Giving to Immanuel
Why does God ask us to give?
As Christians, we give because we have been given. God the Father has given us all things through Jesus Christ, His Son. Jesus has died on the tree to forgive our sins and grant us life eternal. In the Divine Service, we thankfully receive the gifts of God, won by Jesus, through His Word and the Means of Grace. Our response to the love and mercy of God is to give our tithes as well as love and support our neighbor however we are able. God has no need of our service, but as Christians, we are blessed to support our congregation and help our neighbors.
What is a tithe?
A tithe is giving ten percent of one’s income to the Lord. This concept began in the book of Genesis chapter 14 where Abraham gave a tenth of all he had to the priest of God, Melchizedek. In Malachi, we also read, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need (Malachi 3.10).” At Immanuel, we encourage tithing. Should one feel motivated to give over and above a tithe (ten percent) we would consider that an offering. In the New Testament Paul gives us directions for giving. Paul writes, “I appeal to you, therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship (Romans 12.1).” Paul encourages us to not just give a percentage of our income, but our whole selves to God in service to our neighbor. Because Jesus has given all, His perfect life and innocent suffering and death, to us, we also willingly give our tithes and offerings back to Him.
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