In the Old Testament the tithe was given to support the temple (equivalent to the NT church) and the poor (Leviticus 27:30-33, Deut 14:22-29). Again, remembering that we are citizens of the Kingdom of God; that God owns all things, and that we are just stewards of his resources, makes this is an ‘incredible deal’ by any standard. Imagine working for an owner of a business that gave you 90% of the gross profits! This is effectively what God has done.
As Christians, we have the responsibility and the privilege as God’s ambassadors to participate in His mission by giving of our time and money to make sure that everyone experiences the love of Christ and the Kingdom.
A mission is the vocation or calling of a religious organization, especially a Christian one, to go out into the world and spread its faith. The Lord's Prayer reminds us that we are to enter into Christ's mission of making the Kingdom visible in our work-place, relationships, and neighborhoods. Understanding God's Kingdom means realizing:
- Everything belongs to God - Psalm 24:1-2
- God as King rules over the heavens and the earth - Psalm 47:8-9
- We are to live lives that reflect Kingdom values - Romans 12:1-2
We believe that the only way to understand any aspect of life is to view it through the lens of the gospel.
In 2 Corinthians 8:9, Paul discusses the effect the gospel should have on the way Christians understand wealth: “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”
Seeing Christ's sacrificial love for us, that he gave up everything so that we could inherit the riches of heaven, helps us develop a healthy attitude toward our material possessions and become people who are both generous and joyful.
Understanding the riches we have already received in Christ not only liberates us from excessive concern over our wealth, talents and time, but also motivates us to invest them in the eternal kingdom of God.