
The third aspect of giving is to set aside a little extra than your planned giving for kingdom purposes. These dollars are for special needs, community concerns, the poor, and those who are less fortunate. Those dollars should not detract from your regular planned giving but instead offer additional help for those unexpected needs that God provides us with the opportunity to meet.
Giving is a discipline and we all must start where we are. If you can’t plan to give $20.00 give $10.00. Plan your giving and set back some money to meet the opportunities that the Lord provides as you give to the corporate work and ministry of the local church. Trust God to provide for your needs as you fulfill your calling to provide for the needs of his church through your planned and faithful giving.
Investment in the work and ministry of the local church pays eternal dividends. Your dollars result in ministry that spreads the Gospel at home and all over the world. Your giving also forces each of us to look at our own personal priorities regarding the kingdom of God and our own personal desire to fulfill our wants. As you practice the discipline of giving, you allow God to bring areas of need into focus and you fund the work of God that is going on in you and through you. Be faithful to the work and be faithful in the discipline of giving.