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Posts Tagged ‘offering’

As we continue our study series, the next area of life that we look at that tends to put people in bondage and steal their joy is finances. So many people are struggling with bills and money issues and there is help in the struggle.

In this study, we will look at what the Bible teaches about finances and provide practical and free help with how to move forward from today in new ways towards freedom! If you are struggling or just want a better understanding of God’s ways with the finances you have, we invite you to join in!

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Close up view of the income tax return

A friend of mine asked me if they should tithe off of their income tax return the other day. It’s a question I usually hear every year so here’s my quick thoughts in case you wondering….

If you tithe off of your “take home” salary, then yes. This is finances coming back to you that you have not tithed on yet.

If you are like me and pay off you gross salary, then you have already tithed off those funds. For us, we still like to take a predetermined amount of the return and offer it as an offering and find areas to do acts in the area of generosity. It keeps us giving with a joyful heart and helps combat the desire of selfishness to try to just do things for ourselves.

(We tithe off our gross pay because we want to pay God first instead of paying the government first and then God gets His cut off the left overs.)

Now, let’s back up to explain some things for those who may be reading this.

Tithing is a Biblical command of giving back to God 10% of what He gives to us. It is to honor Him, follow Him, and help keep us from putting our hope and confidence in money instead of the one who provides for us. Anything that we give above the 10% is called an offering which we do as God leads on top of the tithe.

Some believe tithing is an Old Testament practice that was fulfilled with Jesus and no longer applies. What does apply (in this view) is that we are to give as God leads as we seek Him instead of following the command of the tithe. I can see how some would view things this way and I don’t beat up that view. However, if this is your view, then the answer on your income tax would be to pray over your income tax (as you do all your income) on what God would have you to give instead of just running out to buy a flat screen TV you have had your eye on.

Both ways, we should be mindfully seeking God on how we should be stewards on our finances and what part we play in providing resources to the work of the Church.

Blessings,

Pastor Tom Hypes
tsflife.com

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In the fourth installment of our study on areas that block us from experiencing God the way He desires for us to, we are tackling one of the biggest challenges.

Few things overwhelm, distract and control us like the drive to control the perceived needs in our lives. It can bring bondage, fear and stress. When we can’t pay the bills, are looking for a relationship to complete us, or things just seem to be falling apart, it can be overwhelming.

Join us as we explore the promises of God and His instructions on how we can have freedom in the area of provision!

“When we look to God as provider, we are surrendering our independence and trusting someone else to meet our needs, over which we have no control. Letting go of our ‘dependence on independence’ and letting someone else take control goes against natural human instinct. We need to fight the urge to take over and just let God be God, because He can provide for us better than we can.”

― Corallie Buchanan, Watch Out! Godly Women on the Loose

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pastorsappr

Well, it is pastor’s appreciation month again when all pastor’s secretly hope their congregation will remember them in some way to encourage them. My church has always done a pretty good job at remembering this month and it’s always appreciated. Last year, some gift cards and a surprise moment of honor was heart felt and went a long way. If you do not do a little something for you pastor at your church, I recommend you change that. It goes a long way.

At the same time, I felt led to post some things beyond gift cards that would help your pastor all year long. On top of that, they are Biblical and honor God too! This will make a HUGE difference if you really want to be an encourager and faithful.
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To understand today’s miracle, you have to understand the time line of several events.

At the beginning of this month, I left for a two-day sabbatical to seek God on the vision for our church. There is much I could tell you about that trip but for now, I came home impressed on my heart that we were “To be a real community that fulfills the Great Commission by being people of faith, displaying hope, and acting in love.” I know that at first pass that might not sound so profound but if you stop and think of the ramifications that such a goal would be, it’s pretty mind-blowing and calls for great submission.

We have been spending this month at the church going through a series I’m calling “Come Together”, in part to talk about our roles within this vision. There are many areas we covered but the one that affects this miracle was our stewardship with our money and resources.

Two weeks ago, I talked about this while discussing Malachi 3: 6-18. The short version is God is robbed when we don’t bring into the storehouse our tithes and offerings. He invites us to (get this) “test me in this” that if we bring Him our tithes He will “open the floodgates of heaven” and “pour out so much blessing that you will not have room for all of it”. Now, I’m not a big “Follow God = You will get a big house, big car, and lots of cash guy” However, I do believe if I am financially faithful, He will take care of our needs to say the least.

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