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…)
Temperance is more than moderation. It is the power of God to do what you know you should do. Learn how to get it here.
We live in an interesting day. We have many more conveniences and comforts than any generation in the history of the world, yet people are more unhappy and unfulfilled than they have ever been.
We have come to expect instant gratification in every area of life. Need a meal? Fast food or a microwave oven will have it for you in a flash. Need a friend? Create an account and start collecting them. Have a thought? Post it online and watch the likes and comments roll in. Someone make you angry? Give them a piece of your mind. Then tell anyone who will listen what they did to you. Want something you can’t afford? Swipe the credit card. The problem is that any joy from instant gratification is short-lived usually followed by lingering guilt and hardship.
Modern comforts have given us an insatiable craving for pleasure. No need to wait, to work, to hope, to save, to dream, to strive. Many believe happiness and comfort are a birthright. Pleasure at any cost is the cry of the masses. “If it feels good, do it; if it’s not fun, don’t” is the motto of this generation.
We are blessed to live in this era of time with its conveniences and comforts. We should thank the Lord for all the tools and opportunities that are available. However, if we are to serve God and follow Christ, we must be able to sort through the noise cutting out what will hinder our divine relationships and service. Not every opportunity is (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…)