Posts Tagged ‘tithe’

The Action of Faith

Posted: October 12, 2011 in Uncategorized
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Giving, including tithing, should first and foremost be an act of worship and thanksgiving, an acknowledgement that it is God who gives us power to get wealth (De 8:18). It also is an act of faith. If there was no God, and if His promises were not true, it would be foolish to give our money away. In fact, if you’re one of those people who says “When I give money, I don’t  expect anything  in return” I say you are foolish. There is just as much a manifestation of a blessing that was already purchased for us, as there is when we lay hands on people according to faith in His Word. If there were no monetary multiplication of our monetary gifts, our resources would diminish, not increase. However, because there is a God who honors faith in His Word, we can actually increase by giving.Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Also:(Pr 3:9-10 and 11:24)(Luke 6:38)(Mark 10:29-30)(Prov 19:17).

Everyone knows Eph 1:3 says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” Now, do those blessings automatically show up in the natural physical realm by themselves? Or, is there a required response of faith on our part to access or cause to manifest these spiritual blessings into the physical realm (so that they can do us any good)? Faith is our positive response to what God has already done for us by grace. Examine the chart below, and notice the Action of Faith.

Scriptural Foundation                                     “Lay hands on sick, and they will recover” 

 Action done in Faith                                 Physically laying on hands

 Result                                                                      Manifestation of healing

  Scriptural Foundation                                    “He cast out the spirits with a word” 

 Action done in Faith                                 Commanding to “Come out! In Jesus’ name!”   

 Result                                                                     Manifestation of deliverance

Scriptural Foundation                                     “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead”   

 Action done in Faith                                  Commanding to “Arise! in Jesus’ name!’ 

 Result                                                                     The dead are raised

Scriptural Foundation                                      John 3:16

Action done in Faith                                  Confess w/mouth + believe w/ heart

Result                                                                       Salvation

Scriptural Foundation                                     “Life + death are in the power of the tongue” 

 Action done in Faith                                  Speaking life/blessings/Amening w/God

Result                                                                       Manifestation of life/blessings

Scriptural Foundation                                      “building yourself up in your most holy faith” 

 Action done in Faith                                  Praying in the Holy Spirit 

Result                                                                        spiritual edification

Scriptural Foundation                                      “if anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask   of God”

 Action done in Faith                                   Asking God

Result                                                                         Wisdom

Scriptural Foundation                                       “Go into all the world…these signs will follow…” 

 Action done in Faith                                   Going and Preaching

Result                                                                         Sick healed, demons go, people saved

Scriptural Foundation                                       “whatever is lovely, pure ,good report..meditate on..”

 Action done in Faith                                    Meditating

Result                                                                         Manifestation of peace

Scriptural Foundation                                        “you shall receive power…shall be witnesses unto Me” 

 Action done in Faith                                    Actually talking to people 

Result                                                                         Connecting people to Jesus

Scriptural Foundation                                        “give and it will be given unto you…”  

Action done in Faith                                      Giving

Result                                                                         Multiplication of gift

 

I doubt anyone who has received the Gospel of Grace would actually believe it was the action of their giving that they were trusting in, instead of the promise of God. Do you say “it’s because I laid hands on so and so that they were healed?” No, you say “by the stripes of Jesus they were healed.” Do you say “I’m blessed because of my giving?” No you say “I have been given all things that pertain to life and Godliness. The act of giving and the act of laying on hands that are done in faith are what appropriates that spiritual blessing into the physical realm.

We are not a Blessed people because we give, but that does not mean there is no blessing attached to giving! We are not healed because we lay hands, but there is a blessing attached to doing so!

We received our salvation by grace through faith, and that’s how we are to walk, and receive all the promises of God: by grace through faith.

There are four things that take place as believers give: (1) the sincerity and proof of love is demonstrated (2 Cor. 8:8, 24); (2) we receive a blessing (Acts 20:35); (3) others’ needs are met (2 Cor. 8:14; 9:12); (4) giving results in thanksgiving and praise unto God (2 Cor. 9:12).

Giving unto the Lord (which involves giving to others-Mt. 25:40; Heb. 6:10) is a spiritual seed  that should not be looked at as throwing something away. It is a spiritual investment that produces in this life as well as the life to come (Mk. 10:30). We will reap if we do not faint (Gal. 6:9).

Several scriptures speak of the harvest that giving brings. Here are just a few. Jesus said to a rich young ruler, “. . .give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven. . .” (Mt. 19:21). “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again” (Prov. 19:17). “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty. The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself” (Prov. 11:24-25).

Most people go through stages of giving similar to stages of growth in training our children. First there is the obedience stage where we train our children to do the right thing just because we told them to. They don’t have the capacity to understand completely, but they need to establish positive patterns even before their reasoning is mature. Likewise, when we first come to the Lord we need to establish this foundation of obedience.Next, a child begins to imitate his parents’ actions. This would be similar to being led by the Holy Spirit in our giving. The Holy Spirit becomes our guide and He wants us to emulate Him. There is great benefit to ourselves and others from being led by the Holy Spirit in our giving. Yet, there is still another level of giving to which Paul refers to in 2 Cor 9:7 “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” The ultimate motivation for giving is to give as we purpose in our heart, as Paul is describing here. This is comparable to a son who is serving, not just out of obedience because he fears punishment, or because he is motivated by the example of his parent (what if the parent isn’t present), but because his heart has been affected to the point that it is his desire to do what’s right. That’s what every parent longs for and that’s what the Lord desires in our giving.

If the only time we give is when the Lord tells us to, that is comparable to a child who only says he loves his father when he is told to do so. Although there is a time when that is proper, it is not the ultimate. There needs to be those times when the child says he loves his father just because that is what is in his heart.It is true that God will tell us to give specific amounts of money at times to help meet the need of someone else or for our own personal benefit. However, it is also appropriate to give just because we want to. Those who only know how to respond to commands or specific leadings of the Holy Spirit in their giving will miss bringing joy to the Lord through their unsolicited, cheerful giving.

**Some content was borrowed/edited from Andrew Wommack


All is well between you and the Lord. That is the essence of the ministry of reconciliation. You have been forgiven – now, receive forgiveness by putting faith in your Savior, Jesus. Now, you are justified before God; blameless and above reproach. That’s good news. Because of Jesus and His finished work, we are heirs to all the promises and have actually already been blessed with all spiritual blessings (Eph 1:3). Wow, it really is finished, which begs the question what is there left to do? Some would say “absolutely nothing! Just rest in the finished work!” ……..Well……. that brings me to this blog entry. I recently visited a church whose pastor told the congregation “It’s not our job to preach Grace to people. Only the Holy Spirit can give them that revelation.” I personally can not separate “grace” from the “gospel”  because it is the gospel. It puts the “good” in “good news.” I could have misunderstood what was being said, but to me he might as well have said, “It’s not our job to preach the gospel – It’s the Holy Spirit’s job.” I am writing this to address a “do little” attitude I am seeing develop in the crowd that’s receiving the True Gospel of Grace.

Pardon me pastor, but we have been commissioned to go into all the world. Hopefully, have received a second separate experience called the baptism of the Holy Spirit, which empowers us to be effective (bold and powerful) witnesses of Jesus. It’s almost as if the Grace crowd is forgetting that we were saved by grace through faith. Faith is an action- it’s active. Faith, without corresponding works of faith, is dead/useless. Oh, if the body of Christ would just begin to do what it said it believed. Believing in healing or quoting healing scriptures is not the same as healing the sick. Hear that? I’ve just set off some people’s “works” alarm! Good, because there is work to be done – and those aren’t my words: For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10). Some people do rightly to “pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into the harvest,” but never consider that perhaps they could be the laborer. Yes labor=work, I’ve done it again. Resting in the finished work does not mean literally resting and doing absolutely nothing. It means we stop trying to earn blessings/favor/right standing with God based on our works. It’s a motive changer. I understand that many have been burned out on ministry of any kind, and yes literal rest and doing nothing will be good for a while. But my question is: How much rest do you need? How long do we need to soak at the Master’s feet before we are compelled by the same force that compelled Him (God’s love) to spread the good news? You may say: “Well, I’m not going to do anything I don’t feel led to do.”

Ok, that’s fine, assuming you are in perfect tune with that still small voice of the Holy Spirit. Never missing even His most gentle nudging. The only problem with that is there are a lot of Christians who are quite carnal (ruled by their senses or emotions) and could easily mistake “feelings” for “not being led.” I’m not trying to pass judgment on anyone, or even motivate anyone. I’m just trying to remind us Gracer’s that you do – yes I said do, have to balance grace with faith. “Yes we know, it’s faith in the finished work.” That’s fine, but that doesn’t exclude us from acting on what we say we believe. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father (John 14:12). I’m all for sitting at the feet of Jesus, and always will, but lets interrupt those receiving sessions with some “such as I have I give you. In the Name of Jesus, rise up and walk” sessions. I know we don’t “have” to do anything. For example, we don’t “have” to give a certain percentage of our income to our church or else face a curse, but how can a person who has received the fullness of the gospel of God’s unconditional love and radical grace not become a partaker of the divine nature and share in what Paul called “the grace of giving”?

Paul bragged of the grace of giving that was bestowed on the churches of Macedonia. They were freely willing to give what they were able and beyond what they were able(sacrificial giving) and all this while in the mist of deep poverty(due to persecution). That doesn’t line up well with the “give because you’re blessed” slogan, unless of course we’re not talking about monetary blessings. Paul then tells the Corinthians to “see that they abound in this grace also” (2 Cor8:7). He then commends them for their desire to give, but he’s also stressing that there needs to be actions to accompany that desire. James gives the same principle :What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save(rescue) him?  If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,  and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?  Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. Paul says in 2 Cor 10 that it is “to their advantage ” that they give. In Phil 4:17 he said “not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account. Mathematically speaking, in order for it to be “more blessed to give than to receive”(acts 20:35) there would have to be a multiplicative property to giving. I guess I’m one of the few Gracer’s who doesn’t have a problem telling people to expect a multiplied return on properly motivated giving.

This could open up many questions on stewardship, or sewing and reaping, but I’m out of time today. Now I will come clean as to one of the reason’s I’m writing this. I’m tired of seeing good churches go under because people are not giving any money at all. I hate seeing full-time pastors having to work secular jobs just to make ends meet. Paul was very clear on this whole matter in 1 Cor chapter 9. He uses words like “stewardship” and “sowing and reaping” which are becoming unpopular today. But in summary Pastors have a Biblical right to refrain from working. Paul chose not to exercise that right( unmarried – no kids), but concludes with “Even so the Lord commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.” I understand many pastors have abused this and hurt many people, but that doesn’t change the scripture. Yes, give as you purpose in your heart, but know this the Spirit of Christ on the inside of you is the biggest giver of all, and you, by your new nature are a giver as well. We are already blessed with all spiritual blessings, but that doesn’t do you any good in this life, on this earth until they are accessed by faith. And faith will always be an action – not a thought, belief, formula, or theory.