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“Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.”
And Jesus said to him, “Today, salvation has come to this house…”
What does God always seem so concerned about money?
In either side of the Old and New story is the call to give. At Restoration, we see community giving as a vital act of worship, a means of entering community, and a rebukes the curse of debt that plagues so many these days. Let’s unpack these three aspects before presenting you with the opportunity to support the work of Restoration through our on-line giving portal.
In the Story of God, God is seen as a giver. (Genesis 1)
When there was nothing, He created. When we fell into sin, He gave a promise of restoration. Jesus gave His life as a ransom for many. We are given the hope of heaven. None of this is deserved or even asked for. God is a giver.
Giving as act of worship is recognizing the Lord as the giver of all things. (Matthew 6:21)
We have life. We can work. (We are able to receive assistance.) Every dollar we receive comes from His hand. So giving to Him through the Church is a vital expression of our faith in God as Lord of all.
Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Luke 12:32-34)
Giving enters us more fully into community. (Acts 4:32-25)
The Lord called famously for the full tithes to be brought into the storehouse so that their would be food in His house. And that by their community giving there would be abundance for all. Even in the new testament, the apostles continued to call for tithes and offerings so that those who had little could be fed. There is real joy that comes when we experience community giving in a way that blesses the whole community.
One of the things that is unique about Restoration is that we have trimmed our operating costs way down so that more of what we receive can go directly into mission and ministry. We also talk very openly about where our money is going and of course our financial recoreds are always open to anyone who wants to see them.
What seems true is that those who give faithfully seem to be more invested on every other level. Their more likely to serving and growing in friendship. There’s a confidence and joy that comes when we contribute to the shared ministry of our church.
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life… Matthew 6:25
Tithing rebukes the curse of debt that plagues so many today (Psalm 37:21)
The scriptures tell us that debt is the chain that holds us back in slavery. Anyone who has had the experience of feeling overwhelmed by bills they can’t pay and choking debt, know this is true. Debt can prevent us then from living the generous life that God is calling into.
It’s natural to ask why would it makes sense to start giving when you feel like you’re barely make it.
First, if you find yourself in a place of chronic debt—like any other sin—it has to be dealt with. Restoration would like to help and we have hosted Live It Groups on Financial Peace that would be helpful. Rather than trying to walk that path in your own strength, to begin with some first fruits giving declares your faith is in Christ and invites the power of the Holy Spirit to bring restoration to your finances.
What is meant by “first fruits giving” is when we give to the Lord’s priorities first, before we pay anything else. Giving in this way declares God as ruler even over the most broken financial story. It says, “Lord, even in this trial, I trust you!”
We have friends at Restoration who are at various stages of healing from the brokenness of chronic debt. We’d love to add your testimony to the many stories we’re hearing of God’s faithfulness.