Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Vision (6.12.14): A Testimony on Stewardship

I am often amazed that our small congregation gives so much and so faithfully to support the Lord’s work through our local church.  A friend who is a member of a sister Reformed Baptist Church in Virginia and who is a regular reader of The Vision, sent me a note to follow up on last week’s article on “The Widow’s Mite.”  With his permission, I share a [slightly edited] portion below of what he wrote in hopes it might be an encouragement to you:

Dear Jeff, thank you for continually publishing The Vision….

I believe I was converted as a young child at a VBS.  My parents were not Christians and never went to church but would send the 8 of us children off to VBS when they could find someone to invite us.  I was called, however, when I was 33 by special invitation of the Holy Spirit to return to church.  Anyway, my first 15 years in an SBC church I never tithed my salary, because I struggled even to pay my bills.  I gave to the church but only when there was extra money to give.

Long story short, when God opened my eyes to the doctrines of grace I felt the need to tithe no matter what my situation at the end of the week.  Now I don’t believe in the prosperity gospel that the heretics push in today’s media, but I have found the old saying true:  “You can’t out give the Lord.”  The largest benefit I have received is the relationship I have gained with the Holy Spirit.  I give to the Lord’s work first no matter what condition I find myself in.

Several years ago I visited a church in North Carolina which I had attended over a period of ten years while on vacation.  The pastor was preaching on tithing.  He argued that the New Testament did not teach tithing as a requirement or standard.  He said one should give what is laid on his heart.  It might be 0% or 90%.  I could not argue with his findings.  Having said that, I have found that the Old Testament tithe fits me well.  My “offerings” [above and beyond the tithe] I give outside the church to organizations like the Institute for Creation Research, to Christian schools, or to people whom I feel might need it.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle

1 comment:

Phil Brown said...

Thanks for sharing this. I am inspired!