Through the paying of tithes we support the work of the church at home. Through missions giving we support the work of the church around the world. While the tithe is a set percentage of income for everyone (tithe means one-tenth), missions giving is a free-will offering, the amount of which is determined prayerfully by the giver.
This Sunday, April 22nd, is designated as Faith Promise Sunday at RLA This is the Sunday we come together to determine what we believe God will enable each of us to give to missions over the next twelve months. The sum total of our individual Faith Promises gives us an idea of what we as a church can commit to the cause of world missions in the coming year.
Consider the phrase - Faith Promise Giving. The element of “faith” indicates an amount that exceeds my ability to give. Paul dealt with this concept in 2 Corinthians 8:3 when he spoke of the churches in Macedonia that gave “according to their ability” and “beyond their ability.” The former statement refers to tithes and offerings that are based on known sources of income. The latter refers to Faith Promise Giving which exceeds known sources of income, and looks to God in faith to supply and enable.
The word “promise” declares this is a faith-covenant, or a faith-pact, between the giver and God. It is a solemn commitment to follow through and do what was promised. That means I faithfully give of the resources I control along with the resources of the world God controls and releases into my power to direct.
And the word “give” is the action part of the Faith Promise. I can have faith to believe. I can even make the promise. As important as all of that is, it means nothing unless I actually give. The power is in the act of doing.
Last year the RLA family gave over $124,000 to the cause of world missions (nearly 15% of our total income). Of course, we would love to see that number increase significantly in 2018. But my real goal this year involves not only income, but involvement. My goal is that every member of the RLA family will make a Faith Promise and act on it immediately in giving to the missions program of the church.
It’s when we act in obedience to the promise made that miracles occur and the provision of God appears enabling us to give beyond our ability. That is Faith Promise Giving!
Pastor Todd Weston