Thanks for taking this course. I hope that this has caused you to think about how you and your people at your church tithe. It is my prayer that all Christians could be more generous in their giving and that the church would grow because of it.
These are some suggested answers to questions as well as some specific thoughts on answers given by students. In most cases there is more than one right answer and not all correct answers will be addressed here.
What was the difference between Cain and Abel’s offerings?
Cain some of his fruit while Abel gave the fattened portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. Moreover, Abel’s sacrifice required the shedding of blood.
Why was Cain not doing what was right?
There is a lot that is unsaid in this passage. It is quite possible that Cain knew God required a blood sacrifice. The only example we have earlier in the Bible is when God killed an animal to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness. We do know that Cain’s attitude regarding the sacrifice was not acceptable. God warned Cain about his attitude and that sin would consume him, but he did not repent and instead was consumed by hatred that manifested in murder.
What do you think about God’s promise to bless those who are faithful in tithing? Is it literal? Is it a physical blessing or spiritual blessing? Is it still a promise for today?
There are many who are skeptical about God’s promise to bless. Indeed there are numerous churches that preach a “health and wealth” gospel that pretend you’re guaranteed prosperity if simply follow God. Nevertheless, I have observed God’s blessing for being faithful with our offerings. I believe that this is a promise that is both physical and spiritual. My own church experienced a time when it was tight with its purse strings and we were stagnant. When we finally stopped asking “how much does this cost?” and instead just asked “is this what God would have us to do?” we have the money to do what was required. God has not given us money to squander, but he has given us what we need to accomplish His work.
Which of these five motivates you to give most?
Answers have been varied on this question as different people are motivated by different things. I personally find myself trying to give in whatever direction I feel the Lord is leading. At some points, He gives opportunities to help the church camp, at other times it is to help with an outreach project. Because none of us have infinite resources however, we need to be careful where we give our money and we shouldn’t give it away just because someone asks or an opportunity presents itself. For instance, both the Red Cross and Franklin Graham’s organization Samaritan’s Purse do great charity work. However, with Samaritan’s Purse I know that the gospel is held in high regard and they do not simply write checks without relating to the people. Likewise, I know that a high percentage of money collected by the Red Cross goes toward administrative costs. Both do good work and the Red Cross is an internationally respected organization, but for my money, I will give to organizations like Samaritan’s Purse before I give to the Red Cross.