TITHES & OFFERINGS.
Tithing is the practice of giving 10% of our money to the Lord's work through the local church. One of the biggest excuses for not tithing is the often-repeated mantra, “That’s under the law.” But Jesus, when referring to the weightier matters of the law (judgment, mercy, and faith) said, “these ought ye to have done,” and then in connection with the “tithe” said, “and not to leave the other [tithe] undone.” (Matthew 23:23) “[T]he tenth shall be holy unto the LORD.” (Leviticus 27:32) Abraham and Isaac tithed hundreds of years before the law was given! So before, during, and after the law, people gave, and God received, tithes. Christ did not die on the cross so we could give less money! It is important to hear me well on this as those who do not tithe shortchange themselves, literally!
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:8-12)
This is the only place in the Bible where God says, “prove me”, and, of all things, He does it with money. Why? Because everyone knows how much money they are paid and how much is left over at the end of the month, and by giving to God’s work and seeing His blessings, we are then encouraged and have our faith strengthened. And then we begin to realize that God can keep every other promise in the Bible also! Our tithes (ten percent of our income) and offerings (free will offering to the Lord above the tithe) belong to God, and He says He will bless you and give it back “pour you out a blessing”.
Even a greedy or stingy person would tithe if he believed he would have more money at the end of the month. Who wouldn’t? Perhaps you will not get sick as often and so have less doctor bills, or get a raise, or find better deals, but somehow the money just stretches better because God is in charge and He will bless your money. God says, “prove me”!
As a preacher, I have heard, “But we are having a financial crisis”, or “Pastor, I am too poor to tithe”. Really? Remember that nine “blessed” apples are more than ten “cursed” apples! And the truth is we all give, either to God or to the “devourer”, but if we give it to God, then He says, “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes”, and He will bless what remains! “Prove” God! See if God can keep His promises! If someone would respond, “But I already believe God”, Good! Then you will be tithing. Giving also will “prove the sincerity of your love.” (II Corinthians 8:8) And God knows that where our treasure is, there will our heart be also (Matthew 6:19-21). And the Bible says to give “cheerfully” (II Corinthians 9:7). Someone says, “You mean I have to be happy about this?” Yes! You’re getting blessed by God for it! See Cheerful Giver, by G. M. Mathney.
Some say they will save their tithe and give it when there is a need in the church, but it is not your money! The tithe is “holy” to the Lord and we are not to spend it as we like but, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house”. Where it says, “meat” it was obviously not for God but for those who minister in God’s house. Paul the Apostle said that churches that would not take care of God’s man were “inferior” (II Corinthians 12:13), and when he did not receive money, he made tents (Acts 18:3), but he received financial support when it was given (Philippians 4:15-19) “Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.” (I Corinthians 9:13-14) “The labourer is worthy of his reward.” (I Timothy 5:17-18) The following are some verses to reflect upon: Proverbs 3:9-10, 11:24-25, Malachi 2:13-16, I Corinthians 9:13-14.