In this short clip, Pastor Hartman gives a great visual example of what it means to give back to the Lord. You may also watch the entire message, “Bake God the Bread First”, here.
Giving back a tithe, or ten percent of your income, to God is all about having a grateful heart. Grateful in the sense that you know that you are one of His children…that you have first given God your heart by accepting Jesus, His Son, as your personal Savior and thus established a relationship with Him that will last through eternity. This is what God wants first from us, our heart. It’s also understanding and accepting that Jesus has paid the price and penalty for our sin and provided a way for us to have a relationship with God our Heavenly Father. Once we understand our new relationship with the Lord, the desires of our heart causes us to want to honor the Lord with an offering as an act of gratitude for what He’s done for us. That gratitude is expressed by giving of our time, our talent, and our financial resources to help further the Lord’s work here on earth.
Sacrificial giving was never demonstrated more fully than when God “… gave His one and only son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) God is a giver! There is great joy in giving and God wants us to be cheerful givers.
Have you ever thought about the fact that even the things in your life you earned by working came to you as a result of the gift of time, strength, health, skills, and intelligence given you by God. God gave you everything you have in one way or the other. Nothing you have is really yours to treat as your own. God owns it all—you are simply His manager of those gifts as long as you live on this earth. Give God the first portion of your income to show that He has first place in your life and that you know He is the Source of all you have. When you are obedient to Him in this area of your life you can conquer greed and properly manage His resources. God not only has given you the responsibility to care for them, but He will hold you accountable for how you manage them. Whenever you take an owner’s attitude toward money, time, and possessions, instead of a steward’s attitude, problems and unhappiness are sure to follow. You can either be a good steward or a bad steward; you can either master the resources God has given you or allow them to master you.
Some Biblical benefits of giving:
Giving draws us closer to God. (Matthew 6:21)
Giving strengthens our faith. (Proverbs 3:5-9)
Giving blesses us in return. (Proverbs 22:9)
Giving makes me more like God. (John 3:16)
Giving is an antidote for materialism. (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
Giving is an investment in eternity. (1 Timothy 6:18-19)