PART 3 - THE ALTERNATIVE TO TITHING

PART 2

WHAT ELSE DO THE SCRIPTURES TEACH ABOUT MONEY?

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NIV)
9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders
10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

Notice how the above two verses include the greedy with the wicked, thieves, slanderers, swindlers, etc. The Bible has much to say about the greedy.

Proverbs 15:27 (NIV)
27A greedy man brings trouble to his family, but he who hates bribes will live.

Proverbs 28:25 (NIV)
25A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the LORD will prosper.

Matthew 23:25 (NIV)
25"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

Luke 12:15 (NIV)
15Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."

Ephesians 5:3 (NIV)
3But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

Colossians 3:5 (NIV)
5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

1 Peter 5:2 (NIV)
2Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;

Those are just some of the verses dealing with greed. Now let's look at a few verses dealing with generosity.

Deuteronomy 15:10 (NIV)
10Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

1 Chronicles 29:14 (NIV)
14"But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

2 Chronicles 31:5 (NIV)
5As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything.

Psalm 37:21-22 (NIV)
21The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously;
22those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be cut off.

Psalm 37:26 (NIV)
26They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed.

Proverbs 11:25 (NIV)
25A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

Proverbs 22:9 (NIV)
9A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.

Acts 10:2 (NIV)
2He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly.

1 Timothy 6:18-19 (NIV)
18Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
19In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

God gave us the Holy Spirit. We should pray and ask the Spirit to guide us in our giving.

WHEN AND HOW SHOULD WE GIVE?

Give in secret, and God will reward you.
Matthew 6:2-4 (NIV)
2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.
3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Give to the one who asks you.
Matthew 5:42 (NIV)
42Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

Help suffering Christians who are poor, sick, or persecuted. This is a test of the genuineness of our faith.
Matthew 25:31-46 (NIV)
31"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory.
32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.
33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.
35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,
36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'
37"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?
38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?
39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
40"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.
42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,
43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'
44"They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?'
45"He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'
46"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Those who have an abundance should share with those who have nothing.
Luke 3:11 (NIV)
11John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."

Give, and it will be given to you.
Luke 6:38 (NIV)
38Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

And the list of verses goes on and on……

Be compassionate to the poor and sick. Luke 16:19-31.
Giving generously to the poor is genuine worship of the Lord. Luke 19:8.
Share everything we have with fellow believers who are in need. Acts 4:32-35.
Help widows and orphans in distress. Acts 6:1; James 1:27.
It is more blessed to give than to receive. Acts 20:35.
Share with God's people who are in need. Rom 12:13.
If your enemy is hungry, feed him. Rom 12:20.
Love must be at the foundation of our giving. 1 Cor 13:3.
Giving is a result of the grace of God. 2 Cor 8:1.
Even if poor, be rich in generosity. 2 Cor 8:2.
Give as much as you are able. 2 Cor 8:3.
Be the first to give. 2 Cor 8:10.
There should be a goal of sharing of burdens between believers. 2 Cor 8:13.

I believe that God is more concerned with how much we keep for ourselves than He is with how much we give. Some will argue that our giving should be more like the "graduated income tax" in that the more money one makes, the higher percentage he or she should give.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS.

We should consider giving a privilege of distributing a part of what God has given to us. Giving shows our appreciation to God for His generosity.

Giving to the local church you attend is a moral obligation. Bills have to be paid, and it is the responsibility of those benefiting to pay their share, according to their means. Therefore, those who are able should pay more to cover the deficit created by those less fortunate. When God blesses with more than we need, God expects us to use the excess to share with others - to bless others.

Should you buy a big-screen television while your neighbors go hungry? You might say, but I worked hard to get that television. If your neighbors are lazy and do not work, let them be hungry, as 2 Thessalonians 3:10 says "If a man will not work, he shall not eat." But if your neighbors are working the best they know how, is it not your responsibility to share your abundance?

I believe when it's all said and done, it comes down to greed verses generosity.

Scripture quotations taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®.
Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society are used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2009, 2012 by Gary J. Arnold. All rights reserved.

Preacher@TithingToday.com