Giving Our Responsibility
Giving to support those who labor among us is a God given responsibility for those benefited by that labor!
This is readily observable throughout the Bible. From the Law of Moses, through the prophets, to the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself and His apostles, the clear message is: We have a responsibility to support the work of God through giving. The fact that some men and organizations, throughout history, have used this truth for selfish and ungodly purposes does not diminish the fact that we have this responsibility (More on this next month when we consider how to handle money that has been given). Refer to the following passages for this teaching: Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 10:10; Luke 10:7; 1 Corinthians 9:1-14; Galatians 6:6; and 1 Timothy 5:17-18.
In 1 Corinthians 9:1-14 Paul is defending himself by stating he has the right to be compensated for his labors among the Corinthians, but he chooses to not use that right. Paul continues by using six examples of those who are compensated for their labors from the results of that labor; The solider expects a wage from the one who enlisted him and expects someone else to bare the expense of the battle; The vineyard keeper expects to eat grapes from the vineyard he tended; The shepherd expects to have some of the milk produced by the flock for which he cares; The plowman and thresher both expect to eat of the grain they helped produce; According to the scripture even a lowly ox should be allowed to freely eat of the grain it is threshing; And the priests of the temple expect to eat some of the meat of the sacrifice as set aside for that purpose. Paul concludes by referring to the Lord’s teaching directing those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel. In short God expects His people to monetarily support His work among the people.
Our Lord taught the disciples in Luke 10:7 and Matthew 10:10 that the laborer is worthy of his wages. The word worthy means deserving or due reward. Think of that! Our Lord tells us that the work performed by the ministers of the gospel should be rewarded from the very people being ministered unto. They are deserving of support.
How does this play out in our lives today? One way is through the church budget.
The 2017 budget of $267,375 is composed of four primary components, staff, operations, missions and ministries. The three items of staff, operations, and ministry costs make up 90% of the budget and directly benefits each one of us every week. The other 10% of the budget helps move forward the greatest endeavor ever entrusted to the church, that is the commission to share the Grace of God with the world.
Our budget is a worthy expenditure of money! Our staff works diligently and without complaint for our benefit. The building is warm, lighted, cleaned, organized and suitable for service. The ministries promote growth and a heart for God and His people and provide us opportunities for service. Indeed, these things are worthy of our financial support. They are the very things God gives us the responsibility to support. I am confident that our gracious God will give us the strength and ability to accomplish this responsibility.
Let’s make 2017 the year that our giving meets or exceeds our budget.