Thursday, August 15, 2013

The Connection Between Worry and Giving

One way to test our kingdom allegiances is to look at our budget.  For example, do you tithe?  Do you freely give ten percent of your income to God's work in its many forms?  That was the Old Testament guideline.  And when we get to the New Testament, when the riches of the kingdom are unveiled, Jesus invited people to give God everything:  "Sell your possession and give to the poor.  Provide purses for yourself that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys" (Luke 12:33). 

If you don't tithe, your faith is more than likely small.  You hoard because you don't believe the Father is generous.  You don't share in the king's heart of self-sacrifice.  As a result, worry and fear will be an uneasy undercurrent in your life. 

Tithing, of course, is not the central issue in the kingdom.  The kingdom is first about what God gives, not what we give.  Giving is merely our response to his ongoing generosity.  We already know that his generosity to us is boundless - it is the kingdom itself (Luke 12:32).  But what is this kingdom that he is giving us? 

The answer, like his promises to us, is a list that is endless.  He gives forgiveness, reconciliation, love, power, meaning. purpose, sanctification, glorification, peace, and more.  But all the gifts of the kingdom are gathered together in Jesus the King.

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