At The Light Church we don’t take an offering every week, instead we believe that being generous and giving is so important that we should prioritise it and make it a regular practice rather than just emptying out whatever is left in our pockets.
We also don’t talk about tithing (giving 10% of your income to the church) which was taught in the law in the old Testament because Jesus said that He had not come to do away with the law, but to fulfill it (Matt 5:17). So it was no longer good enough to not hate your enemies, you had to love them! No longer good enough simply to fulfill a set of religious laws, more than that He wanted us to love God with our whole being and our giving should reflect that.
As John Ortberg said “A tithe makes a great floor but a poor ceiling.”
We are called to be generous. When we are generous we reflect God’s character and his overwhelming love plus it’s good for us to give!
Giving helps us to recognise that everything we have comes from Him in the first place. As David says in 1 Chronicles 39:Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.
Giving towards God’s values and prioritises ensures that our hearts belong to God – as Jesus said in Matthew 6 v19 ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’
Giving also is the only way to ensure that we don’t fall into the honey trap of loving money. Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income.Ecclesiastes 5:10-11
Pursuing wealth believing it will make us happy is an empty goal but it’s very alluring, it surrounds us everyday as it’s the world view we live in. Let’s not assume that we are immune. We need to take preventative action. So how do we ensure we don’t fall into the trap?
Paul says: Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds and to be generous and willing to share.1 Timothy 6:18
We are to be generous! We are to be willing to share. Sounds simple yes but life savingly effective. Why? Because when we give to God and to others we are in effect declaring in practical way that money doesn’t control us because we can give it away.