Welcome to Refinery Life Australia.
Join me in The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.”
The biblical teaching of stewardship involves more than the practice of tithing faithfully and bringing generous offerings.
“Stewardship Includes Everything” is what we will be discussing over the coming weeks.
Today we are talking about We Decided to Quit.
Father, out of Your bounty, You have showered us with many blessings that are too numerous to count.
We thank You, loving Father, for days in which to live, for family and friends, fro all the things You grants us, and the protection You and only You can provide.
We thank You also for life beyond the ordinary made possible through our Lord Jesus Christ who came to give us life abundant and eternal.
In Jesus name we pray.
Luke 6:38 NKJV
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.”
Matthew 6:19-24 NKJV
Lay Up Treasures in Heaven
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;
20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.
21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
The Lamp of the Body
22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.
23 But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
You Cannot Serve God and Riches
24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
The people in the church who have not grown up in it are especially important.
The church loses its ability to proclaim and live the gospel in ways that are believable and compelling when the only people in the church are people who have always been there.
Those of you who are new, and some that have been around for a while, however, may get confused or even angry if we mention money.
You have heard that salvation is free.
Then all of a sudden the minister begins talking about tithes, 10 percent of your wage or salary, offerings beyond that, and even saying that people who don’t tithe are robbing God!
It is interesting to see the astonishment on the faces of people who have never heard of tithing when they learn that some people give 10 percent of their income to the Lord.
I heard of a man who told a story of a friend who had never been in church before but who started attending his church.
The friend became an active Christian.
After a while the friend asked, “What are the dues in our church?” Just like it was a club.
The longtime church member smiled, he had never heard of tithes and offerings being called dues.
He replied, “There are no dues, but we encourage all our people to give a tithe, or a tenth, of their income to the church.”
“Before or after taxes?” The new Christian asked.
“Well, I give mine before taxes,” the church member answered.
“Man, I just want to give something!” Responded the new Christian.
“I didn’t intend to make the church independently wealthy!”
This, of course, leads to a question.
- Is the tithe a biblical principle?
Fact 1, the tithe started before the law, as did marriage and prayer.
Look at Genesis 28:20-22,
20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on,
21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God.
22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
Fact 2, the tithe belongs to God, Leviticus 27:30 says, And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord.
And Malachi 3:8-10 says, Do Not Rob God.
8 “Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.
9 You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.
Fact 3, Christians are not saved because they tithe, nor are they abandoned by God if they do not tithe.
Fact 4, Tithing is not the only responsibility of Christians, have a read of Matthew 23:23.
Justice, mercy, and faith are more crucial, but tithing is affirmed as being one act that we should not leave undone.
Let me share another story with you, this was a letter I read through the week to another church.
It is from a woman expressing what many people feel about the subject of money and giving.
It starts, Dear Pastor,
About a year ago, we joined the church and enjoyed the friendship of the people we met, shortly after going we started to receive the church newsletter.
A few weeks ago, right in the middle of page 1, was a stinging assault on those who do not tithe the full 10 percent.
The article was prompt followed by another strong rebuke, the same subject.
What if we cannot tithe 10 percent?
Where does it say 10 percent in the Bible?
And does it mean 10 percent of gross or net income?
Is it alright to tithe what you can and increase it when you are able to?
Two weeks ago we decided we re going to quit the church.
Signed disgruntled church member.
Perhaps you might identify with that lady’s letter.
Maybe your ready t quit because you don’t intend to give like that.
You don’t understand why so much is needed.
You don’t really believe that God would expect that much.
You can’t imagine how you could pay for your house, cars, utilities, groceries, clothes, and everything else and still tithe.
Is there a better way than to quit?
Our text today and the Pastor’s reply point to the answer.
2. The principle of growth.
The Pastor’s response to the letter was, If you cannot tithe 10 percent of your gross or net, give what you can and don’t feel guilty.
To stop attending church for this reason is a perfect example of throwing the baby out with the bath water.
Our text says that God will bless us as we give.
Surely a part of what that means is that as we give, He blesses us so that we grow in our ability believe that we can give even more.
This is a valid principle for Christians.
God starts with us where we are.
If we begin to give of our income a percentage basis, we can raise the percentage monthly or quarterly, or annually until we are giving what we believe we ought to give.
The strengths of this approach are threefold.
First, we give something rather than postpone giving anything because we cannot give the full amount.
Second, we have a plan.
Third, we can feel relieved because we have begun to be obedient to God’s will.
The weakness to the preceding approach, however, is that God really does ask for a tenth, that is what the word tithe means.
The widow was praised not because she had given a small gift but because she gave all she had.
She gave 100 percent.
A minister cannot excuse someone from giving God’s required minimum.
A minister does not have the right to cheat you of blessings God wants you to have if you would, in faith, begin to do what you know will require God’s help if it is to be done.
As your income increases, and some people are entrusted with great amounts, you will find that 10 percent is far too little to give.
One of the greatest moments of your life is when you sow a seed for God’s work that scares you a bit, and simply astounds you because you never thought you could give so much and feel so good about it!
A clear issue before us is how we talk about money in the church.
Some people say, why not let people know what their fair share is and tell them?
Everyone knows the church has to have some money.
I’ll give my part.
Send me a bill, and then we won’t have to talk about money.
But we cat do it that way.
Here is one reason why we can’t.
3. The ministry principle is at the heart of giving.
Our church shares responsibility for medical bills, feeding people, children homes, university fees, and the welfare of the church family.
There are missionaries in Australia, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan and around the world who seek to win people to Jesus Christ, we are responsible for helping build churches, minister tot he hungry and the sick, and teach the unlearned.
They depend on us.
A church budget should never be planned as an instrument to see how little people will give.
Instead, it should be planned prayerfully in answer to the question, “What are the needs that God has called us to meet?”
We have the opportunity to impact our community and touch individual lives in a saving way.
Teenagers, children, and babies need to know that the church loves them in the name of Jesus, and adults need spiritual direction.
We must have buildings to provide space for ministering to others.
And, of course, the church must be involved in missionary outreach to the whole world.
But there is yet another reason we talk about tithing and giving sacrificial offerings.
This is the heart of our text today.
4. The gift principle is foundation of giving.
Jesus said, in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it will be given to you.”
Giving allows our souls to be stirred up so that God can replace ideas we have grown accustomed to with fresh blessings that become a new joy to us.
Christian growth is directly related to how we learn to handle material possessions.
Only a brief look at Matthew 25:14-30 will convince us that how Christians handle their material possessions is a significant measure of what will be entrusted to them in the future.
Matthew 6:21 reminds us that where our treasure is, there our hearts will be also.
If we do not invest the tithe in the Lord’s work, our hearts will never be invested there either.
The first money that comes out of your budget, ought to be the money that God asks of you for supporting the spread of the gospel.
Notice that one of the blessings you receive by such giving is that you become more and more a growing, considerate, sensitive person.
The gift principle is illustrated by a man who had been a generous contributor to Christian causes during a time of plenty in his life.
Then he lost everything in a business downturn.
He was asked if he regretted having given away so much money.
His reply was, “No, I cannot regret what I’ve given, for what I spent I used, what I kept I lost.
It was only what I gave that I still have.”
Every Pastor knows men and women with that spirit.
And the interesting thing is that although many people who received because of the man’s generosity were helped, the person most helped was the man who had learned the meaning of life and the purpose of his possessions.
In a time of awful confusion, he knew what was important.
In a time of deep distress, he felt no betrayal, for he had done the right thing.
In a time of great loss, he was secure, for he knew where his security was really held.
We can decide to quit, like the lady who wrote the letter, or we can decide to give and grow.
What will it be for you?
Until next time
Stay in the Blessings
I really want to encourage you to be diligent with your Bible study time, because God has so much more for us than we can get from just going to church once or twice a week and hearing someone else talk about the Word.
When you spend time with God, your life will change in amazing ways, because God is a Redeemer.
Theres nothing thats too hard for Him, and He can make you whole, spirit, soul and body!
You’re important to God, and you’re important to us at www.refinerylife.org
When it comes to prayer, we believe that God wants to meet your needs and reveal His promises to you.
So whatever you’re concerned about and need prayer for we want to be here for you! Or even if you just want to say Hi, you can contact us
2021 IS A YEAR OF REFORMATION
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