Tithing – Gross or Net?

I responded to an e-mail earlier today that asked me if we should tithe on the “gross” or “net” of our salary.  After I responded, I decided it would be beneficial for us all ponder this subject.  Read below, and let me know your thoughts.  And prepare for a dissertation from all our anti-tithing friends in cyberspace – 🙂

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I thank God for the opportunity to tithe, as it has been a blessing in my life.  God has attached his blessing to the tithe, but as New Testament Christians we should strive to exceed that.   It’s a matter of our heart.  When we give our tithe and beyond, it connects are heart to God.

I personally believe I should tithe on my gross salary.    However, there isn’t necessarily a “law” that requires us to tithe on the gross.   We are not under the law, so if a person that starts out tithing only on the net is still doing a good thing that God will honor.  The heart of the matter is not “getting by” with giving the least we “have to”, but to have a lifestyle that continues to give us much as we can.

Are You A Guerrilla Lover?

One of the best Christian books I have read in a long time is Guerrilla Lovers by Vince Antonucci, church planter on the strip of Las Vegas.   Vince accomplished what few people ever do – he made me laugh out loud.   This writing challenges our old way of evangelism though the “shock and awe method.”  Instead, Antonucci challenges us to use “guerrilla tactics” that are covert and strategic to surprise those who are normally turned off to Christianity.  With hilarious stories and cultural references, this book was a delight, especially if you are a GenXer like me.   Some times this book could be accused of being irreverent, but is always challenging.   For you who preach, there are some great sermon illustrations here.   Thanks Vince Antonucci for a refreshing and different look at Christian writing.

The Ultimate Report Card

This is our final day of The Next Level.  This last chapter on “The Ultimate Report Card:  The Judgment Seat of Christ” is very meaningful to me.   I have been listening to Scott Wilson preach for over 20 years, and his ministry has had a huge impact on me.  Scott has also been an encouragement to me on a personal level.

Of the many sermons I have heard Scott preach, his teaching on “the Judgment Seat of Christ” had a profound impact on me.   I hope you take time to read the last chapter, and learn about the two separate judgments we will face as Christians.  I thank Jesus Christ that his death and resurrection has given me the right to heaven in the Great White Throne Judgment.   In addition to this, we who are Christians will be judged at “The Judgment Seat of Christ” for the quality of our lives (this isn’t about salvation) (see I Corinthians 3:12-15).

Our aspiration to go to the next level is so that we can present good thing to Christ when He judges our conduct.  Let’s go to The NEXT LEVEL for HIM!

The Wilderness Test

Yesterday, I preached on “The Wilderness Test”  based on Mark 1:9-13 and Luke Chapter 4.   If you missed it, here is the outline:

1. The wilderness test often comes after a great experience

2. In the wilderness, the enemy tries to shakes our confidence
Luke 4:3-12

3. We leave the wilderness with power
Luke 4:13-14

To watch Scott Wilson’s video blog on Day #30, click here.

The Next Level – Day 28 and Day 29

Day 28 – The Courage Test
Everyone fears.  It’s not wrong to feel feelings of fear, but it is wrong to stay in fear.  One of the characteristics of a relationship with the Holy Spirit is new courage in our life.   If you feel smothered by fear today, where is the Holy Spirit in your life?   As you position yourself to be full of His Spirit, your fear

To watch Scott Wilson’s video blog on Day #28, click here.

Day 29 – The Direction Test

God wants to give you direction.  There are so many chances to go your own way, but time after time God will test us to see if we are really allowing Him to lead.  Scott Wilson cautions us to not just make decisions based of “peace”.  “The person who committed adultery might have felt a strong sense of peace that he was doing the right thing, but it was hormones, not the Holy Spirit (p. 198).”  The longer we walk with God, the more we will recognize His voice and direction.

To watch Scott Wilson’s video blog on Day #29 click here.

The Excuses Test

This statement is so true . . . “Many people would rather complain than take responsibility (p. 184).”   When we become comfortable with our dysfunction, we work harder at explaining the defect instead of improving it.   Scott shares a very dark story about abuse in this chapter that grabs our attention.  However, most of the excuses we make are far less dramatic.  We make excuses for ourselves in small daily choices hat keep us from the big changes God desires.   No more excuses if you want to go to the next level!

Watch Scott Wilson’s video blog on Day #27 by clicking here

The Heart-of-the-Matter Test

As we read about the rich young ruler, we discover we are no different from him.  All of us “have something that we want to cling to, to trust in, and to give us an identity.  For many years God may not shine his light on those things.  He lets us wander along with “two minds” and “competing hearts,” but if we’re really serious about following him, sooner or later the bright light of this love points out the one thing that competes with his rightful place in the center of our hearts (p. 179).”

I have followed Christ all my life, but I am just now discovering the benefit of my longevity.  I always think I love God solely, but at each stage of life I realize how little of my heart has been His.  I pray that each year I walk with the Lord that my heart becomes more and more His.   Let’s not be like this young man who spoke with Jesus, and keep that “one thing” from surrendering our hearts completely to Him.

To watch Scott Wilson’s video blog, click here