by Rev. James Wong
Happy Chinese New Year to all my dear brothers and sisters in Christ.
Continue from last week, Go for 10 … are you one? is our corporate vision for all the eight EGC churches. “Go for 10 …” refers to 10% growth in membership and 10% growth in offerings. “are you one” is a challenge to every church member to be involved in achieving this vision of growth.
This week I will share with you on the importance of 10% growth in offerings for our church. To be blessed we need to give. Here are a few important truths to remember when we talk about Christian giving.
1. Giving generates abundance
God will always give to us more than what we have given away. Jesus says, “Give to others, and God will give to you. Indeed, you will receive a full measure, a generous helping, poured into your hands — all that you can hold. The measure you use for others is the one that God will use for you.” (Luke 6:38 TEV). This is a spiritual principle of living a blessed life. It is like sowing. The more seeds we sow the greater is the harvest. This is not a bargain. It is a spiritual principle. God bless us through our giving. God promises us abundance when we give.
2. Giving helps us to honor God
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” (Prov 3:9-10 NIV). First fruits refers to “tithing’. Tithing means taking the first 10 percent of our income and give it back to God. Why do we need to do this? It is to recognize that everything that we have achieved up to this point, all belongs to God and we want to give 10 percent back to God to honor him. According to our church record, only 13.88% of our church income comes from tithing. Let us practice tithing this year and see how the Lord would bless us.
3. Giving helps us to put God first
Deuteronomy 14:23 says, “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to put God first (TLB). Tithing is a reminder that God is really first in our life and it helps us to set our priorities right. Many of us made the mistake of honoring God with our leftovers. We pay all our bills and if there is anything left we will give something to God. Many financially successful people uses the 10-10-80 principle; 10% for God, 10% for saving and 80% for others. When we keep our financial priorities right, we will be careful with the wealth that God has entrusted to us. Let us increase our giving, thus, increase God’s blessings upon our life. May the Lord grant us peace of mind, cordial relationships and material prosperity as we celebrate the Chinese New Year.