Righteousness - Session 12
God is not interested in what we give Him on a Sunday, instead God is interested in what we gave Him from Monday to Saturday.
Today’s session is about practicing righteousness in the area of finances. The grand narrative, from the Christian perspective, is that every aspect of our lives has been designed by God to function in a certain way, and one of the areas that God expects us to bring into alignment with divine patterns and templates, is the area of finances.
Righteous Giving Starts With Knowing Your Identity
The scriptures tell us in the book of Malachi that God loved Jacob, but hated Esau. The obvious question is why would a God of love hate anyone. The reason why God looked upon Esau with such disdain is because Esau chose to sell his identity by selling his birth right. In his state of hunger and vulnerability he lost sight of the significance of what it means to be a firstborn son. He failed to realise that the firstborn belongs to God. In belonging to God, we do not live for ourselves, neither do we own anything, but our life and everything we have belongs to Gods.
It is important to know that in Christ, you have become a firstborn child of God. That privileged position comes with tremendous privilege such as grace, the favour to be seated at the right hand position of God, and the double portion of His blessings.
Your Righteousness in Giving is measured in Your Representation.
God is not interested in what we give Him on a Sunday, instead God is interested in what we gave Him from Monday to Saturday. In other words, our presentation to Him of our tithes, offerings, or first fruit is a representation of our lives during the week. He examines our attitudes and dispositions towards the way we conducted ourselves, and based on His findings, God evaluates whether our offerings are clean offerings or defiled offerings. When Cain and Abel presented their offerings before God, it was based on their representation and the dispositions of their hearts that God had respect for Abel’s offering but disdain towards Cain’s offering. Three fold giving in the form of tithes, first fruit and offerings are symbolic or representative offerings, that are given to the Lord.
Righteousness in Ministering to the Needs of Fellow Believers.
Another way in which righteousness is practiced is in our giving to fellow believers. This must be differentiated from three fold giving to the Church, which is our representational giving. Through meeting the needs of people from within the Church we increase the fruit of righteousness. “Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and the fruits of your righteousness’ Corinthians 9:10 (NKJV).Giving to others not only increases grace upon your life but it allows God to increase the fruits of your righteousness thereby developing your character. Essentially this means that the more you give, the less competitive you become. In fact, one of the great joys of giving is that you come to a place where you are not intimidated by the success of others, instead you learn how to celebrate their successes. Unlike Cain who had murder in his heart, our giving to others will give us a heart of happiness for the success of others.