You don’t want to rob God, but you’re not sure how to handle your tax return. What does the Bible say?
Proverbs 3:9–10 “Honour the LORD with thy substance, And with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, And thy presses shall burst out with new wine.”
Dedicated Christians tithe. We tithe by returning 10% of our increase to the Lord through our local church. This is a straightforward calculation for your regular paycheck. As a pastor, I have been asked many times how to tithe off of a tax return. Here are my thoughts on the subject.
Tithe off of Net Pay
If you have been tithing off of your net pay (this is the amount you receive with taxes removed), you have not tithed from all your income. Even though the government takes tax out before it gets to you, it is still part of your increase. You must tithe off of your entire tax refund.
Tithe off of Gross Pay
I recommend tithing off of your gross pay from each paycheck. This is the amount you are paid before taxes are taken out. Furthermore, I urge that you tithe off of your entire (more…)
You are spending your time, talent and treasure toward something. Don’t waste your investment. Make sure the end is worth the effort. Here are ten things worth striving for.
1. To make efforts; to use exertions; to endeavor with earnestness; to labor hard; applicable to exertions of body or mind. A workman strives to perform his task before another; a student strives to excel his fellows in improvement.
Strive with me in your prayers to God for me. Rom. 15.
Strive to enter in at the strait gate. Luke 13.
2. To contend; to contest; to struggle in opposition to another; to be in contention or dispute; followed by against or with before the person or thing opposed; as, strive against temptation; strive for the truth.
My spirit shall not always strive with man. Gen. 6.
3. To oppose by contrariety of qualities.
Now private pity strove with public hate,
4. To vie; to be comparable to; to emulate; to contend in excellence.
Each of us is striving towards something. We get up in the morning to do it. We spend our time and money towards it. We think about it in our spare time. We go without preferences and sometimes necessities to attain it. What is “it” for you? What are you striving towards?
Some people are striving to survive. Working day to day to pay the bills, keep a roof over their heads, and feed the family. Others strive to be rich. They have enough for their basic needs and most of their wants, yet they hope to reach some financial number that will bring them freedom from the rat race. Many strive to be the best in their profession or sport to attain fame and fortune.
Have you ever thought about what would happen if (more…)
Winter can be tough on a church if the pastor and people are not prepared. Make the most out of your ministry during this Winter!
One of the benefits of serving God in New England is that we get to experience all four seasons. Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter all have their pros and cons. New Englanders usually have strong feelings about which ones they like and dislike. Nevertheless, we are privileged to experience them in all of their glory. Each season presents its own challenges to ministry. We won’t list them all here. In this article, we will focus on ministry in the Winter.
If you want to have a fruitful ministry in New England, you must make peace with Winter. That’s easier for some people than others. If you grew up in the northern United States, you are probably accustomed to cold weather, snow accumulation, and winter storms. Some people even enjoy Winter! However, if you have never lived or ministered up North, you are in for a treat. Many well-intentioned preachers have moved to New England believing that God wanted them to serve here, only to quit because of the Winter. Either God never called them to New England, or they left God’s will because they didn’t consider how to serve God successfully during the cold winter months. I don’t make that statement as a criticism but as a fact.
I grew (more…)
We live in a time when people reject labels of all kinds. Why is it important to be a Baptist? Why not drop the name and be a non-denominational church? Why does it matter what Christian group with which you identify?
Labels are useful. Imagine how foolish it would be if you went to the canned food aisle at the grocery store and there were no labels. Perhaps there were hundreds of cans marked “Beans.” Are they green beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, or lentils? Are the beans seasoned or unseasoned? No one would know unless they bought the can, took it home and opened it.
Furthermore, how foolish would it be if every restaurant in the world was generically named? Before you enter a restaurant, you want to know if they serve Italian, Mexican, American, Indian, or Chinese. Labels help us see at a glance what kind of food we can expect to find inside the restaurant.
We rely on labels daily to tell us what to expect. They are necessary when it comes to churches as well. Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Pentecostal, Universalist Unitarian, Nazarene, Charismatic, etc. are more than archaic labels. Each one signals a body of doctrine and philosophy that is vastly different from one another. Furthermore, a non-denominational church can be any one of these! How confusing! These various churches can’t all be right.
Do you know (more…)
The Believer’s most powerful ally is the Holy Spirit Who dwells within. Do you know what He is trying to accomplish in your life? Do you know what He wants to do to help you? Are you allowing Him to do His job?
Before our Lord Jesus Christ returned to Heaven, He comforted the Disciples with the revelation that He would leave them the Holy Spirit as their Helper and Comforter.
Wow! God placed a Member of the Trinity within His children! He is in you right now. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He wants to supercharge your life. There is divine power, wisdom, insight, and more available to you through the Holy Ghost! Yet, most Christians are unaware of His ministry.
The Holy Spirit is the least understood Member of the Godhead, yet He is the One we interact with most intimately in this life. I encourage you to begin the journey of getting to know Him and experiencing all He has to offer.
What is He trying to do in your life today? How can He help you? Are you filled with Him? What limits His work in your life? (more…)