We need to be extra careful how we view the act of tithing.
A few “bad apples” have tainted our perspective of money in the church.
However, God’s ways are not our ways…and He has a purpose for our giving.
He doesn’t NEED anything from us…
but we need to yield to His direction, trusting in His Sovereignty and love.
It’s not just a matter of blessing, it’s a matter of the heart.
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;
Then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
“Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath,
but righteousness delivers from death.”
How we perceive and handle the money that God allows to come our way reveals what/who is most important in our hearts.
“’Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
where moth and rust do not destroy,
and where thieves do not break in and steal.
For where your treasure is, there your heart is also.’”
Matthew 6:19-20 (italics mine)
“’No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and Money.’”
I believe that we are to freely give out of a content and grateful heart,
not because it’s our “religious duty.”
God blesses our giving…it has a purpose…for us and for others.
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give,
not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
As it is written: ‘He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.’ Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed
and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
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!”
2 Corinthians 6-15 (italics mine)
It’s not about the amount we give, but the state of our heart when we give it!
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’”
“’Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God.
You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.’”
We face many trials, and sometimes destruction,
when we withhold money from God.
He never intended for us to hold onto our blessings with both hands!
“One man gives freely, yet gains even more;
another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.
A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
People curse the man who hoards grain,
but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.”
It is not only wrong, but also dangerous,
to cheat the Lord out of what He has asked us to give!
“’Cursed is the cheat who has
an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it,
but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord.
For I am a great king,’ says the LORD Almighty,
‘and my name is to be feared among the nations.’”
”’I the LORD do not change.
So you, O descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.
Ever since the time of your forefathers you have turned away
from my decrees and have not kept them.
Return to me, and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.
‘But you ask, 'How are we to return?'
‘Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.
‘But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'
‘In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—the whole nation of you—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,’ says the LORD Almighty.”
We have to ask ourselves:
“Who do I love (& trust) more? My Father God or my finances?”