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1. The Bible asks us to give our first and our best back to God and He will bless the rest (Leviticus 27:30, Deuteronomy 14:23). This first is the tithe, or “tenth” of our income. We return to the Lord 10% of what He's given us, because it belongs to Him. The tithe is a very practical and tangible way to put God first.

2. We should give to the local church. The local church is God’s plan for the world. In the book of Matthew, Jesus said “I will build my church.” When you give to the church, you provide for those leading the church (I Timothy 5:17-18) and you support the mission activities of that church (Philippians 4:15-19).

3. Jesus taught that our money was connected to our heart (Matthew 5). In other words, Jesus knows that how we leverage our finances is a clue to what is really important to us. In a way, giving is not a financial is a heart issue.

4. Proverbs challenges us to bring our “first fruits” to God. In other words, God is not impressed when we bring him our leftovers…He deserves our best. When we pass the baskets on Sunday, it is an opportunity to bring God your best.

5. Giving is really a matter of trust. When we give, we are saying in a very tangible way that we trust God.

6. God loves a cheerful giver. Giving and tithing is not a bill to be paid, like your mortgage or utility bill. It’s an opportunity to connect your faith with your finances. The heart of God is moved when your heart is moved.

7. Be generous. "Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life"

- 1 Timothy 6:17-19

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