God does not need our money. He tells us, “For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills, I know all the birds of the hills, and all that moves in the field is mine.” (Psalm 50:10-11). Psalm 50 is a beautiful description of what God desires from us. In verse 14 he says, “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High.” What he desires from us is our heart. A heart that worships him and keeps our word of devotion to him as our Lord. However, when God gets our heart and devotion he will have our possessions and he will receive our gifts as a sacrifice of praise. To not give is to keep for yourself what is not yours (Malachi 3:8). But before we give we must examine our hearts and make sure it is out of our love for God. He desires our heart first.
Giving is how God calls us to partner together in ministry. Giving of our first-fruits is how God has called ministry to be funded from the beginning. Paul tells us, “Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? 14 In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:13-14). This verse specifically speaks of funding for ministers, but I think the principal applies to the funding of all ministry. It is our faithful giving that is used to fulfill the ministry of the church, “To equip the saints for the work of ministry.” (Ephesians 4:12)
We are having a difficult financial year. This struggle directly affects our ability to engage Bartlesville and the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. Our largest outreach event, the Pumpkin Patch, is coming up. This outreach event and others are going to suffer without your faithful contributions. Search your heart, worship God, and give out of your love for him. He doesn’t need our money, but he has chosen to fund his ministries through the gifts of those who love him.