Volume. XX, No. 38
Sunday, 19 March 2006

Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase

“Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase:” (Proverb 3:9)

This principle drives most cultures of the world. People scramble for wealth, often at the price of personal integrity. They want to gain power to live a good life, drive the kind of vehicle they want, and get whatever else they desire.

However, money cannot bring us true and lasting profit, which can be found only by trusting in our Living God. 1 Timothy 6:17 tells us, “Charge them that are rich in the world, that they be not, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy.”

The writer of Ecclesiastes illustrated to us in Chapter 6 the emptiness of a life that has wealth and riches but does not include God. Two men were portrayed. The first had riches, wealth and honour, but he was unhappy and died with no heirs (vv.1-2). The second lived longer and had many children but was also unfulfilled and died unloved (vv.3-6). The writer concluded by saying that it was better not to have lived at all than to be rich and famous but miserable. Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:6 saying "But Godliness with contentment is great gain."

Jesus knew how easily all of us are tempted to become devotees of money and all the things it can buy. He warned us in Mathew 6:24 and said " No man can serve two masters...Ye cannot serve God and mammon".  The Bible records an account of great giving in Mark 12: 43-44. Jesus evaluated a poor widow as she dropped two mites into the temple treasury as a gift of great proportions. He said "...this poor widow hath cast more in, than that all they which have cast into the treasury." (Mk 12:43). The wealthy gave ...of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living." (Mk 12:44). A billionaire whose giving of millions may be of a great magnitude to us but it represents only a fraction of what he is worth.

How much we possess is not as important as our attitude toward our possessions. Our Lord is pleased when giving is not measured by amounts. Our attitude and sacrifice are what He really counts. Like the poor widow, sacrifice is the true measure of giving.

What does the Bible say about tithes?
There are many passages in the Bible that give us the insight about tithing. One such passage is found in Leviticus 27:30 which says ”And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lords: it is holy unto the Lord.”  Another passage is found in Deuteronomy 12:11 which says “ shall ye bring all that I command you; your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and
the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord.”

These verses teach us that the tithe belongs to God and is holy and as Christians we should acknowledge that we are merely stewards of Gods possessions and that we should always be willing to give 100% of that which we steward at any time required by our Lord.

What are the significances of tithing?
Tithing teaches us obedience which is one of the things that God asks of us. When God asks us for something, we should be willing to give it freely and gladly. Obedience opens up opportunities for God to bless us. Just as a responsible parent would not reward a disobedient child, God cannot reward us when we do not obey Him.
We are taught discipline by tithing. Surrendering 10% of our gross income is sometimes difficult because one of the hardest things for most of us to do is give up our money. Doing something difficult routinely takes discipline. When we can be discipline with our money, we have a tremendous advantage. Discipline is an important element of maturity. A person who can self-manage effectively can be trusted with much responsibility. When we honour God with our financial obedience, He will bless us.

Tithing teaches us to put our faith and trust in God. When we willingly surrender a tenth of our income, especially when we believe we can not afford it, we are telling God that we believe God will take care of us and provide for us. God wants us to be able to look beyond our circumstances and rely on Him for our needs. Luke 12:24 reminds us to "consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?"

We tithe because we have a personal financial responsibility to our church, We have our pastor who tends to our needs and the management of our church. Our church facilities also need maintenance and the house keeping is the responsibility of the church members. If you are a part of the church, then you have a responsibility for its upkeep. Your money helps to take care of those who serve you and the facility that houses the church.

God does not want us to give so much for His sake as for our own. He could do all these things on His own without our money but what would we learn? Does a child learn to take care of himself if his parent does everything for him? Of course not. God is our good parent and He works to raise us right so that we can stand on our own feet for Him.

Let us remember the words of our Lord Jesus in Act 20:35. He said "...it is more blessed to give than to receive." The greatest blessing comes to the one who freely gives and expects nothing in return. So, let us hold loosely to what is temporal and tightly to what is eternal.

Dn Yaw Chiew Tan

More Lively Hope



Shorter Catechism Question No.  37: What are the benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification? The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, adoption and sanctification, are, assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, increase of grace, and perseverance therein  to the end.

Please pray for health & God’s healing: Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren, Rev Peter Clements, Rev Edward Paauwe, Rev Timothy Tow, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Winston Selvanayagam, Thomas Tan, John Tann, & Kevin Tye; Sisters Kimmy Chong, Myung Ki, Alice Lee’s father, Gillian Ong’s grandfather, Aranka Rejtoe (Hampstead), Susan Veradi, Giok Yeo’s sister-in-law, Auntie Oei and others afflicted with illness. "Have mercy upon me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord heal me; for my bones are vexed” (Ps 6: 2).

Please pray for – a) Cambodia Missions: Rev & Mrs David Koo & Ministry (Sihanoukville), Bro Hai Seng Lim & Sketch N’ Tell Ministry (Siem Reap); b) Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam; c) Journey Mercies -  Bro Craig & Sis Clara Samuels, Sis Amanda Fu (Adl), Sisters Joyce Gong and Serene Wong (Melb); d) Jobs - Bro Patrick Leong, Charles & Vivien Zhang, & Leo Xeng;

Praise and Thank God for – a) Successful and blessed missions trip to India and Pakistan by Ps Ki; b) BSAG & YAF Bible Study & Prayer Meetings; c) Journey mercies - Ps Ki (Adl); Bros Jemmy Lao, Jonathan Liao (Adl) & Hai Seng Lim (Siem Reap); Sis Nikki Ching (Adl),  Bro Criag and Sis Clara Samuels (Gold Coast) & others who have travelled; d) Session Meeting this afternoon; e) Successful Pharmacy Board Examination - Sis Serene Wong.

Deepest Sympathy & God’s comfort to Auntie Oei, Dn David & Sis Giok Yeo, and Mr Gerard Frederich & family on the recent & sudden death of Mrs Sin Choo Frederich on Sat, 11 March.

Special Items of Prayer: For the LORD to provide $17,625 for Pastor’s car by 31 Mar 06.

Grateful thanks to Ladies’ Fellowship and Sunday School teachers for organising & all those who came for the picnic on Mon, 13 Mar.

Next Quarter (Apr-Jun) Service Roster preparation: Please let Dn Edwin D’Mello know if you are NOT able to serve the LORD in the next quarter.

RPGs for April-June available on the literature table. Donation: $1 per booklet.

Looking Ahead: Easter Family Bible Camp on 14-17 April at Victor Harbour. Speaker: Rev Colin Wong from Life B-P Church, Singapore. Please hand in your camp forms and fees ASAP.



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14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041