Writing this post made me feel a little bit uncomfortable. In our culture money is a private matter and not something that is readily discussed even amoung friends. On top of that, Jesus ridiculed the Pharisees for making a public show of their charitable giving (Matthew 6:1-4). With these two thoughts in the back of my mind I still felt the Lord moving me to write about the importance of tithing. So, here are five reasons why Heather and I give 10% of our income to the Lord.
I. It Belongs To Him – Lev. 27:30
As a follower of Jesus Christ I believe myself to be a steward. I don’t consider myself the owner but the manager of my life and possessions. The Lord is my King and I am merely His humble steward. Therefore, everything I have belongs to God. Not 10% but 100% is His (I Cor. 6:20). So that if the Lord were to ask for 20% of my income, I’d give 20%. Why not, He’s the owner? This New Testament principle is what led the early church to sell their possessions and give it to the church for the purpose of distribution (Acts. 2:45). There are many stingy Christians who attempt to steal from God by hiding behind the idea that the tithe is simply “an old testament principle” and therefore they give by grace. This usually means they flip in a few coins now and again to soothe their conscience and maintain the facade of spirituality. These “scholars” forget that tithing is an inter-dispensational idea that spans the history of the human race. Over 400 years before Moses penned Leviticus 27:30, his father Abraham was giving tithes to a Priestly King named Melchisedec (Gen. 14). First, I tithe because I don’t want to be the one stealing from God (Malachi 3:10).
II. I Love Jesus
I’ll never remember the first time I heard the gospel. The truth that Jesus Christ died upon the cross for my sins, was buried, and rose from the grave was part of my life before I was out of diapers. However, I will always remember the time I put my faith in Christ and became a Christian. I was only five years old. My father explained who Jesus was, what He did, and how He loved me enough to save me if I’d believe and receive His free gift of salvation. That night I began to fall in love with Jesus – I asked Him to save me, and He did. The more I’ve gotten to know Him the more amazing He becomes. In the past 28 years my love for Him has just grown exponentially. Why do I give and tithe? Because I love Jesus and I love what He loves. He loves the church. I love the church. He gave to the church. I will give to the church. In truth, the best way for me to give something to the Lord I so desperately love is to give to His church (Matthew 25:40).
III. I Want To Be Blessed
God has been so good to me! Seriously, I look at my life and I see blessing after blessing. I have prayed to the Lord and asked, “Why Me?” I know what His answer is for He has written it in His Word. Luke 6:38 says,
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
I know there are those who have missed this principle and attempted to “put God in a box” by giving a certain amount and expecting a certain amount in return within a certain amount of days. However, just because there are those who have abused this truth does not make the truth any less TRUE. God’s blessings are poured out upon those who give. Read Malachi 3:8-11! Often those who are stingy with God never fully realize the root of their financial troubles. Sadly, many of them never will. Me? I want to be blessed. I can’t afford not to give!
IV. I Don’t Want to be a Phony
In Acts chapter 5 we see the story of a phony couple. Ananias & Sapphira appeared to be the perfect Christian couple. They came to church, followed the apostles, supported each other yet they were absolutely FAKE. They attempted to give the impression to the early church that they were 100% behind the efforts of the church in Jerusalem. But in actuality, they were fakes. They had publicly declared that they were giving a large sum of money from the sale of land, which was common practice in the early church. The problem was that they lied about what the price was and kept back part of the money in order to appear more generous than they really were. God killed them. Really! Look it up. Acts 5:1-11. And that’s in the New Testament. Look, I just don’t want to tell people that I love the Lord and love the church and that I’m “fully behind” the work of the Lord and then secretly not tithe. I just don’t want to be a fake.
V. I Like What It Does
The last reason I give is because I like what it accomplishes. I look around and see the mess that the world is in and realize that the church of God is the only answer. It is what Jesus himself has set up for the purpose of reaching this world (Matthew 16:18-19). When I give my tithe it goes to help the church connect people to God through preaching and worship. When I give my tithe it helps people to grow in their faith through small groups, sunday services, children’s ministries, etc. When I give my tithe it goes to teaching people who to use their God given gifts and abilities to serve God and others. When I give my tithe it helps the church share the gospel around the world. The hungry are given the bread of life, the thirsty are given the water that will never run dry, the fatherless are introduced to a heavenly father and the widow is introduced to a husband that will never leave.
These are a few of the reasons Heather and I choose to tithe. I know there are those who would disagree with my conclusions. Let’s have that discussion here.
Am I wrong? What would you say the Biblical method of giving would be? Have you learned the principle of tithing? Have you seen the blessing of God upon your giving? Comment Below: