Let me start by saying that I do believe in tithing. I don't consider myself morally superior to anyone who doesn't or more spiritually enlightened than anyone who doesn't. I don't tithe because I feel forced to. God has just convicted me in that area of tithes and offerings. I'm not going to pat anyone on the back for tithing or give them a piece of candy for it and neither am I going to wag my finger in the face of anyone who doesn't and say, "tsk! tsk!". All that is between you and the LORD and not you and me. But I do want to you consider what the LORD has in mind for you in terms of giving to storehouse, the local church in 2007. Not the Jerry Lewis Telethon or the local charity or the poor neighbor down the road. I believe in giving to all of those. We should put money in Salvation Army bucket and we should buy groceries for those who don't have the money and give toiletry items to the battered women's shelter and send Christmas boxes around the world to needy children and raise money for St. Jude's. I believe in all of that.....anonymously and in the name of Jesus Christ. But I also believe in giving to the local church. I really am not looking for a debate or discussion, but I just want to present scripture for you to pray about and meditate on and to use as a springboard for your decision making as to what to give to your local church in 2007 based on God's leading in your life. My pastor gave this outline last Sunday night. Think about it. (1.) God owns it all. "The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." Psalms 24:1 (2.) We have been bought with a price and therefore belong to God. "What? Know you not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which you have of God, and you are not your own? For you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (3.) Prayerfully and privately consider giving at least a tithe, if not more. "Bring you all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in my house and prove me now herewith, said the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that here shall not be room enough to receive it." Malachi 3:10 (4.) Whatever you give, you should give to the LORD first. "Honor the LORD with your substance and with the first fruits of all your increase: So shall your barns be filled with plenty, and your presses shall burst out with new wine." Proverbs 3:9-10 (5.) We should give with joy. "Every man according as he purposed in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or out of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7 (6.) We can't out give God. "Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you mete with it shall be measured to you again." Luke 6:38 That was my pastor's sermon on giving. This is from me......We own nothing. God owns everything, including our possessions and body. Someday someone else is going to be in charge of our money and possessions that we sometimes so greedily cling to. We don't own the money, the houses, the jewelry, or the material wealth. We are just caretakers of it for a while. Someone else will have our houses and money someday. God gave us temporary ownership of these things for a while. Like the parable of the talents in the New Testament, let's see if we can be considered wise and faithful stewards of the material gain that God have granted us temporary custody of. We can take NONE of it with us. But God does expect to see where we tried to give it back to Him and His work and made a nice "profit", in His Name. What will your giving be like to the LORD in 2007?