Free to give!

Friday, July 21, 2017

“Every man according as he purposes in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver.” - 2 Corinthians 9:7

God has designed a world of needs, and one way He provides for us is through money. Much is said about money, and one of the most popular bible verses is, “For the love of money is the root of all evil:” (1 Timothy 6:10). Sadly, this “love of money” is behind much of the large religious organizations, just as it was in the days of Jesus.

What will religion do? Religion will take the last penny of a poor widow, and Jesus warns us to “beware” of such religion (Mark 12:38-44). Yes, many innocent people are manipulated in organized religion for their money.

I confess, as a New Covenant believer, that there are times that I take for granted that Christ has set me free from religion. We always need to be reminded of the extent of Jesus Christ’s one sacrifice. Jesus Christ’s death took away all required animal sacrifices, the priesthood, the laws of Moses, as well as the burden of the tithe. The tithe was a ten-percent taxation under the Old Covenant law in order to fund the temple animal sacrificial order until the coming of Jesus Christ. His ultimate sacrifice is the reason why the Lord Jesus never taught on tithing, and why we never find an apostle instructing a New Testament church about tithing. Religion has taken the Old Covenant law of tithing and has mingled it into the New Covenant whereby poisoning the waters of grace. The word “tithe” or “tithes” is used in the New Testament eight times. Other than the book of Hebrews where the great father of the faith, Abraham, was shown to be under the greater one, King Melchisedeck, the tithe is associated with the Pharisees religion. So when Jesus said in John 8:36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” We can take it literally.

Living freely under Christ’s compassionate rule of grace believers are free to love, free to serve, and free to give without a burden. Just as “God so loved the world that He gave,” and just as Jesus freely gave Himself for us, so believers are free to give to God by giving to the church, to the needy, to the orphans, to the widows, and to missionaries with an attitude of gratitude. Obviously God does not need our money, but the LORD is allowing us to enter into the greater blessing, because Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).

Lastly, our freewill giving is not limited to money, because is it a giving of ourselves which includes our time and talents. So be generous and cheerful in your giving remembering the words of Jesus in Matthew 10:8, “freely ye have received, freely give.”

David C. Hale, pastor Email: reasons4believing@gmail.com