Read: Luke 6:38 |
John understood the Pastor’s teachings on financial giving, but he had trust issues. He told his Pastor, “I don’t see how I can give ten percent to the church, when I can’t even keep on top of our bills.”
The pastor replied, “John, if I promise to make up the difference in your bills if you should fall short, do you think you could try giving ten percent for just one month?”
John thought about it for a moment and then replied, “Sure, if you promise to make up any shortage, I will try giving ten percent for one month.”
“What do you think of that?” mused the pastor. “You say you’d be willing to trust a mere man like me, who possesses so little materially, but you couldn’t trust your Heavenly Father, who owns the whole universe!” John began giving regularly off the top each month, and God always met his needs. [Author, Unknown]
Let us examine the reasoning of believers who are afraid to trust God by giving a consistent offering. (Luke 6:38; I Corinthians 16:2)
A believer having this opinion, might sound like this ….
I have faith in God. I trusted him to help me find my spouse, my job and solve problems in my life. But, I’m just not there yet when it comes to giving back to God more than what “I” think I can afford.
Someone else might say, I am practical about my faith. I am a realist. I do not see how my family and I can make ends meet if I gave anymore! Shucks, if I gave more then I couldn’t give cheerfully. [2 Corinthians 9:7]
Another person might say, when I hear a good sermon on giving, my faith swells and I might put more in the plate that day. But by the next week, when I see “Mr. Bill” and his siblings – for my gas, electric, car note bill – in my mailbox, the reality of my situation overshadows my faith.
Faith is a noun and a verb.
In the NT, the Greek word “pistis” is used as a noun to mean “faith or belief”. The word “pisteuo” is used as verb for “by faith”. Faith is a noun in terms of what we believe and should believe. Faith is a verb in terms of exercising our trust and following God’s commands.
For example, in Mark 10:46-52 there was blind man sitting by the road. He heard that Jesus was coming. He had faith that Jesus could heal him. By his faith, he acted on his belief and called the Masters name. He was healed, by acting on his faith.
Our challenge is growing our faith from a noun to a verb. When, by faith, we take steps to trust and acknowledge God – He will hold us up. The Bible is full of examples. Peter, by faith walked towards Jesus on the water. Yet Peter began to sink when he became double-minded after the stormy surroundings caused him to take his eyes off of God. [Matthew 14:22-33]
Combining these two examples we learn that by faith we should take the first step to follow God. By faith, we should learn to ignore the storms of confusion that causes us to doubt God with our finances and thus tune Him out. If we tune him out, we develop a spiritual pebble in our shoe. This pebble will affect our daily walk with God since we cannot or will not follow God wherever He leads. Satan will do all he can to grow the pebble to a stumbling stone and more.
When we first got married, Jean did not know how to swim. She was afraid of the water and had trust issues when near a pool or lake.
She decided to take classes from a trusted instructor. By faith, she acted on their instructions and began to swim.
In our lives, each believer has to pray for God to come beside them when they have trust issues. By faith, muster up the determination to act on the instruction in His Word to begin giving an offering. Dare to test God’s promise, he will not let you sink.
- I don’t believe the Tithe is Biblical for the New Testament Church
- I’m afraid to trust God with my offering
- I don’t know where the money is going
- I don’t agree with where the money is going
- I don’t trust the Preacher
- I think the Church is always begging for money
- I give elsewhere
- I give when I want to give
- I only have a little to give
- I don’t have anything to give
1. Discover –
A. Has the depth of your faith in God stayed the same over time or has it grown? What caused it to grow?
B. Do you trust God when He prompts you to give your time, talent or treasure? Or, do you hold back some?
2. Develop –
A. When you act on your faith, what is the usual result?
B. When you do not act on your faith? How does it feel? Does the Holy Spirit trouble you or leave you alone?
3. Demonstrate –
A. What in your life demonstrates that you live “by faith”?
B. Does knowing that we are promised that when we practice faith giving, it is seen by our heavenly Father who rewards us accordingly impact your behavior? [Matthew.6:4]