Are you a ROBBER or a MOCKER?
Let’s clear the air around the issue of giving as it relates to believers.
Under Law: when you don’t pay ‘TITHES’, you are ROBBING God!
‘…Will a man rob God? Yet ye have ROBBED me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings…’ (Mal 3:8)
Hmm… But what about under Grace?
Under Grace: when you don’t COMMIT TO GIVING SACRIFICIALLY to the furtherance of THE GOSPEL, you are MOCKING God!
‘…let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth IN ALL GOOD THINGS…Be not deceived; GOD IS NOT MOCKED: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap…’ (Gal 6:6-7)
The verse above was talking about how believers should give.
Now listen carefully: In the Old Testament, there were God ‘ROBBERS’ …but… in this New Covenant, there are God ‘MOCKERS’!
Robbing God infers that you don’t have a full right to the blessings of God in your life and there is a certain percentage that God restricts you from owning! But no believer in Jesus has the capacity to ROB God!
‘…having CANCELED the charge of OUR LEGAL INDEBTEDNESS, which stood against us and condemned us; HE HAS TAKEN IT AWAY, nailing it to the cross…’ (Col 2:14 NIV)
Jesus has PERFECTLY cleared off all legal indebtedness! So right now, no believer is owing God ANYTHING again! Our Abba Father looks at us and says: ‘…Son, thou art ever with me, and ALL THAT I HAVE IS THINE…’ (Luke 15:31) Because of Jesus’ sacrifice, every believer has been ‘robbed’ of the ‘ability’ to ‘rob’ God!
‘…For Christ is THE END OF THE LAW for righteousness to EVERY ONE THAT BELIEVETH…’ (Romans 10:4)
Oh glory to Jesus. Now, it will be ‘mockery’ to God when you have been made free from the curse of the Law but choose not to be an ‘active participant’ in sharing this Gospel that brought you freedom! It is with this mindset of Freedom in Christ Jesus that God expects every believer to be excellent and cheerful givers to the propagation of the Gospel!
‘…I want you to EXCEL also in this gracious act of giving… You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, SO THAT BY HIS POVERTY HE COULD MAKE YOU RICH…’ (2Cor 8:7,9)
He became poor so you won’t have to owe God anymore! He became poor so you can be filled with ‘every spiritual blessing’ in Christ Jesus! It is with this mindset that you obey the dictates of that same passage quoted above: I want you to EXCEL also in this gracious ACT OF GIVING
So then, what happens to a believer that finds it hard to dedicate a cheerful proportion of his income to the propagation of the Gospel? He is trying to MOCK God.
The New Testament’s method is this: IF IT BLESSED YOU….you MUST JOIN IN SPREADING IT…BY SUPPORTING THOSE IN THE MINISTRY OF SHARING IT.
‘…In the same way, THE LORD ORDERED that those who preach the Good News should be supported by those who benefit from it…’ (1Cor 9:14 NLT)
Neglecting this order is an attempted MOCKERY to what Jesus has done for you. Never should you receive an income without a specified dedicated amount towards the spread of the Gospel and support of those involved. It has its own reward. Yes, we are not under Law to Tithe! But it’s not wrong to dedicate 10% (or less, or more as God favours you) to the work of the Gospel.
‘…you should each put aside A PORTION OF THE MONEY you have earned…’ (1cor 16:2 NLT)
Who decides the portion? You!
‘…you must each DECIDE IN YOUR HEART HOW MUCH YOU WANT TO GIVE…and don’t give reluctantly…’ (2Cor :9 7NLT)
Who decides the amount/percentage to give? You! Your giving as a believer must reflect 2 main things:
1) Your INCOME
2)Your WILLING HEART
KJV renders 1Cor 16:2 thus:
‘…every one of you lay by him in store, AS GOD HATH PROSPERED HIM…’ (1cor 16:2)
So, your giving should reflect your income. Look into your income vs necessary expenses and dedicate a sacrificial amount towards the prospering of the Gospel. Be faithful in this area. Your giving should also reflect your willing heart.
‘…for if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what a person has…’ (2cor 8:12)
And as your heart enlarges with the Truth of the Gospel, the portion you dedicate to the Gospel should also increase…out of Appreciation to God…not out of Obligation to a law. Hmm… This is why believers giving will be judged thus:
‘…But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also SPARINGLY; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also BOUNTIFULLY. (2Cor 9:6)
There is no devourer threat. It is reward threat. And for those who really don’t sponsor the gospel that’s blessing them, the Bible describes such as a person SOWING UNTO THE FLESH. His reward is called CORRUPTION! Natural effects …things that don’t edify…are his rewards.
‘…For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap CORRUPTION; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap LIFE EVERLASTING. (Galatians 6:8)
The above verse simply means those who don’t give heartily to the gospel will only have ‘natural’ experiences…missing out in the joy associated with the seeing lives saved and changed… hence, natural happenings. They are limited from enjoying the abundant life. They have they life…but they are not ‘reaping’ the life actively.
‘Reaping everlasting life’ is a terminology used to explain enjoying the rewards that comes with the life of the Gospel both in this life and in the world to come! Learn to be a part of the gospel spread. Learn to take up projects in your church or outreach. It is not a sin for you to sponsor the transportation of people to a gospel crusade. It is highly rewardable for you to ensure your pastor’s welfare is always met. Do things that makes the gospel prosper. You are not in the flesh…so stop sowing to the flesh.
Don’t keep your money so tight and forget you shouldn’t ‘… store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal….Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal…’ (Matt 9:16-17)
Don’t reduce your offering… Simply because you are now under Grace….rather do more! Sow to the Spirit life…and by so doing you reap everlasting life. Let it gladden your heart to see souls saved, and the saved established in the gospel.
In summary: God has ensured you will never be termed a ROBBER when it comes to giving. Don’t retaliate by being a God MOCKER. Glorify your Father in Heaven by actively sponsoring the Gospel.
‘…And God is able to bless you ABUNDANTLY, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, YOU WILL ABOUND in every good work…’ (2Cor 9:8 NIV)
I believe this is clear.
Remain under Grace.