God’s Financial Covenant with Every Believer
The scriptures teach us clearly that our God is a God of covenants. As such, He deals with His people through covenants (e.g., Gen 9:9; Gen 15:18). In its simplest form, a covenant is a binding agreement between two or more parties. One aspect of God’s overall covenant with His people is the area of their finances, which is the focus of this article.
At the outset, it is important to note and state that God has a financial covenant with every believer. If this premise is true, then by reciprocal extension, it follows that every believer should have a financial covenant with his/her local church. Historically, the area of finances has been an area of tremendous misunderstanding, controversy, conflict and skepticism within the body of Christ. As a result, sound biblical financial stewardship has become a “lost art,” or practice within the modern day church. This article aims to shed some light on this very controversial area, in the hopes of liberating the people of God from mindsets and practices that have left us with a legacy of financial impotence, which I argue is not the Will of God.
There are three critical components in God’s financial covenant with every believer (you):
- First Fruits (Prov 3:9)
- The Tithe (Mal 3:6-15)
- Freewill Offerings (Ex 35:29)
Each of these components is tied to particular (divine) covenant promises and blessings.
The First Fruits is really about (individual) increase. It is the first aspect of God’s financial covenant with the believer because the first part of anything in the life of the believer really belongs to God. This is where and how the believer honors God with the first fruits, or first part of their increase. In other words, the believer is really saying to God, I recognize you to be the true owner and giver of everything that I have, and will ever have, and as such, I am honoring you with the first part of all my increases in life (Proverbs 3:9). The first fruit offering is very powerful because it is the first fruits that really guarantee the remainder of the believer’s harvest. In honoring the Lord with the first fruits/first part of all your increases, the writer says (because you do this) your “barns will be full…….” (Proverbs 3:10).
The second component of God’s financial covenant with believers is the Tithe. The tithe is defined as “a tenth” or the tenth part. It is separate from the first fruits and the freewill offering. This particular component God says is His- it belongs to Him. Because it is God’s, it automatically becomes consecrated, dedicated or devoted in its very nature. This really means that no one else has a right to touch, take or use “the consecrated/devoted thing,” for themselves; else they run the risk of becoming “accursed,” or “doomed to destruction.” The tithe is the power aspect of the financial covenant. It is where the believer acts in obedience to God, and gives God what God says is His. In response to the believer’s obedience and faith, God gives the believer the “power to get wealth.” He does not give him/her wealth, but he gives the power – i.e., strategies, ideas, concepts, insights etc. to obtain wealth. It is in response to the tithe that God says he would “open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing on you.”
- Genesis 14:20
- Leviticus 27:30-32
- Numbers 18:21,26
- Deuteronomy 14:22-29
- Malachi 3:6-12
- Matthew 22:21
The final aspect of the financial covenant is the Freewill Offering (Ex 35:29). This is the exchange aspect of the covenant. Here, the believer freely decides what he/she wants to give to God and proceeds to do that. God then takes what the believer has given, and exchanges it for what he/she needs. Offerings can be as much as, or even greater than the tithe. That is to say, there is no specific limit on the amount a believer can decide to give as a freewill offering.
The first quarter of this year (Jan – Mar) is the quarter for first fruits at Rhema. Specifically, our man of God, Pastor Orim M. Meikle has designated this quarter as a time when he asks all covenant members of Rhema to honor the Lord with their first paycheque of the year, or their first fruits of the year, at the beginning (or head) of the year. In so doing, he wants to ensure that every member of Rhema secures their harvest for the rest of 2013. 2013 is the Year of the Supernatural! It is a year when the Lord promises to do marvelous things “in our eyes” (Ps 118:23). Heretofore, that which eyes could not see, and ears could not hear, will be seen and heard in 2013 (I Cor 2:9). Our conclusion will be that it is the Lord’s doing. Supernatural Opportunities, Supernatural Favour, Supernatural Harvest…….. EXPECT IT in Jesus Name! I trust that as an expression of your faith, you will partner with us, as we press towards practicing sound biblical financial stewardship. I also trust that this brief exposition has provided you with a better understanding of your financial covenant with God.
Expecting the Supernatural !