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The Power Behind Giving and Tithing

The Power Behind Giving and Tithing

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A message by Daniel A. Brown, PhD, while he was senior pastor at The Coastlands, Aptos Foursquare Church. For more information, please visit our website at http://ctw.coastlands.org/.
A message by Daniel A. Brown, PhD, while he was senior pastor at The Coastlands, Aptos Foursquare Church. For more information, please visit our website at http://ctw.coastlands.org/.

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Published by: Daniel A. Brown, PhD on Jun 05, 2010
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05/25/2012

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The Power
B e h i n d 
Giving and Tithing 1
DanielA.Brown,PhD
ctw.coastlands.org
T
HE
P
OWER
B
EHIND
G
IVINGAND
T
ITHING
byDanielA.BrownPhD
Oneofthelessonswehaveto
keep
learningisthatGod’swaysandthoughtsarenotlikeours.OurnaturaltendenciesinclineustoactandtothinkoppositefromhowGoddoes.That’swhyit’shelpfultoberemindedagainandagainaboutbasicpatternsforsuccessfullifeinthekingdomofGod.Forinstance,Jesustellsus,
“Thelastshallbefirst”(Matthew20:16),
and
“Whoeverwantstobesignificantshouldbecometheservantofall”(Matthew20:26).
Insteadofreturninginsultsandblowstothosewhohurtus,thewaywewouldnaturallywanttodo,wearetoldto
bless
andturntheothercheek(Matthew5:39).Thatseemscrazy!
Serveothers,
insteadofgettingthemtoserveyou;
lovepeopleunconditionally
,insteadoflovingthemwithasetofexpectations;
showmercyandbekind 
topeoplewhoopposeyou;
liveyourlifeinsubmission
,ratherthaninrebellion?Whoeverheardofthingssoridiculous?That’sthepoint,thelessonwehavetokeeplearning.BeneatheachoftheseseeminglyimpossibleandridiculousadmonitionsisapowerprincipleoftheKingdom—atruthabouthowthingsreallyworkinthecosmos—howyouandIcanendupwiththemostabundantandsatisfiedlives.ThewholepointoflivingaccordingtoGod’swayistobringbountyandgoodintoourlives.TheactionsorattitudesthatseemtoplaceusatadisadvantageintheworldaretheveryonesthatgiveustheadvantageintheKingdom.
 
The Power
B e h i n d 
Giving and Tithing 2
DanielA.Brown,PhD
ctw.coastlands.org
MoneyisoneofthemostobvioustopicsofdisagreementbetweenwhatGodandournaturalthoughtsadvise.Theworld‐systemtellsusthatthemorewealthwecangetandkeepforourselves,themorewewillendupwithattheendoftheday.Mostofourlivesarelivedunderarelentlesspressurethatharriesuswiththoughtslike,
“Youdonothaveenoughtotakecareofyourself;youcertainlydonothaveenoughtogiveawaytoothers,noteventoGod!” 
Thefirstpartofthatsentenceistrue,andalwayswillbe:wedonothaveenoughtoassureanabundantfuture.Thekingdomsolutiontothatrealityis,however,quitetheoppositeoftheworld’ssolution.TheLordurgesustodotheverythingwefeellikewecannotsafelydo:purposefullygivewhatwehavebeengiven.
G
OD
S
I
NTENTION
ThatiswhyourdecisionaboutwhetherornottoputourtrustintheadviceoftheBiblereallyboilsdowntoaquestionoffaith—whatwebelieveaboutwhatGod wantsforus:“DoIbelievethatGodwantstoenrichmylifewithmorethanIcangetbymyownsmarts/effort?”GodfreelygaveHisSononourbehalftoeliminateourtotaldebt(Romans8:32;Colossians2:13‐14);Hehasdoneforuswhatwecouldnotdoforourselves.So,itiscompletelyinconsistentwithallHehasalreadydonetoquestionifHehasswitchedtacticsfrom
 giving
to
 grabbing.
Oncethattruthsettlesintoourheartand wegrasptherealityofGod’sdeterminationto(actively)
dousgoodallthedaysofourlife
,virtuallyeverypointofinstructionintheBiblecomesaliveinadifferentlightthanwehaveseenitbefore.GodnamesHimself
 Jehovah‐Jireh
 ,theLordofPlenty,theGodofProvisionandSupply
.SinceHeplacesHisidentitysosquarelyonaparticularactivitydoneforthesakeofHisfollowers,wecanhavegreatconfidenceinHispromiseto
providewhatweneedtolivealifeofplenty
.ButlearninghowtoletHimdoforuswhat we’resotemptedtotrytodoforourselves—well,that’sanothermatter.
W
HYIS
M
ONEYSO
B
IG
?
 JesusspokeagreatdealaboutthespiritualpowerofmoneybecauseHeknewhowBIGthesubjectistous,anditisnoaccidentthatHeusestheconceptof“debt”todescribetheconditionweareinasaresultofoursins.Peoplewhohavebeeninmajordebt,andthoseofuswhodreadthatpossibilityknowwhatitdoestoruinlife.It’saneffectiveanalogy.
 
The Power
B e h i n d 
Giving and Tithing 3
DanielA.Brown,PhD
ctw.coastlands.org
Normallivinginafallenworldteachesusthatweshoulddoeverythingwecantogetmoremoney.Inadditiontothatpressure,thereareseveralotherreasonswhythesubjectofhowtouseourmoneyismoresensitivethansomeotherspiritual‐lifetopics:1.
 
Moneyisagiganticcrossroadsforalmosteveryaspectofpeople’slives(fearsandaspirations;successandfailure;survivalandprotection;etc.),sothestakesseemhigherandmorelifethreatening.Almostallofusneedmoreofit,andwehaven’tfiguredouthowwe’regoingtosurvive withthelittlewehave—muchless,ifwegivesomeaway.2.
 
Inappropriateappealsformoneyhavecheckeredthechurch’shistory. We’veseenenoughnonsenseonTVtojadeourperspective.Werightlydon’twantourmoneytogotothewrongplace,anditishardtoseehowgivingmoneytoahumanagency(church)isthesameasgivingittoGod.3.
 
Moneyisveryspiritual,anditsrootsgodeepintopeople’sheart.It’shardenoughkeepingtrackofitinourcheckregister,somostpeoplealreadyfeelabitoverwhelmedbyit—evenbeforeGodisintroducedintotheconversation.4.
 
Beingverytangible,moneyleavesnodoubtaboutwhereitgetsspent,andthatcanmakeusfeelasthoughwe’recaught“red‐handed”withourhandinthewrongcookiejar.
M
ATTHEW
5
AND
6
 
Howtowelcome(pray)God’srulershiponearth“ThyKingdomcome.”
 
Blessedaretheseeminglydisadvantaged.
 
“…yourFatherwhoseesinsecretwillrepayyou”(Matthew6:18).
 
TwoInvestmentChoices(forYourHeart)—TwoValueJudgments.
“Noonecanservetwomasters;foreitherhewillhatetheoneandlovetheother,orhewillbedevotedtooneanddespisetheother.YoucannotserveGodandmammon.”Matthew6:24

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