Should I tithe?
By Jeff Klick
"I knew it. The first time I visit this church, and they have an article about tithing. " I can hear the groans now.
"Tithing is Old Testament" says the non-tither, or, "I'm not under the Law, but grace." Or, "I'm free to give as I feel led."
Tithing started with Abraham 400 years before the law was even given. It was an act of homage, and was given to Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God (Gen. 14:17-20). Tithing, or the giving of a tenth of everything, was a natural act of honoring God. The giving of the tenth was a very real, tangible way of saying "I love you, Lord. You are the reason I live, and everything I have is from You." Abraham did not give out of law, but out of love!
When tithing was placed in the Law, I believe it was done so the Jews could learn to be like their God. God was a giver, and He desired for His chosen people to be givers. The Jewish race would often give several tithes, many different offerings and sacrifices. In certain years this could amount to 75% -- not l0%! This was done to "prove" God. Could you really give away that much and still be successful? God always answered "yes"! We cannot out-give God.
In Malachi 3:7-12 (this is a prophet, not the Law!) the Lord is calling to His people to return. They ask "How should we return?" The Lord says, "You are robbing me." The people say, "How are we robbing you?" God answers "in tithes and offerings." God tells them they are under a curse and they cannot stand before their enemies. He goes on to tell them that the crops will not fail and all manner of disaster will be avoided if they tithe and give offerings. This is one of the only places in all of Scripture where God instructs us to test Him. After 21 years of testing Him in this area, my testimony is, He has never failed!
Talk to anyone who tithes, and they will tell you the same thing, they don't regret it!
"I'm still not convinced. You're only talking Old Testament. Where is the New Testament pattern?" I'm glad you asked!
In 1 Corinthians 16:1-3 "Now about the collection for God's people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 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." Paul intended to take an offering for the poor in Jerusalem from all the churches. People were to give weekly at the meetings. This establishes the principal of regular giving.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 - "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." The Greek forcheerful is hilariously. When we take out our cash or write our checks, it's to be joyfully done. We do not give because we will be judged if we don't; but we give as Abraham did thousands of years ago, as an act of homage and in acknowledgment of what great things God has done for us! We give because we are loved! We give because we want to honor our Lord! We give because God is a giver and we are His children! He is our Lord and Master and owns us and our checkbooks! We give not under compulsion, but hilariously, laughing, rejoicing in the goodness of our Lord.
Under the New Testament, we are slaves of Christ. We are completely bought and paid for by another. We no longer live, but Christ in us. As slaves, everything we own is Christ's. We are no longer owners, but stewards. Slaves own nothing! We give a tenth to acknowledge Jesus' Lordship over us. We give beyond the tenth because He owns the other 90% as well!
God is a giver. If you are not, you need to check your spiritual inventory. Why do you not give? Are you full of fear? Are you a lover of money? Are you greedy? Do you not trust God or His Word? Step out in faith and prove Him in this!
Don't just take my word for this truth of Scripture, study it out yourself. Then obey it! Give God your money for one year. Put Him to the test and see if He does not open the windows of heaven on your behalf. Then, let me know the results!