It’s sad to hear stories of people who have dropped out of church life because of money issues. The church should not treat its members like children, making rules for their faith lives. It shouldn’t act like a country club either, charging membership fees. God’s people are royal priests and need to be treated as such.
God is still the Creator and Owner of everything on earth. He is still the Giver of everything you own and every dime of your income. But he invites you to honor him with gifts of your choosing, and he waits to see what you will do with your freedom.
St. Paul gave some wonderful guidance (note: not rules) on how to make your giving decisions in the advice he gave the Christians in Corinth who were gathering an offering for famine relief in Judea: “Now about the collection for God’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income” (1 Corinthians 16:1,2).
Here’s how to think about your giving decisions: (a) Each one. Giving is for all. (b) First. Make your giving decisions first before your check is gone. (c) Regularly. Give as often as God gives to you. (d) Proportionately. You choose the percentage as a spiritual adult. Give it to God’s glory, and give it with a heart full of rejoicing to the one who has given you everything.
Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.
You can sign up to receive Pastor Jeske's free daily Grace Moment devotions via e-mail by clicking here.