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…)
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…)
Regret is a powerful emotion that overwhelms and paralyzes those who give it a home. Follow these four Bible steps to banish it from your life.
1 Timothy 1:12–17 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
We all make mistakes. We all have things we would do differently. The key is that you learn from your mistakes. Satan works to use the errors of our past to haunt us with never-ending pain. Sinful actions, foolish decisions, missed opportunities, mishandled relationships, etc. give him plenty of ammo to use against us. What is haunting you from your past? What emotional club does satan use to beat you with? What nagging regret is keeping you from moving on?
The Apostle Paul had a lot of reasons for regret. He was cheering at the stoning of Stephen the first martyr. He blasphemed Christ, hunted Christians, and facilitated their deaths. Yet, He found victory over regret. He used his past as a motivation for a better future. We can do the same following these steps. (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…)