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The financial burden of God’s work has always been shared amongst God’s people. In the OT, this was mainly by compulsory tithes; in the NT by voluntary contributions.

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The collection of compulsory tithes and other religious taxes

Tithes

Leviticus 27:30 NIV84
“ ‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.
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Redemption money

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Temple taxes

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The collection of voluntary contributions

For the tabernacle

Exodus 36:3 NIV84
They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning.
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For the temple

1 Chronicles 29:1–9 NIV84
Then King David said to the whole assembly: “My son Solomon, the one whom God has chosen, is young and inexperienced. The task is great, because this palatial structure is not for man but for the Lord God. With all my resources I have provided for the temple of my God—gold for the gold work, silver for the silver, bronze for the bronze, iron for the iron and wood for the wood, as well as onyx for the settings, turquoise, stones of various colors, and all kinds of fine stone and marble—all of these in large quantities. Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate himself today to the Lord?” Then the leaders of families, the officers of the tribes of Israel, the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, and the officials in charge of the king’s work gave willingly. They gave toward the work on the temple of God five thousand talents and ten thousand darics of gold, ten thousand talents of silver, eighteen thousand talents of bronze and a hundred thousand talents of iron. Any who had precious stones gave them to the treasury of the temple of the Lord in the custody of Jehiel the Gershonite. The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

For the rebuilding of the temple

Ezra 1:4 NIV84
And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.’ ”

For the teaching ministry of the church

Galatians 6:6 NIV84
Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.
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For the relief of the poor

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The aim of collections

To share burdens equally

2 Corinthians 8:13–15 NIV84
Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: “He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.”

To supply people’s needs

2 Corinthians 9:12 NIV84
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

To arouse thanksgiving

2 Corinthians 9:12–15 NIV84
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

The right attitude to collections

Generosity

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Cheerfulness

2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV84
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Discipline

1 Corinthians 16:2–4 NIV84
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem. If it seems advisable for me to go also, they will accompany me.

Humility

Matthew 6:2–4 NIV84
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

A willing spirit

2 Corinthians 8:12 NIV84
For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.

A sacrificial spirit

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The faithful administration of collections

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