Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Giving to God

When Jenneka and I attended a Partnership Development seminar with Pioneer Bible Translators we did a short Bible study that I thought was exciting, because it gave me a new perspective on financial support for those in ministry.

"Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord's; it is holy to the Lord."  - Leviticus 27:30

This can be applied today as well.  When we are giving to our local church, to a missionary or some other work of God we are giving to the Lord.  I was reminded that it is important to recognize we are giving to God, not to people.

"Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, ‘When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance...'" - Numbers 18:26a

Those in ministry are like the Levites, who can't earn money for themselves in the conventional sense, because they are doing God's work.  Numbers 18:26 makes it clear that it is God is paying his workers.  This is sometimes particularly important for missionaries and others in ministry to hear.  In doing support-raising I am tempted sometimes to feel like we are living off handouts, but we are actually being paid by our Great Provider!

This paints the relationship between a missionary and his/her supporters in a profound light.  In the deepest sense we are giving to and receiving from God, not each other.  We have a joyful relationship with our God as we worship him and know his provision.  That is not to say that as missionaries we are not grateful to our supporters - we are deeply so - but we recognize God gets our deepest gratitude and holds our primary obligation.

God bless you and may he get the glory!


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