July 1, 2019 by maryruwe
There are several things everyone needs in life to survive, and finances is one of them. Some people may come up with something else they think is more important, but let’s face the truth here; everyone needs some kind of money or way of paying bills. We work jobs to earn the money needed to pay for clothing, food, shelter, and other stuff we just like. We study hard to learn and prepare for a good paying job so we can have a better life for ourselves and our family. Nothing wrong with that. All through the Bible we can find where God has supernatural principles that help us succeed. I’m sharing two of His principles.
Now obviously most of us realize that good success isn’t just about how much money we make, but also our attitude is important. How we budget our money actually shows where our heart is in connection to money. There are people who think money is evil but that can’t possibly be true because money in and of itself has no life in it. There could be a million dollars on a table and it wouldn’t do anything evil, nor would it do anything good either. The value and principle that makes money either bad or good is totally dependent on how the person manages and uses it. It’s the love of money that is the problem, not the amount of money. (1 Timothy 6:10)
God gives us instructions in His Word on how to prosper.
The first instruction is to keep (obey) His Word.
Deuteronomy 29:9 instructs us to, “keep therefore the words of this covenant, and do them, that you may prosper in all that you do”. Part of gaining prosperity is in the “all that you do”, which includes “how” we work and our attitude toward our employer and those we work with. And, of course, it includes how we treat our family and friends as well. It’s all inclusive in “all that we do”. We cannot be unkind to people and expect God to bless the work of our hands. Godly prosperity is anchored to the condition of our heart as well as to what we do.
The second area has to do with the giving of our tithes and offerings.
Some people may not want to consider these two areas but according to the Bible they are foundational to prosperity. The first part of Malachi 3:10 tells us what our part is; and that’s to bring all the tithes (the tenth of our income) into the storehouse which is the church, so the church has finances to function, like paying its bills, teaching God’s Word, and helping those in need of help. The storehouse in Bible times was the actual physical place where God’s people brought their goods until there was need (traveling prophets, the poor etc.). The second part of that same verse tells us what God does for us; He opens the windows of heaven and pours out blessings for us.
Another Scripture with instruction in giving is Proverbs 3:9-10, which tells us to “honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase”. The firstfruits means our tithe is based on the gross amount of what we have earned from working, or selling our house, or even an inheritance. The reason is so shall our barns be filled with plenty and presses shall burst out with new wine. In today’s language this simply means our bank accounts or paychecks…etc.
As mentioned, the tithe is a tenth, a set amount that’s figured on how much is earned. However, offerings are not considered a tithe; they are in addition to the tithe, and can be any amount that a person decides to give; unless of course, God happens to give you a specific amount for that particular offering.
On a personal note, my husband and I have a budget that includes certain amount for each category, such as:
tithe, offerings; automobile (divided into gasoline, maintenance, insurance, and if the car(s) have a loan); clothing, groceries, housing (cable, utilities, cell phones, insurance, etc.); real estate taxes, HOA fees, medical, crafts for me, tools for him, and savings. recreation/vacation.
Some of you might have to add childcare, school lunches, etc. to your budget.
When setting up our budget I also figure the “absolute” items first, which are the tithe (figured from the salary earned); the auto, housing, real estate, HOA fees, of course are based on the amounted needed for them. The amount for “variables” items like offerings, clothing, vacation etc. are based on what we have purposed.
The point I want to make is that I learned a long time to plan for the offerings. If you don’t plan and save something then you won’t have it to give when a special offering is taken at church for a special speaker, an event, the building fund, or to give to a missionary or other ministry.
The amount we started with years ago was small and may even seemed very insignificant to those who had more to give, but with our commitment and faithfulness to be givers into the Kingdom of God, He has blessed us.
Just another side note that may help you: as our salaries increased over the years, and then of course the tithes amount increase, we also increased the amount we put into the ministry-offerings category. As the ministry-offering category grew, we added new ministries or missionaries to our monthly giving, or increased the amount to those we were already supporting.
Some people are very faithful to pay/give their tithe amount – somewhere, but if they are not giving it to the Church they attend, then according to Malachi 3:8, they are robbing God. That same verse says that not giving offerings is also robbing God. Offerings can also be given to the Church but should not be given from the tithe amount. Offerings can also be given to missionary organizations, or ministries that traveling preaching and teaching the Word of God. Let me say that you will be blessed to expound your financial giving. We can’t out give God.
Luke 6:38, give, and it shall be given to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over….