*WISDOM FOR TODAY.*
*TITHES AND OFFERING (3)*
Phillipians 4:15 *Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.*
*Insight and Highlight.*
The seed you regularly sow in your local church is proof of your membership.
Tithes, offerings, and First-fruits are all forms of giving.
In our world today, just as your regular deposits to a bank show you have stakes at your bank, so also the seed you regularly sow at your local church earns your status there.
You can not harvest where you do not sow.
Furthermore, in our world, proof that you belong to a country is your financial responsibility. You are known for the taxes, levies, and development contributions you make to your city county and nation at large.
You are not known just because you live in a city, you are also known by proof of your financial responsibilities. It is called proof of residency.
The same applies to the Church.
No matter what assembly of God’s people you attend, the record of what you gave is often the best proof that you attended the church service.
Paul's emphasis to the Phillipians, saying, *"....but ye only."*(Philp 4:15) tells us how personalised giving can be.
A general census is often taken of all who attended but not their individual names, but records of giving are noted for all individuals who gave.
This is biblical.
In Phillippians 4:18, Paul traced a giving to Epaphroditus as a member of the Phillipian church
He said of Epaphroditus *But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.*
In Luke 21:1-4, the giving from the poor widow was traceable to her. One may say her name was not mentioned. It may be right to assume she was the only widow at that service.
If there was any need to mention her name, we can trust the scriptures will reveal it just as Luke recorded the widow of Sarepta in Luke 5:25-26.
Another explanation could be that she was Jesus's main attention just as Elias was not sent to any other widows except *....Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.*
In 1 Cor 16:2, a special mention of the collection from the saints in the churches of Galatia was made.
Paul exhorted in 1 Cor 16:2 *Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.*
This was concerning the saints in Galatia. He says in 1 Cor 16:1 *....concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.*
In Phillipians 4:17, Paul says what each person who gives *.....abound in your account...."* Phillipians 4:17.
The early church members who gave were accorded honorable mention.
Their giving not only impacted the church positively, but it equally solidified coexistence among them.
Acts 4:32-37 *.....they had all things common.*, Acts 4: 32-37.
It was proof that *....the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul:...*, in the local church, Acts 4:32.
This teaches us that giving is a gospel that brings together a common vision to build a church family.
Notable amongst them was the special mention of *......Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus,* Acts 4:36.
Faithfulness with tithes, offerings, etc. is also proof of commitment and love for Christ and your local church.
There are notable people in the scriptures that their giving was recorded as proof of their commitment. For example, the woman with the Alabaster. No one can do what she did except he/she is a giver, Matt 26: 7- 13.
When God told Moses to tell the children of Israel to give, He could not tell any other other than the Israelites because He chose Israel as His own Israel. This tells you that being asked to give is not a common invitation but peculiar to the chosen ones and though it may call for the attention of others, only the chosen are most expected to respond to the call.
While Moses knew he was accountable to God, and also knew when to ask the people to give or not, he also knew God, Himself could call and demand for giving , Exd 25:1-2, 36:3-6.
People who give do not grumble or make offenses.
These people give more that they are called to give, and so did the Israelites in Moses' days.
These people give more than they could receive from their local churches, and they do not breathe down the necks of their church leaders on how the money is spent.
Your contribution in form tithes and other offerings can single you out of thousands of attendees at a church gathering. It is one of the ways you are most identified as one who cared and came.
It will not only prove you came and that you are caring but will also prove you are committed.
When you give your local church, your gift can make a way for you.
*Call to Word action.*
Proverbs 18:16 *A man's gift maketh room for him, and bringeth him before great men.*
*The Christian clarion duty.*
Pay your tithes and offerings, etc. It is not just proof of your commitment to Christ, but it is also proof that you belong to your local church, and Heaven can trace you to the fellowship.
Lord, help me to empower my local church with the power of giving, in Jesus name.
Good morning, all, and be blessed as you come into His presence today.
God bless you.