Stewardship: Principles of Tithing

Dear Gospel Lighters, we will touch on the highlights of our pastor’s Sunday morning sermon, but before we do, mention should be made of a few things:

We’ve heard the news that Vivian Nick was hospitalized, but Pastor Giardino has let it be known this morning that she may be not be with us much longer. Please pray for her, her husband John, and her family. John and Vivian have been married for almost 67 years. Many of us at Gospel Light have had the pleasure of getting to know this fine Christian couple.

The Giardino Trio, Lori, Julia, and Michael, blessed us with two wonderful songs this morning. Michael continues to use his ever-increasing talent on the piano for the Lord.

Our church is holding a rummage sale this Friday and Saturday. We wish this event to be a success, so we need your help and your unneeded items for sale. Any help at all will be welcome.

As you may be aware by now, May is Stewardship month here at GLBBC. Our pastor has stated that although our church is growing, it has not grown financially, so we ask the Lord to bless our pastor’s efforts. Pastor Giardino mentioned before the sermon that “my tongue is the pen of a ready writer” as quoted from Psalms 45:1. Pastor G. admits that “stewardship is a touchy subject” and prayed that we be lead by the Spirit and touched in our hearts.

The main goal of the sermon was to provide biblical principles regarding tithing. Leading off with Matt 6:20-21, our pastor read Jesus’ words: “But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Our goal is not to build up wealth here on earth, but to “lay up” treasure in heaven. Pastor then used 1Cor 16:2 to show that we need to “lay by”a portion of what we have in store for Him. When Jesus comes, every man will be accountable to what “God has prospered him.”

Pastor Giardino told the story of a remarkable man, Robert Gilmore LeTourneau, who was an inventor of earthmoving machines. His road construction equipment made building the NYS Thruway possible during the 1950’s. But what made this man most remarkable was his vow with God, that if his ventures worked, he would live on 10% of the profit and give the rest to spread the Gospel. He turned tithing upside down.

In a handyman magazine, Pastor G. came across an article about rust removal using electrolysis. Using that as an analogy, he said, “God wants to positively charge your stewardship.” Since the world will corrupt and “rust” your money, “God will send a good charge to clean up” that which would normally rust. Money that would be wasted on valueless or corrupt pursuits could be profitably spent for God. In like manner, we were called to “grounded”, grounded in the Word and in the church.

In demonstrating that, in the bible, tithing came before the law and was a principle way back with Abraham, Pastor Giardino cited these passages: Gen 14:18-20, Heb 7:5-10, Luke 18:11, and Lev 27:30-32. The reader is encouraged to visit these verses to understand the promises and blessing that come from giving back to our provider in heaven.

In Gen 15:1, God promises Abraham “exceeding great reward”. Pastor G. took the first letters of the phrase to come up with EGR, which is a valve in a car that returns some of the exhaust back into the combustion chamber, reducing emissions. Likewise, God wants to take a little back to reduce the waste from your billfold and your life. In Gen 15:2-6, stewardship is mentioned for the first time and is based on a promise. It was a faith principle that was given to Abraham and applies to us today. God has a reward for those who follow his program of stewardship.

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