Monday, January 30 2023 - 6:52 PM

Sharing Scripture — January 21, 2023

The Tithing Contract

 

For use: January 15 – 21, 2023
Texts: Matthew 10:22; John 6:29; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; Proverbs 3:1-10; Malachi 3:7-11; Matthew 6:25-33

 

Since Summer 2022, Chelsea F.C. co-owner Todd Boehly signed 14 players for a grand sum totaling more than 300 million pounds ($368,044,500). But as the young talent find themselves unable to lift the team to two cups, and the club sits 10th in the Premier League, many are wondering if the hefty investment is worth the wait.

According to Sky Sports, Jimmy Hasselbaink, formerly a Chelsea striker, has spoken out against the spending. “They want young, exciting and the best young players here and they’re looking for the future. But you also need players who can come in and make the team better straight away. … To get that balance right, you need to have both. You can’t just have young players and wait for the future.”

But no matter what the experts think or what Chelsea fans want, the contracts have already been signed. Now all that’s left to do is wait.

Oftentimes Christians find themselves questioning a contract they’ve signed with God. You know, that 10 percent tithe contract. Many of us feel that giving a tenth of our earnings inhibits us from taking care of our needs and wants, so we give what we can but no more. Many of us also give tithe faithfully, but not joyfully, thinking that this is just another way of staying on God’s good side. But tithing really isn’t about us at all.

When it comes to tithing, Pastor J.D. Greear often uses a parable to describe how a Christian views tithing versus what it actually is.

There was a young couple who, starting their own family together, believed they would not be able to keep up with tithing. They met with one of their pastoral staff, who gave them this option: They could test their theory by handing over the 10 percent to the staff for safekeeping until the next tithe came due, and if they needed it at all during that time, they could ask for it back. The couple agreed to the proposition. “Fools! You trust your money in the hands of man more than in the hands of God,” he admonished them.

And the ironic part is that the money, and the first fruits of our labor, are not even ours to begin with! They already belong to the Lord Who created them for our use.

Tithe should never be a burden, but given joyfully and gratefully for what the Lord has provided, and with hope that the acquired tithe will then be applied to the ministry of others. And when you think about it that way, it’s kind of like sharing the gospel – sharing God’s good news (which we do not deserve) to grow disciples who will then do likewise, and so on and so on.

And that’s a worthy investment!

 

For Reflection

 

Connecting: Should athletes be paid by commission (ie. number of points/blocked shots/takeaways = amount of pay), or is salary the better option?

Sharing: Should we tithe on the gross or the net income, and why?

  1. Gross, because …
  2. Net, because …
  3. Neither, we should give until it hurts because …
  4. Neither, we are to give whatever feels right because …
  5. It depends, because …
  6. Other, because …

Applying: Do you sometimes put your tithe toward other church ministries? Read Deuteronomy 12:5-14 and J.D. Greear’s tithing advice. Discuss your takeaways with your small group or journal your thoughts to pray over.

Valuing: Financial discussions are never easy and are often uncomfortable. Is your embarrassment to tell someone how much you tithe or give to ministries actually stemming from guilt?

 

~ Stefani Leeper

 

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