On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.
This Sunday we are taking up a special offering to launch our West Site. This is separate and above our normal tithes which are collected weekly. In Malachi, God speaks to the children of Israel that they have robbed him in both “tithes and offerings” (Malachi 3:8). So beyond the regular tithe, there were special times of offerings that were given as well.
Paul instructs the Corinthians to lay aside something on the Lord’s Day in accordance with how each person has prospered. While tithe was 10%, offerings were determined by the individual and how they have prospered. But it is in Second Corinthians chapters 8-9, where Paul gives further instructions regarding these offerings. The amazing thing about these incredible chapters is that Paul roots the believer’s willingness to give in the grace of God. It is the generous nature of God that should motivate the believer to give to special needs. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich” (II Cor. 8:9). The purpose of an offering is not merely to meet a need but to glorify God for the grace he has given believers.
Some of you may not have a well-defined plan of giving based on biblical truth but give haphazardly or sporadically. Paul’s instructions imply (among many things), that believers’ giving should be thoughtful and well-planned. It is much more than occasionally throwing a few dollars in the collection plate. Each believer should thoughtfully consider having a well-thought out plan on how you are giving and practice it in a disciplined way.
If you discover you haven’t defined a plan of giving, start by practicing tithing and be ready to give in special offerings as well. We believe and practice that the tithe should go to the local church that you are a part of and where you are receiving pastoral care. Offerings can go to individuals in need, special church offerings, as well as meeting special needs. And you can begin practicing special offerings this Sunday in a special offering we are taking for our West Community Site launch. Please pray about what God would have you give in this special offering. “He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift” (II Cor. 9:10-15).