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We believe in the power of generosity, what it does for the individual doing the giving, and for the purpose that the giving supports.

Giving is one of the central themes of the Bible.  Jesus talked more about this subject than heaven, hell, or prayer.  To understand what it means to follow Jesus, we must understand what it means to be a giver.

First Things First

God doesn’t need our money;  He already owns it all.  But when we willingly set aside the first part of our income to support His Church, our hearts will be turned toward Him.  (Matthew 6:21)

The Bible says that by giving generously we are able to “take hold of the life that is TRULY LIFE.”  You aren’t really living unless you are freely giving.  (1 Timothy 6:19)

The Treasure Test

Giving is the only area in the Bible where God invites us to test Him.  Give your tithe (the first 10% of your income) to God and see if He doesn’t open the floodgates of heaven to bless you in ways you never dreamed possible.  (Malachi 3:10)

Even when the stock market is down,  you can make an investment that pays dividends for a lifetime and beyond.  By investing in the life-changing message of the God’s church, you can leverage your money for eternity.  (1 Timothy 6:7)

It is critically important to understand that the money we have is not our own.  It’s all God’s, and He has entrusted us to manage it.  A good money manager will responsibly do three things with the money God has given him/her;  worship God (Leviticus 27:30), meet the needs of others (Acts 2:45), and yes, have a little fun (1 Timothy 6:17).  Two of the four areas of money management involve giving:  worshiping God and meeting the needs of others.  Through the tithe, we do both.

The word tithe means tenth and refers to the first ten percent of our income.  The Bible tells us that the tithe belongs to God, is to be immediately set aside for Him (Leviticus 27:30), and is to be brought to the storehouse (Malachi 3:10).  Today, that storehouse is the local church, and God wants our tithes to go to the local church for the same reason He wanted them to go to the temple’s storehouse, “that there may be food in My house.”  The church’s job is to meet the needs of people.  You can think of the local church as being a hospital for spiritually sick people where Jesus Christ is the doctor.  But just as a hospital cannot heal the physically sick without funds, the church cannot heal the spiritually sick without funds.  When we tithe, we give to others through the church.

Worship is anything we do to praise and glorify God.  We worship God with our mouths when we pray, tell others of His love or sing to Him.  We worship God with our bodies by eating right, bowing in prayer and even dancing!  We worship God with our money when we tithe.  By giving to God the first ten percent of our income, we are showing Him that He is more important than the cable company, the mortgage company… even the IRS.  We are saying we believe Him when He promises to provide for us (Genesis:22:14) and that He will bless our lives through our giving (Proverbs 3:9 – 10).  As faithful Christians, tithing should be as natural as bowing our heads in prayer.

Give To Live

Have you ever wondered why God would have us give our stuff away?  Greed and materialism run rampant in today’s culture as they have in just about any culture across the globe and throughout history.  God hates greed and materialism because THEY ROB US of the abundant life He wants us to have.  Hoarding money will not buy us freedom in life – it actually buys us slavery to possessions.  Generosity is the only way to experience life as God intended us to (1 Timothy 6:18 – 19).

Giving also helps us combat legalism.  Legalism is a noose that can slowly tighten around a Christ-follower’s neck and choke the life right out of him.  We’re being legalistic in our giving when we do so out of a guilty conscience.  God doesn’t want us to give because we think He’s going to zap us if we don’t;  He wants us to give because we truly want to give.

Generous people give because they love God, they love those in need and they want to be just like Jesus.  God is not interested in the simple action of giving;  He is intensely interested in the faith that prompts the action of giving.

God has chosen the Church to spread the good news of Jesus Christ, thus affecting the eternity of millions of people.  The church simply cannot do this without money, and God has decided that the church is to be funded by those who follow Christ.  By giving to Edgewater, you are making a difference.

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