The Bible teaches, primarily, two ways of giving for the finance of the Lord’s work. God’s people are instructed to bring their tithes and offerings to the house of God to finance the work of God on earth. (Deut. 12:5; Malachi 3:8-10)
TITHING is simply returning the first tenth of all your income to the Lord through your local church. This has been God’s plan of providing the finances for maintaining His house and His ministers from the days of Abraham (Genesis 14:18-20; 28:20-22; Leviticus 27:30-32; Malachi 3:8-10; Matthew 23:23)
OFFERING are those gifts given to the Lord, by His people above and beyond their tithe. The children of Israel were charged with robbing God when they withheld both their tithes and offerings. (Malachi 3:8)
The faith promise offering is a freewill offering collected weekly in our church to provide the finances for worldwide missions. Missions involves training, equipping, sending, and supporting of personnel who devote their time preaching the Gospel and planting churches at home and beyond. The Faith Promise method of giving is described in detail for us in II Corinthians 8, 9, and 10.
Please observe four characteristics of a faith promise offering.
IT IS A PROMISE TO GOD. Observe carefully this is not a pledge to the church. A pledge is something you sign guaranteeing ability of collection in case of nonperformance. No one will ever come to you personally demanding payment of your promise. This is entirely between you and God. However, may we say that your faith promise is something that God desires to give through you.
IT IS AN ACT OF FAITH. You are promising to give beyond your present ability to give. It was said of the Christians in the churches in Macedonia: “For to their power, I bear record, yea and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves” (II Cor. 10:5). It is simply trusting and believing God to supply the amount that he Holy Spirit leads you to give.
IT IS A FREEWILL OFFERING. Observe what is said of the Macedonian Christians: “They were willing of themselves:” “For if there be first a willing mind.” (II Cor. 8:3,12)
God uses availability; when we submit, and surrender to the Lord it is amazing what great and wonderful things He can accomplish through us.
IT IS A PROMISE FOR A YEAR. “And therein I give my advice, for this is expedient for you, who have begun before, not only to do but also to be forward a year ago.” (II Cor. 8:10) You are promising to do something for an entire year, fifty-two weeks by the grace of God.
God calls us to walk by faith in every aspect of our live. I believe this includes our giving. As we give by faith we can see God fulfill his promise in Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply ALL your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”