Righteousness - Session 14
The world today operates by the principle that you give to get, and for a long time that has been a teaching of the Church as well. In true righteousness, however, we don’t give in order to get something back, but we give as an expression of who we are.
In this session Pastor Thamo continues to exhort on the management of finances as a practical expression of righteous living. Righteousness in the management of finances is achieved when our finances are managed according to Biblical principles. Furthermore, righteous living is also equated to how we represent God in our vocational lives as an exact representation of who He is.
We Don’t Give to Get – We Give to Obey
The world today operates by the principle that you give to get, and for a long time that has been a teaching of the Church as well. In true righteousness, however, we don’t give in order to get something back, but we give as an expression of who we are. The narrative of Cain and Abel aptly highlights this principle. After displaying success in their relative vocations, there came a time when both Cain and Abel offered up the produce of their labours to God. The scriptures record that God accepted Abel’s offering due to the fact that his ‘works’ i.e. his employment, was pleasing to God, and because it came from the pure condition of his heart. Cain, on the other hand offered up something that reflected his own works. This was discussed in further detail in previous sessions.
Full Time Ministry Wherever You Are
God has called every one of us to full time ministry, meaning that we represent Him wherever we are, whether in the secular world or in the Church. In fact, the secular and the spiritual should not be separated. Righteousness demands that we be hardworking. We must not look for easy, under handed ways to obtain wealth. God calls this wickedness and bribery, and these will cause us to be blinded from discerning the things of God. Everything that we do must be unto the Lord, showing accountability and transparency in all things. The way that God measures our representation of Him is by our obedience to His word. When we present offerings to God, it is symbolic of who we are, and it demonstrates the very nature of our lives.
The Doctrine of First and Last Things
In this teaching we are introduced to the doctrine of first things and the doctrine of last things. The doctrine of last things is represented by our tithe which is 10% of our gross monthly income. The act of tithing shows that we recognise God as our source and that He is the One who has enabled us to accomplish our achievements. The doctrine of first things is represented by the principle of first fruits which we honour by giving 1.5 – 2% of our gross annual income. The symbolism of this is that we are giving God our future by giving Him the first of what we have. In between these two forms of giving are our offerings, which symbolizes the giving of our lives as an offering to Him. The giving of tithes, first fruits, and offerings is called 3-fold giving. Remember that ultimately, God is not concerned about the actual money that we give, but rather how we demonstrate that our lives are totally surrendered to Him.
Our giving must be done unto God, to please Him and no one else. Our giving must come out of an abundant, cheerful heart that gives generously, willingly and filled with integrity. The manner in which we sow determines what we will reap, so when we give being led by the Holy Spirit, we will reap grace which meets all our needs. We receive the fruits of righteousness when we give righteously because God exalts the righteous. We will reap the peace and the life of God that covers us in death and in life.
We have to practice righteousness in order to perfect it. The Bible tells us that the Lord has His eyes on the righteous, delivering them from all afflictions and preventing them from being broken.