Pastor Stephen Hayes
Sunday Sept 9, 2018
Main Idea– The tithe God instituted in the Bible is not a payment, it is a return to Him from what He originally gave us. Covenant Church’s return is invested in the Kingdom work of the Great Commission, and in enabling believers to discover – and use - their God-given purposes.
Proclaiming God’s Word
- God’s word does not change. It is a church’s responsibility to accurately proclaim that Word.
- The ways a church proclaims the Word change with time, but the message does not change.
We don’t give because of where it goes; we give because of where it came from
- Our tithe is a gift God gave us, so we can return it to Him. We do not “give” our tithes, we “return” our tithes.
- Likewise, a church should not “spend” a congregation’s tithe, it should “invest” it.
- “Spent” money may not get a return. “Invested” money in Kingdom work will receive a return that enables others to know God.
Covenant Church’s distribution of the congregation’s tithe
- 48% to general and administrative expenses
- 30% to ministry programs
- 22% to the margin (unbudgeted)
- 10% is Covenant’s “tithe” back to the Great Commission (local, national, and international (including Israel) missions)
- 12% to campus-related growth & development, planting new campuses, and new vision opportunities.
Allocating according to vision
- God provides a vision for how He wants His church to function. Proverbs 29:18 – Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he. (KJV)
Proverbs 29:18 – If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; but when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed. (Message)
- Covenant Church works to help people:
- Know Godthrough weekend services that most any person would enjoy.
- Find freedomby developing relationships through small groups.
- Discover purposefrom realizing why God created them.
- Make a differencein the world for the Kingdom.
- When you find God, He will give you opportunities.
- 2 Corinthians 6:2 – For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.”Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. (NKJV)
- Now is the time to take a next step. Do not procrastinate.
Maybe it’s time now to:
- Commit your whole life to God.
- Do so wholeheartedly. Jeremiah 29:11-13 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.” (NLT)
Psalm 47: 1 – Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples! Shout to God with the voice of triumph! (NKJV)
James 1: 6-8 – But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. (NKJV)
- Surround yourself with right relationships.
Proverbs 13:20 – Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm. (NIV)
- Discover your God-given purpose.“Before there was a you, there was a thing for you to do.”
Psalms 139:16 - Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. (NKJV)
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (NKJV)
- Live your life doing something that really matters.
Use your time wisely and profitably. You don’t have forever.
Psalms 90:12 – So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. (NKJV)
From glory to glory
- God created us in His image.
- We should reflect God to the world around us in every circumstance.
- Colossians 1:17 – And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. (NKJV)
- 2 Corinthians 3:18 – But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. (NKJV)
Reflective Questions for Vision
- How did Pastor Stephen’s report on how Covenant Church reinvests your tithe help you better understand our church? Why is this encouraging?
- Grade yourself on how you are doing with each of the following:
- Committing your whole life to God.
- Surrounding yourself with right relationships
- Knowing your God-given purpose
- Living your life doing something that really matters