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Teaching on Tithes & Offerings

God's law of sowing and reaping

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.
(Proverbs 11: 24,25)

The world's economy is in crisis. International stock market crashes, failure of exchange rate mechanisms, budget deficits in western nations and crippling debts in developing countries all demonstrate this. Politicians and economists everywhere are struggling to find answers but there seem to be no lasting solutions. Now is the time for Christians to rediscover God's system of economics - the economics of the kingdom.

Priorities

Kingdom economics begin with spiritual priorities. Jesus said, "Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."
(Matthew 6:33)

In God's economic system, confident trust in God's faithfulness replaces anxious pursuit of money. This sets the disciples of Jesus Christ apart from the followers of the world's system, which drives people to pursue wealth out of anxiety and greed. In contrast, we are not to be anxious about what we will wear or eat. Instead we are to bring every part of our lives in submission to God's loving will, trusting in His provision. He knows what we need and promises to provide it. That is why Jesus taught us to ask, "Give us our daily bread." Therefore we must be faithful in giving to God today while trusting Him for tomorrow.

Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34)

Kingdom Giving

In God's order, giving replaces greed. The world seeks its own gain but God's people are called to be great givers. Jesus warned about the dangers of greed with the radical statement, "You cannot serve both God and Money."
(Matthew 6:24)

That is why giving is so important in the kingdom of God. When you give freely and joyfully to the Lord, you demonstrate that money has lost its hold over you. The Bible also speaks of giving as a Christian grace or virtue that is a hallmark of true spirituality.
(See 2 Corinthians 8: 7,8)

An Investment

Many people respond negatively to church offerings. The government taxes enough, why should the church tax even more? Obviously, the church needs income to carry out its work, but no one should view their giving to God as a tax. It is an investment! God is no man's debtor and He promises good returns on any investment in His work. And the size of your investment determines the proportionate measure of your return.

Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down and shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
(Luke 6:38)

In the kingdom of God, failure to give leads to lack, but generous giving opens the door to abundance.

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.
(Proverbs 11:24,25)

God wants you to discover the blessings of giving. As you give faithfully and generously to God's work, He promises to bless you and reward you financially. This will mean you will have more than enough for your own needs, enabling you to give to the needs of others and to invest more and more in the work of God.

Tithes and Offerings

God's pattern for giving is through tithes and offerings. Tithing is giving ten per cent of your income to the work of God. It is for the 'storehouse' of the local church and is God's way of ensuring that its ministry is fully financed. In the Bible, offerings refer to additional free will giving. In Malachi chapter three verse eight, it says that to neglect tithes and offerings is to rob God, and in verse ten, He pleads with His people to prove Him and see if He will not send overwhelming blessing and provision on those who are faithful in giving.

"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."
(Malachi 3:10)

Take up God's challenge today. Begin to give as God says and watch Him pour His blessings into your life.

Questions:

I have heard that tithing is an Old Testament law and not applicable to Christians today.

Tithing is a principle that pre-dates the Law of Moses and is independent of the Mosaic legal system. It is applicable to Christians today as the starting point of New Testament giving.

I live by the Holy Spirit and He tells me when and what to give. Aren't you interfering with my spiritual freedom?

Biblical includes both the discipline of systematic giving (tithes) and spontaneous free will giving (offerings). Emotional and mod-based giving is often mistaken for the leading of the Holy Spirit. Christians must guard against this kind of feeling-based giving.

Do I have to tithe on my gross or net income?

That depends on whether you want to be blessed on your gross or net amount. The size of your measure determines the size of your returns.

Do I have to pay back-tithes?

Not usually. It is better to make a fresh start now. Don't be held back by your inability to pay- back. On the other hand if you can pay back-tithes, then do so.

I tithe to another ministry, not my local church. Is that wrong?

Yes. Tithes are for the 'storehouse' of the local church. Many ministries rob local churches by accepting tithes that God has provided for regular church life. Offerings to other ministries should be over and above your tithe to your church.

I don't agree with prosperity teaching. It is not Biblical.

What kind of prosperity teaching do you mean? If you are talking about twisting God's Word to justify human greed and lust of wealth, then it is unbiblical, but Biblical prosperity is when the whole of your life, in submission to the Lord, comes under His blessing. Material and financial blessing is included in that. The real purpose of prosperity is to resource the work of God in the world.

Why are you always talking about money? I think it is unscriptural and carnal.

It is not carnal to talk about provision for God's work. Jesus frequently spoke about money. The apostle Paul taught on the practical issue of giving as readily as the great doctrinal themes of the gospel. One of the devil's most effective tactics is to prevent finance from reaching God's work. Negative and apologetic attitudes to money in God's work play right into Satan's hand. We must be positive about investing in the gospel.

How can I be sure my money is going to be used correctly?

One role of leadership in the church is to oversee all aspects of finance. Church accounts are subject to charity law, which ensures regular auditing.

Does my giving really make a difference?

Yes, without a doubt. Your individual tithes and offer4ings may seem insignificant when compared with the significant needs of the church, but God's provision flows into the church as everyone plays their part. Your giving, whether little or much, is honouring to God as long as it is sincere and genuinely consistent with your ability to give.

I can't afford to tithe - there are too many bills to pay. What should I do?

You can't afford not to tithe! Your commitment begins with the Lord. Don't let financial difficulties stop you from honouring Him in your giving. Make sure that your giving flows from disciplined financial management. Keep your expenditure in line with your income through careful budgeting. If necessary, do this with a financial counsellor. But most of all, trust the Lord fully to meet your needs as you honour Him with your tithes and offerings. He will not fail you.

Action:

  • Decide to invest in God's work
  • Begin tithing today
  • Obey the Lord in all your finances
  • Find out about the tax benefits that can be added to your giving by deed of covenant and gift aid.

But just as you excel in everything - in faith, in speech, in your knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us - see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
(2 Corinthians 8:7)

Daily Verse

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:13

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