P.O. Box 206 302 South Main Street Gainesboro, Tennessee 38562 (931) 268-4771 Office
Gainesboro First UMC
Thursday, July 18, 2019
"A Caring Community of Faith"

Pastor's Desk

   

Pastor Tim Dunavant, Josh, Staci, and Mikayla

 

"Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How are we robbing you?' "In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse--your whole nation--because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. Malachi 3: 8-10

 

 

 

            Did you know that the average Christian gives 2.5% of their annual income to the church? We know that God asks for a tithe, 10% but that’s just a starting place. That’s not even including free will offerings or alms. So why is there such difference between expectation and reality? I believe there are a few reasons.

 

            First, money you give to the church is secret. No one knows about it. It’s between you and God. We don’t mind tipping our server at a restaurant 20% or even more. But that’s out in the open. Often your family or those you’re eating with see your tip. And you have to look your server in the eye. The fact is, people are more willing to give when they think others know about it. That’s why you will often see people in every church that only give when it is a memorial donation and they get attention. The kind of giving God intends is that which brings you no credit. Some of my favorite people are the ones who give and then tell me “don’t tell anyone that I did that.”

 

            But the main reason people don’t give at least 10% is a fear of economic security. How can we trust God with our eternal soul but not trust him with our mortgage? People often figure that if they give 10% to God they will run out of money. But maybe that is why God asks for the first 10%, not the last. He doesn’t say “trust me, you will have 10% left over.” He is saying “watch this! Give me your first 10% and watch what I do! Not only will you not run out, but I will remove from you any fear or worry you have about finances.”

 

            I have some regrets in this life. But I do not regret one single penny that I have given to anyone. I don’t even regret those dollars that were probably misused. God is calling you to test Him in this. And I am encouraging you as well. Do the math. Figure out how much you’re actually giving. How much income do you get per year? How much did you give the church last year? Figure out the percentage. If you are at 10% or above, consider giving another one percent to a local ministry. But if you are not quite at the 10% mark, consider giving 1% more to the church.

 

            Don’t get confused. The church is in a great place financially and we are bringing in what we need to meet our responsibilities and do the work of ministry in this county. Any extra we receive will go straight to ministry. I do not write this for the church’s sake but for yours. Allow God to be Lord of this part of your life too. You have heard the old saying “put your money where your mouth is.” Well, if you say you trust in the Lord with all your heart then try trusting him with your wallet too. If you find that you’re giving 4%, start giving five. It may not be the 10% God has specified, but I believe he will recognize your growth and meet you where you are.