In the OT when God formed the nation of Israel and called his people out of Egypt, the significant event was the Passover. God destroyed the first born of Egypt yet “passed over” the houses of the Hebrews where they had blood over the door post. Following that event, the firstborn or first fruits of everything was always dedicated to God in remembrance of his salvation. Not only that, the first fruits or first born had to be the very best of their flocks and herds and fields. God stipulated that 10% of their produce along with the first born should be given to him as an act of worship and thanksgiving – a tithe from which we derive our practice of church offerings each week.
Ever since I started working and earning money I have tithed 10% to God, and Andrea and I continue to do that now as part of our weekly budgeting irrespective of other circumstances in our lives. Our church and I personally don’t dictate what you should give to God financially, but I think the Biblical principle is there and should be taken seriously. The principle at its heart is this; give to God your best not your leftovers because he has given his best for you. The first thing we should offer God is ourselves over and above our finances or time in service. Jesus said the most important commandment is to love God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength, and then to love your neighbour as yourself. But we should also give out of the abundance of wealth and provision that each of us has been entrusted with.
In this season of change at PBC we will be restructuring our staff and looking at new mission opportunities, and as such I encourage you to donate regularly as God moves your heart. Practically working out our church budget is no different to running our household budgets and we want to be good stewards of our resources. A great way to keep on top of this is to set up regular EFT transactions as your tithe. We now have a new church bank account. When you change your details if you give via EFT it is a great opportunity to assess your giving and set up a regular transaction so we can budget reliably and accordingly as a church. This is not a hard sell for you to increase your giving; that is between you and God. But we would like our offerings to be regular so that we can budget our staffing and mission and maintenance costs going forward. The details of the account are available in Signpost or the weekly email. If God moves you to give, then give cheerfully and not out of guilt!
Grace and Peace – Garry