Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I'm asked every now and then, "Don't you hate preaching those messages on tithing?" Actually I enjoy them. Why? Because I'm preaching straight from God's Word. And money is a subject that is treated all through the Scriptures. In fairness, if I preach proportionately, I should be doing it more than once a year.

Yes, once a year I take the subject of money and give and give it a full force LeBron dunk. I knew it would be different this year because of the economy. But the Macedonian Christians provided us with an excellent example of sacrificial giving in a difficult economy.

Yes, I got a snide comment or two and one long tirade, but actually it was moving to read the responses people gave me personally and on the connection cards. Several requested prayer that they would be more obedient. Some committed to begin tithing. One family said they would start with 5% and move toward the tithe. Others asked for prayer regarding difficult job situations and financial stress. I am praying for families in our church.

Another reason I enjoy preaching on tithing is that I know what God does when people step out in faith and make that commitment. After these messages I get one story of victory after another from our people. I heard two powerful stories Sunday morning between the services. God always delivers more than we ever expect.

But what about the other 90%? With my 10 one-dollar-bill illustration, in no way did I suggest that you set aside one dollar, save one dollar, and then use the rest however you see fit. No, the Bible teaches that we are to honor God with all our money (Prov. 3:9-10--go read it!).

If I loaned you my car and you wrecked it, I don't think you would come up to me and say, "What's the big deal? I was a good steward of 10 percent of your car. It's only 90% damaged." All our money belongs to God. He owns it all. Everything we have is on loan from Him. Certainly we can't tell God, "I've given you 10%. You said the rest is mine." No, no, no. We should be good stewards of all 100%. the way. I've been listening to some recent sermons by Andy Stanley. He recently finished a five-part series on guess what? Money. I guess my one Sunday a year is not too bad after all.

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