Sunday, October 23, 2016

On Tithing and Stewardship

• 23rd Sunday after Pentecost
with 2Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18  and   Luke 18:9-14    @FirstUMCBville   @kerrfunk
• A man was sitting in a city park watching children throw coins into a fountain when one of the children began to choke. The man rushed over and expertly performed the Heimlich, causing a coin to pop out of the child’s throat. “Thank you, are you a doctor?” exclaimed the mother. “No, I’m the stewardship chair at my church.”
Warning: I went to a retreat this week, and the topic was stewardship.
Thanks be, though, because that’s not the feeling I get from this congregation.
• Luke 18: Two men praying in the temple. With which do you identify?
The second appears really broken up.
Been there. W
e don’t know much else. 
If you were really broken up, would church be where you’d go?
What do you imagine happened next? Changed man, or no?
It's easy to point a finger at the first man,
but he’s not a demon by any means.
Gives thanks for life status…
we do the same (thank God for family and home)
Fast twice a week… anybody?
Honestly I might fast twice a year…
Give a tenth of income (tithe).Not asking for show of hands,
but I will let you know that your pastor tithes.

National statistics show that (only) about 5% of people give 10% or more. 1 out of 20.
Average charitable donation total is 2.6% of income, and about one third of active givers in churches give about $10/wk or less ($500/yr).
• Earlier in Luke 11:42 Jesus chastised the Pharisees for tithing mint and rue but neglecting justice and love of God.
“You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.”
Tithing is about loving God.
It is a profession of faith that God is greater. 
Why tithe? It is saying Yes & Thank You,
it’s what you were taught,
it demonstrates belief in mission,
& it is good to live generously.
I have never regretted tithing.
I encourage you to step towards tithing.
The problem is when the means become the end, the tithing becomes the goal
as opposed to the relationship being the goal.
Relationship is the goal. Loss of self-righteousness, and genuine remorse at offense, & let the remorse be a steering wheel not a brake, directing into way of God.

• Paul lives under fear of death, but praises and trusts in God.

• Hymn 419 I Am Thine, O Lord

2 Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18 (NRSV)   
6 As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.
16 At my first defense no one came to my support, but all deserted me. May it not be counted against them! 17 But the Lord stood by me and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth. 18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. X

Luke 18:9-14 (NRSV)          
9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and regarded others with contempt:
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’
13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 

14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”  X

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