Gratitude Puts Money in its Place – 5.5.19

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Leviticus 27:30-33; Deuteronomy 14:22-29; Exodus 36:1-7
Pastor Chris Tweitmann

We live in a world where we tend to perceive there is not enough.

“There’s not enough time.” “There’s not enough talent.” “There’s not enough money.”
“There’s not enough information.” “There’s not enough interest.”
“There’s not enough participation.” “There’s not enough help.”
“There’s not enough agreement.” “There’s not enough willingness to commit.”

For most of us, on all accounts, the way we see it, there’s not enough to go around.
The question this perception raises for us is this:

If there truly is not enough, is this because our Creator, our God did not provide enough for all of us to begin with?

Or is the reason there is not enough because of how we handle, individually and collectively, what we have been given?

This Sunday, we will wrestle with the answer to this question as we continue to explore how generosity is our response, THE response, to the grace of God. Together we are briefly going to survey when, how, and why God made being generous part of the Law – part of the Torah, the instructions and commands the Lord gave Israel. In short, we will consider the origins, significance, and practice of tithing – of giving back to God a tenth of what God has given to us.

The mere mention of “the tithe” causes Christians to squirm and gnash their teeth. It could be argued within the Church, tithing as a biblical concept is as contentious and controversial as paying one’s taxes to the government. But as I hope we’ll see, the tithe as prescribed by God isn’t a heavenly tax or a gratuity. Contrary to popular understanding, tithing isn’t about something the Lord wants FROM us as much as it about something our Heavenly Father wants FOR us.

After a little background on tithing, we aren’t going to hear a message rooted in guilt and shame about giving. Quite the opposite. Together we will witness and be moved by a true story from the Bible – one example of many – that emerges out of profound gratitude. Shockingly but as we’ll discover, not surprisingly, this gratitude results in there being not just enough – but more than enough.

If you’re tempted to stay home, don’t. If you think you’re going to hear the same old tired stewardship sermon, you’re wrong. If you believe tithing is a bad or scary word, dare to be convinced otherwise.

The Spirit is on the move at Grace because the Lord has great plans for us. The grace of our God already has moved many to contribute to what God has in store for our future together. Everyone is needed to participate. you have the opportunity to be a part of what is happening. More than a campaign, more than a specific project, this is an invitation to be transformed more into the likeness of Christ – to become a person, like our God, who is more than generous.

Grace to you!
Pastor Chris


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