Thursday, July 06, 2017

Tithing: A Timeless Principle of Discipleship

Tithing: A Timeless Principle of Discipleship

By the number of emails I received recently from groups that want to help me face the summer financial crunch for my church, I am guessing many churches are experiencing major challenges when it comes to finances and budgets. Our church is no exception. It is my opinion that the church does not have a budget problem; rather it has a discipleship problem.

I doubt that there is any more threatening subject than that of tithing, which is why pastors today are nervous about bringing up the topic. However, we need to have this conversation. As Martin Luther put it, “There are three conversions necessary in the Christian life: the conversion of the heart, the mind, and the purse” (Randy Alcorn, Managing God's Money).

Some of the angst comes from people’s negative experiences with previous churches, pastors, and evangelists. We must confess that some pastors, on occasion, have used biblical texts related to tithing in a manipulative manner to raise the budget or to build a building. Such behavior should not be tolerated; however, this does not alter the basic biblical teaching on tithing.

Just so we are clear, the definition of tithing is: Giving ten percent (10%) of our income to God through His church. The original tithe was an offering of one's agricultural income to the Lord as an expression of thanks and dedication. Today, because we live in a monetary society, we give ten percent of our salary.

I recently preached a message at Centerpointe on tithing and its significant role in discipleship. You can find the video and the text at Tithing Message.

This subject is too important to not address.

Because I Care,
Pastor Keith


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A Prayer for Hero Dad


In previous blogs, I wrote about things that matter in the life of dads and men. 

Also watch our Father's Day message, "Things that Matter."

Dad’s play many Biblical roles in the home. I pray for you to experience the strength of God as you lead in each of them.

In your role as priest, I pray that you follow Jesus with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and model to your family what a Godly man looks like.

In your role as prophet, speak words of encouragement, destiny, and hope. The job of a prophet is to speak, and not be silent or passive. Words matter.

In your role as provider, you are wired to work. Give your best in all things, with integrity and honesty. It's doing your best, even in the small things that will make a big difference.

In your role as protector, like the people who were building the walls of Jerusalem in Nehemiah’s day, keep a sword in one hand and a trowel in another. Work hard, set the boundaries, and defend it against the enemy which wages war with your soul. Stand firm in the authority God has granted you. 

In your role as lover, demonstrate what it means to keep your heart and eyes only on your wife. Love her as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.

In your role as visionary, seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then everything else will fall into place. We can no longer afford to define our vision just in terms of building a successful career or a business. We need visions of a godly family. We are not going to finish strong by luck. We can’t afford to put our spiritual life on cruise control. You need a vision to finish strong.

Dad, you are the first tangible image of our Heavenly father that your kids see. That’s an awesome thought filled with great blessing and responsibility.

Be the hero you are called to be.

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In Jesus wonderful and powerful name. Amen.