An Important Message on Biblical Tithing
Dear Redeemer Family:
The Vestry and I had a very productive time during our retreat this past weekend. We are close to approving an operating budget for 2021, but we are still in need of your feedback to move forward. While we could guess at our income level, it would be better if we received input from any members who have not yet submitted a pledge for this year. There are currently more than 40 members who fall into that category.
Why do I ask you for a pledge? In a word: discipleship. While charitable giving is a wonderful discipline, tithing to your church is a different kind of matter. Biblical tithing involves giving to the Lord the first-fruits of your labor, as noted in Proverbs 3. Many of you will have Proverbs 3:5-6 memorized: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” It goes on to say, “Be not wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil” (3:7). And then verses 9-10 declare, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, and with the first-fruits of all your produce. Then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats bursting with wine.” Tithing to the Lord’s work in his Church is not optional for His people, it is expected. Tithing demonstrates your trust in Him, and acknowledges that all things you receive ultimately come from Him. It declares His lordship over your life, your income, and all that you have. I personally have experienced God’s faithfulness in providing for my past tithing, and I know many other Redeemer members have experienced the same.
If you have not yet submitted a pledge, I ask you to say your prayers, reflect on your income, and ask the Lord to guide you in your giving to His church. 10% of your gross income is a common rule-of-thumb for Biblical tithing, but that number should not serve either to scare, shame, or limit you. The right tithe is the one that the Lord has led you to. As He leads, He is faithful to provide. Also, I encourage you to not think of your tithe as a contracted amount. Only the Lord knows the future, so in all things we are challenged to trust Him. If things change, and the Lord leads you to modify your pledge mid-year, simply let the bookkeeper know.
I plan to teach on Biblical tithing on Wednesday evening Feb 24th. The Bible is very vocal on issues of money and giving, and I look forward to doing a “deep dive.” I hope you will plan to attend that zoom gathering on 2/24. We will address many different scriptures from the Old and New Testaments that instruct us on Biblical tithing and hopefully have a testimony or two. Until then please continue to pray for the Lord’s perfect provision through His people for Redeemer.
Following the risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,