Volume. XXIV, No. 7
Sunday, 16 August 2009


Christians' Giving


The Bible tells us God is the rightful owner of everything in Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the LORD\'S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.”

We are only stewards or caretakers of God’s world, responsible to do with it what He wants done.

Biblical stewardship includes many aspects of our life: our time, our labour, our talents and our wealth. But of all the various aspects of stewardship, the Bible frequently talks about financial generosity as the one most representative of a person’s heart.

When we think of generosity, we often look at the size of the gift or the nobility of the cause. But our Lord Jesus measured generosity by a different standard; the condition of the giver’s heart. Matthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

The Bible gives a number of accounts which demonstrate why Christians should give generously.

Galatians 6:6-10 says, “Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.  Be not deceived;  God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.”

Here, Paul provided guidelines that apply to the use of our money. We are to realize that if we are self-serving we will reap a harvest which will pass away when we die. But if we devote our lives to do good, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, we will reap an eternal harvest (v.7-8). Moreover, we are to persist in “doing good” no matter how little the present dividends, knowing that the Lord will keep His Word (v.9). So, when God opens the door for us to “do good to all” (v.10), whether to fellow believers or to those unbelievers, let us do it cheerfully. It is the Christian thing to do, not only because our compassionate action may cause unbelievers to be more receptive to the gospel, but also because God rewards generosity.

Paul also advised Timothy to encourage the wealthy in his congregation in Ephesus to display generosity in 1Timothy 6:17-18 saying, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;”

Timothy ministered in the prosperous city of Ephesus, where certain members of the church were wealthy. Some of these people did not understand their responsibility to the Kingdom of God. So, Paul asked Timothy to remind them that having great wealth carried great responsibility. That included being humble, finding their security in God not in riches, and using their money to do good. They had to learn to do good and be ready to give and willing to share.

Tithing is one aspect of the financial generosity. To understand tithing, we should first define what we mean by the word “tithe”. According to Strong’s Dictionary “tithe” literally mean “tenth”, so the basic meaning of tithing involves giving 10% of something. Therefore, if we choose to give 10% of our “paycheck” to our church, then we have given a “tithe” according to the most basic definition of that word.

There are many passages in the Old Testament that tell us about tithing.

In Genesis 14:18-20, we read, “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.”

Here, the tithe was first mentioned in the Scripture when Abram (Abram’s name was changed to Abraham in Genesis 17:5) tithed to a priest-king named Melchizedek. Since Abraham is our spiritual “father” (Romans 4:9-17), and since he paid a tithe, it seems to imply that Christians should pay tithes as well.

Jacob vowed to give a tenth, saying in Genesis 28:22 that, “And this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God\'s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”

In general, the subject of giving tithes and offerings is covered in Malachi 3:8-10,   “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

Based on the above passage, we are robbing God and placing ourselves under a curse when we don’t pay our tithes and offerings, and that we are commanded to bring all of our tithes into “the storehouse of God”. God tells us to “test’ Him in the matter of tithing, and that God will open up the windows of heaven and pour out abundant blessings on us.

Tithing is a very sensitive issue. Questions are often being raised as to whether Christians under grace in the New Testament are obligated to tithe as the Jews under the law had to tithe in the Old Testament. Although there are no defining answers in the New Testament to validate such teaching, the Bible does encourage Christians to tithe.

So giving is not only a privilege for us as Christians, but it is an exciting opportunity for us to lay up treasure that will last for all eternity. At the heart of all Christian giving is the acknowledgement that God is the Owner and the Giver of all things, and what we give back to God is only a part of what He has given to us in the first place. Everything we Christians have belongs to God and no one has anything that he had not first received from God.

We praise and thank God for His goodness and graciousness to Hope B-P Church for the past 23 years. We are very blessed that the Lord has provided finance for us to purchase the Stone Mansion and all our needs for the maintenance and up keeping of this place through the giving, generosity, support, time, talents and labours of the members and congregation of this Church and our sister churches in Australia and Singapore. We ask the Lord for continued blessings upon the members and congregation of this church and our sister churches.

We thank you, members and congregation, for your love for Hope B-P Church. Your generous giving has enhanced us to make improvements to this place and make it a better and comfortable environment for us to worship God and fellowship with one another.

Praise God for the generous hearts of the members and the congregation that we are able to install two new air-conditioning systems in the sanctuary, to renovate one of the rooms as the extended sanctuary, to refurbish the kitchen with new floor and wall tiles, a dish washer with new cleaning facilities and new hot water system, to install new water tanks, to install intercom and recording systems for our worship service, an to install the alarm system in the church for security. These are some of the improvements we have recently done to the Stone Mansion.

However, the Stone Mansion is now pretty old and to enable this place of worship to continue its ministries, for God’s Name to be glorified, and for this house to be here for us and others to worship, constant repairs and maintenance of the building are imminent. We know that paying for the expenses of maintenance of the Stone Mansion and doing God’s work involves financial costs. Therefore, it is our prayer that we as Church and congregation members will continue to freely and generously contribute to the good work of Hope B-P Church.

God is the ultimate Giver. He gave His Son, at unbelievable sacrifice, to offer us new life (John 3:16). Our life is God’s saving love in Christ and we give in order to thank and honour God. Therefore, let us give willingly and joyfully from the heart.

It is heartening and encouraging for us to know that “…God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7) and that “… It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35)

Dn. Yaw Chiew Tan


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements

Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Sis Ethel Chung

Christmas Concert 2009 - All are encouraged to participate. If you can participate please see Sis Sally Teng.

Please note: Sunday School Teachers’ Training Course this evening commences at 7:00 pm.

 

Looking Ahead

Annual Congregational Meeting on Saturday, 29 Aug, 7:30 pm. (All members are expected to attend)

Christmas Concert: Sat, 5 Dec 2009

 

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: Dn. Edwin D’Mello (Adl); Dn David Yeo (S’pore/Vientiane); Bro Christanto Budiman (India); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong (Adl); Bros Raphael Ng (Pt Aug/Adl), Joseph Selvanayagam (Syd/Adl), & Jason Tan (Adl/Kapunda); Sisters Yuet Sum Chai (M’sia) & Magdalene Yu (Adl); & all others who arrived safely at their destinations.

Church activities: BBK Class; Reformed H&A Class; BSAG, Joy & Maranatha Prayer Meeting & Bible Study; Chinese Ministry; Choir Practice; Ladies’ Fellowship Share & Prayer; Sunday School Teachers’ Training; YAF Bible Study.

Daily mercies, protection, and guidance

 

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Rev George & Sis Nan van Buuren; Rev John & Mrs Christine McKenzie; Rev Stephen Khoo, Dr S H Tow, Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Tommy Brooks, Colin Creaser, Makoto Kobayashi, Elton Law, Alan Marion, Len & Richard Pearson, Winston Selvanayagam, Fred Volvricht & Hans Ziegelmann; Mr Swee Liang Ng, Mr Yeom; Grandpa Ki (recovery); Auntie Oei; Sisters Mabella Booth, Nita Chong, Annie D’Mello, Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL); Fiona Paauwe; Margaret, Dianne, & Sarah Pearson; Aranka Rejtoe, Sally Teng, Susan Veradi, Irena Kurek-Braden; Mrs Win Hooper; & others in affliction.

Missions - Cambodia (Pastors & families in remote villages); Hopefuls in S’pore; Teo family (Kuching).

Special Prayer: Bro Surish Dharmalingam - family & ministry in Vientiane (Laos) & Siem Pang (Cambodia).

Sketch n’ Tell Ministry - Pr H S Lim

IBPFM (USA) - For missionaries & funds

Pastor & Sis Ki - ministry in New Life BPC, London.

Pastor Weng & family & ministry

Journey mercies: Dn David Yeo (S’pore/Adl); Bros Christanto Budiman (Adl), Raphael Ng (Pt Aug) & Jason Tan (Kap/Adl); Sisters Marion Chan (Melb/Adl) & Magdalene Yu (S’pore/Shanghai); & others travelling.

Job - Bro Cong Pham; Sisters Marion Chan, Tabitha Heah, Judy Li & Corinne Teng

God’s comfort, strength, guidance & care: Sisters Kathleen Creaser & Margaret Hooper.

Bro Max Opaskiatikul serving the Lord in MV Doulos.

Believers under persecution in Islamic countries

Dn David Yeo - for God’s guidance & protection in  Laos.

Sunday School Teachers’ Training Course –for course attendants.

Believers under persecution in Islamic nations.

Session Meeting this afternoon—God’s guidance & blessing.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063