CHEERFUL GIVING METHOD: THE 4-AREAS OF CHEERFUL GIVING
Series: The Methods for Ekklesia Growth
Title: Part 3: Cheerful Giving Method: The 4-Areas of Cheerful Giving
Speaker: Dr. Benny M. Abante, Jr.
Passage: Acts 20:35; 2 Corinthians 9:7
Service: New Life Bible Class
Date: December 10, 2015
THE METHODS FOR EKKLESIA GROWTH
LESSON NO. 47 CHEERFUL GIVING METHOD: THE 4-AREAS OF CHEERFUL GIV
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly,
or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7
The Bible teaches us the FOUR AREAS of Cheerful Giving where we can all PROVE the sincerity of our love toward God, EXPRESS our faith in full confidence and reliance upon Him and SHOW what kind of givers we truly are before God and men. These are the: Tithes, Increase, Firstfruits and Sacrificial Offerings of which each one corresponds to God’s Enabling, Blessings and Provisions.
A. TITHES ( Mal. 3:9-10; Mark 12:41-44; Heb. 7:6-8 ).
1. Tithe is the tenth part ( 10% ) of all our income and resources that we give back unto the Lord. God has commanded that it should be brought [offered] into His storehouse [ekklesia] to provide for all the needs of His house and servants ( Lev. 27:30) . The faithful and regular giving of it pleases God ( 1 Cor. 16:2 ) .
2. Tithe was a legal requirement of giving during the Old Testament times. God declares that all tithes belong solely to Him and He treats them to be holy ( Mal. 3:9- 10 ) . Those who deliberately refused and neglected to give their tithes were called ‘robbers’ by God Himself.
3. Tithe was never time-bound as shown in the life of Abraham (Gen. 14:17-20) . Tithing existed already even before the institution of the Mosaic Law. We have the Bible showing us Abraham giving his tithes as a token of his great gratitude toward God who delivered him from his enemies and showed him great mercy and favor. It is a type of giving God has designed to be honored and observed by His own people of all generations.
4. Tithe is the minimum standard of giving in the New Testament ( Heb. 7:6-8 ) . The author of the Hebrew book recognized and underscored the importance and relevance of tithes giving even during the advent of the New Testament ekklesias. The first century believers have practiced the giving of it and set it to be the minimum standard of giving.
5. Tithe giving is the Starting Point of Blessing ( Heb. 7:6; Mal. 3:10 ). When you give your tithes first and prove God through it, then His blessings will flow upon you and through you. You will lead not only a blessed life but an approved life as well before God and men. God promised that He will honor those who honor Him through their life and the giving of their substances.
B. INCREASE ( 2 Chron. 31:5; Phil 4:15-19; Matt. 9:29 ). This form of biblical giving speaks literally of our “produce,” “gain or profit” from all our income and resources that God has commanded us to give not out of obligation but from loving and obedient hearts.
1. Increase is the Starting Point of Giving ( 2 Chron. 31:5 ). While tithing is obedience to the law, increase is where we begin to graciously, liberally and generously give our substances to God. It is where we truly learn what it is to give under the Grace of Giving.
2. Spiritually speaking, Increase is giving above our tithes and we give it according to our Faith ( Matt. 9:29 ). We trust God to be the main source of all our abilities and resources and so if we ask Him to make us able to offer and give Him our increase, then according to our faith, He will do it.
3. Figuratively speaking, Increase offerings serve as our Missions, Freewill and other forms of giving or offerings today (Phil. 4:15-19). These offerings are carefully designated, managed and used to support and sustain the various needs of the Gospel, the daily operations of our ekklesia and the financial requirements of all our ministries here and abroad. Get challenged by this—every time you give your increase offerings, you give birth to more mission works not only here in our country but also in different parts of the world. You just do not know how far the Gospel can go because of your faithful and generous giving.
C. FIRSTFRUITS (Prov. 3:9-10; Deut. 18:4). According to the New Unger Bible Dictionary, “Firstfruits came from the Greek word ‘aparche’ which means, the ‘chief’ or ‘principal part’ (Neh.10:35). The Old Testament law nowhere specified the amount that was to be given in the form of firstfruits, but left it to each individual’s discretion; only it provided the choicest portions were always to be offered (Num.8:1). Accordingly, in the time of Hezekiah, soil, wine, oil, honey and the whole produce of the land were offered (2 Chron. 31:5).”
1. Firstfruits just like the other 3 areas of cheerful giving is our thanksgiving offering to God. It comes also with God’s promise of abundant blessings and rich provisions (Deut. 18:1-25; Prov. 3:9-10; 1 Cor. 16:1-2).
2. Through Firstfruits, God is truly honored (Prov. 3:9- 10).
2.1. “Honor the Lord with thy substance” (Prov. 3:9a). The word ‘substance’ here speaks of our material resources and blessings that God has commanded us to give as our gifts and offerings to Him. The Bible says we give Him honor with our substance.
2.2. “And with the firstfruits of all thine increase” (Prov. 3:9b). God makes it clear that we should honor Him through the giving of our firstfruits. This offering brings Him great pleasure and this causes Him to greatly bless our lives and prosper His work.
(to be concluded next week, FF & Sacrificial Giving)
-BMA’s Messages 12.13.15