Despite our tendency to shy away from this topic, nearly one-quarter of Jesus' teaching was about money. Money is morally neutral, but what we do with our money reveals a deeper issue of what is in our hearts [Matthew 6:21]. Our goal is neither prosperity nor poverty, but rather stewardship of what we have been given. God is the creator and owner of everything, and we are merely stewards of His stuff [1 Chronicles 29:14]. The appropriate response in light of what Jesus has done for us, through His death on the Cross and His Resurrection from the grave, is to give our entire lives as a living sacrifice. This includes our finances [Romans 12:1]. Thus, what we give back to God is not a specific percentage [a tithe], but rather an amount given prayerfully, intentionally, joyfully and sacrificially.
There are four foundational principles we embrace:
1. Because God owns everything, all that we have is a gift. And, because God owns it all, each gift he entrusts to us is ours to enjoy and steward. (1 Chronicles 29:14; 1 Corinthians 4:2)
2. Every believer has a responsibility to support his or her home church financially. (Malachi 3:8-10; 1 Corinthians 9:7-12; 1 Timothy 5:17-18)
3. Every believer should prayerfully consider the biblical guideline of the tithe (10% of one’s income) as a helpful starting point for learning how to give. (Genesis 14:18-20; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23)
4. Every believer can give biblically, regardless of income. The amount is not as important as the heart as one gives…regularly, proportionally, generously, sacrificially and cheerfully. (1 Corinthians 16:2; Acts 11:29; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; 2 Corinthians 9:7)