One: I AM OBEDIENT TO YOUR WORD.
“Behold to obey is better than sacrifice” 1 Samuel 15:22. This is where the principle of tithing begins, with simple obedience to God’s Word. God is interested in us keeping His Word. Jesus said as recorded in the Gospel of John chapter 14 verse 23, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My Word”. Obeying the Word is not an option it is pivotal to our faith. It lays a foundation for our Christian walk.
“If you are willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land” Isaiah 1:19. Once again the Word tells us that simple willingness and obedience will result in blessing. The promise is that we shall find favour and partake of the good of the land. We ‘will’ to obey. It’s our personal choice to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. What will you do when you are faced with a command from God?
“Bring all the Tithes into the storehouse” Malachi 3:10. So here is a command! Bring all the tithe – all means the total tenth (10%) of what we receive from whatever we do. Giving less than a tenth is not a tithe but an offering but God’s Word say’s “all the tithe”.
I am now faced with a challenge and that is will I or won’t I. Now comes a test of my ‘willingness’ and ‘obedience’. Attached to the command is a promise from God. Read on in Malachi, “I will open the windows of heaven and pour out such blessing”, “I will rebuke the devourer”, “nations shall call you blessed”.
Obedience defines the seriousness of our faith in God’s Word.
The test is simple and a serious approach will be proven by how we act.
Obedience says no to compromise and yes to faithfulness.
A fifth, a seventh an eight is not a tenth. To tithe means sow a tenth.
Obedience say’s “I trust in the Lord, he will fulfil His Word in my life”.
To disobey the command say’s “I don’t really trust God to bless me”.
“The Lord our God we will serve and His voice we will obey” Joshua 24:24. This was the response of God’s people when Joshua gave the command to serve and bring tithes to the Lord. Uncompromising and sincere faith that recognizes God’s Word as being sovereign and His commands as the final authority for their lives.
Two: I AM GENEROUS IN MY GIVING.
Being generous is an attitude. “The generous soul will be made rich and he who waters will be watered himself”. Proverbs 11:25
Tithing reveals an obedient heart but also a generous spirit. God is generous and His blessings are limitless. A sign of good Christianity is generosity. That’s why it is so important that the Church leads the way in it’s giving. An attitude is a carefully thought out way of thinking and approaching life. Being generous says ‘I want to be like Jesus’.
Being generous leads to blessing. “He who has a generous eye will be blessed” Proverbs 22:9. “The foolish person will no longer be called generous nor the miser said to be bountiful” Isaiah 32:5. The opposite of a generous spirit is a miserly spirit. A person with this spirit is totally consumed with self! All they think about is self and how themselves can receive. I believe that a miserly spirit is inherited most often from our parents if they were misers. Being raised in an environment, not so much of lack but a spirit that wants to withhold. Many more rich people struggle with this than those who are less wealthy. It’s selfish and it is not the spirit of God.
I think it would be a terrible thing if my family & friends thought I was a miser. I care about what they think about me as a husband, father and pastor. I also care more importantly about what God thinks about me. Being generous devises ways of being more generous.
“But a generous man devises generous things and by generosity, he shall stand” Isaiah 32:8. Having a generous spirit and attitude will cause you not only to be blessed so that you can be an even bigger blessing to others but you will find yourself truly free in your giving. You will get into a flow of steady giving that will seem endless because of the supernatural supply that God will give you.
God is looking for people whom He can trust with heavenly riches to support His Church. Many businesses have experienced incredible blessing as they begin to give. This is the principal of the Kings & Priests. Kings were the ones who gave to support the Priests.
Three: I SUPPORT MY CHURCH.
“I will build My church and the gates of
hell shall not prevail against it” Matthew 16:18
The principle of “I will build My local Church” Can you say that? Do you have that confession about your Church? Are you truly able to say that, ‘I will build My Church’? Tithing is also the biblical way that God finances His Church. Tithing supports: The word ‘support’ means… to sustain, take the strain, carry through, to be faithful and loyal, to provide for, supplying with necessary things for existence.
This principle of supporting God’s House is a Biblical principle of passion. Many scriptures reveal the passion and enthusiasm as God’s people brought the tithes of everything. They understood the promises attached to giving and they knew that blessing was assured.
“So the assembly brought in sacrifices and thank offerings and as many as were of a willing heart brought burnt offerings” 2 Chronicles 29:31
“As soon as the commandment was circulated, the children of Israel brought in abundance the first-fruits of grain and wine, oil and honey and of all the produce of the field and they brought in abundantly the tithe of everything”. “And the children of Israel and Judah who dwelt in the cities of Judah brought the tithe of oxen and sheep also the tithe of holy things which were consecrated to the Lord their God they laid in heaps” 2 Chronicles 31:5-6
“Having land sold it and brought the money and laid it at the Apostles feet” Acts 4:37. The New Testament shows the willingness of the Christian Church to support the ministry of the Apostles. The truth is that great wealth is required to build a great Church. Building a sanctuary and promoting God’s Word and the individual ministries associated with the Church requires finances.
A churches influence and growth is either hindered or propelled by the willingness of people to give and to recognize their role in financing the Church.
Four: I WORSHIP YOU, LORD, WITH A TANGIBLE GIFT.
My definition of worship is… “Honouring, revering and expressing our love and adoration to God in a meaningful and heartfelt way that involves our lifestyle and abilities”
We express our adoration and love through worship.
Our lifestyle also reflects our worship.
We attach value to our worship.
Tithing is not just giving to an organization. It’s not supporting a charity. Tithing is a biblical, God-ordained principle that has value. I worship God with my expressions but tithing is a tangible gift that I can feel, see and release.
We attach value to gifts all the time. When we give gifts to people, the value of the gift is generally determined by the relationship that we have with them. I will always give a gift of greater value for instance to my wife or family then I will for a friend of an acquaintance. Why? Because they mean a lot to me and I want them to know just how much I appreciate and love them. I gain more satisfaction in giving to them and seeing them enjoy the fruit of my giving than anything else.
We determine in our hearts how valuable the person is to us and then we give accordingly. This is because I have an inbuilt value system that determines what I will give according to my relationship. When I go to church and it’s time to give, I have generally already made up my mind what I will give before I even get there.
The extent of my giving is directly proportional to the depth of the relationship that I have with God.
David understood this principle – 1 Chronicles 29:2, 22:14
The Widow with two mites – Luke 21:1-4
The woman with the alabaster jar of oil – Mark 14:3-5
Our value of God in our worship is proven by what we give to him. I am able to tithe and bring building fund offerings and support visiting minister’s because the strength and intimacy of my relationship with God empower me to do it. Great trust is developed between us and there is no fear or anxiety on giving because it’s all about an understanding that my relationship with God is just as important as His relationship with me. I find great pleasure in giving to what I love and cherish.
Five: I AM SOWING TOWARDS ETERNAL REWARDS.
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” Matthew 6:19-21
Giving towards earthly projects is only temporary but giving towards the House of God has eternal consequences, why? Because saved people have eternal life. The building of God’s Church has eternal consequences in that it’s not just an earthly organization but a spiritual family. Tithing supports builds and blesses a ministry to continue in its discipleship and evangelism programs.
Ministry to children, young people, marriages, families etc affect generations. The person who is set-free and has been discipled in the faith will live forever.
A Churches responsibility is to provide an environment for this discipleship to take place. Basically, it’s the job of the church to get you to heaven as a strong believer bearing much fruit for Jesus Christ.
Tithes & Offerings represent supernatural seed, you only reap where you have sown. When we give we should always pray and attach our faith to our giving. This is because money in your hand is natural but when you pray over it and give it in faith believing God’s Word and promises, it becomes a ‘seed’. That ‘seed’ which has been planted is going to grow whether you like it or not. By your giving, you have activated a powerful kingdom law.
No seed, no harvest – Galatians 6:6-10
The above scripture reveals a principal that is a kingdom law. No man can escape this law. “What a man sows he will also reap”. This kingdom law was established at the dawn of time. We read in Genesis chapter 8 verse 22 “While the earth remains, Seedtime and Harvest”
I cannot expect God to bless me financially if I have not activated the law of prosperity by firstly sowing a financial seed! You can sow love, prayer and worship and you will reap a harvest of spiritual and emotional blessing. But apples only come from apple seeds and a financial harvest can only come from a financial seed.
This is why it is so important to keep a steady flow of seed offerings to ensure an ongoing harvest. Once the seed is sown it’s time to water the seed with our faith, trust in the Lord by reflecting on His promises in His Word and then be patient in allowing the harvest to come.
Six: I RECOGNIZE THE TITHE IS YOUR LORD.
Ultimately, we must understand that the Tithe belongs to God. When we are ‘born-again’ we enter into a Covenant with God. We actually enter into and become members of His Kingdom. There are countless promises available to each and every member of His Kingdom but it’s up to us to discover what they are.
On earth and in this nation we pay tax which is used for the upkeep of the infrastructure of society. It is also used for our protection (Police, Fire, Ambulance, Hospitals, Military etc).
Now the Tithe is not a Tax but a Spiritual Offering that we can tangibly give. The Tithe or Tenth 10% is what we give to God for the building of His Church. In fact, once we are saved we enter into a covenant of blessing and prosperity and God increases us specifically so that we can be blessed and that we can be blessed to be a blessing.
He is counting on us to recognize this prosperity as His doing and in-turn we give back to His Church on earth what is rightfully His. “You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power to get wealth” Deuteronomy 8:18
In the same way that we receive the benefits from our Government, the Kingdom of Heaven also has benefits, Malachi 3 verse 11 says… “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes”. Here is protection from the enemy. In the final analysis, withholding or spending the Tithe – Tenth – 10% is disobedience. The Bible says that it is actually “Robbing God” Malachi 3:8. This is serious and it violates the Seventh Commandment “You shall not steal”.
Many people struggle with this and convince themselves that Tithing is an Old Testament principle that is now abolished yet nowhere in scripture, Old or New Testament do we find a replacement for God’s way of financing His Ministry on earth. In fact, Jesus took tithing further, He said to give everything to God. Matthew 19:16-22
Withholding the tithe brings a curse – Malachi 3:8-9. The Tithe is God’s. We tithe because it liberates us from the love of money which so easily can become a snare of entrapment in our lives. It proves our trust in God. It develops a generous spirit and it honours God with something tangible and of value.