”Then it shall come to pass that to the place which Jehovah your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, thither shall ye bring all that I command you: your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave-offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto Jehovah.” [Deut. 12:11]
Tithing and offering is a much neglected subject. Not much gets people more upset than when their pastor preaches on this subject, which is too bad because it is an exciting topic if we will keep an open mind. What God requires us to do is for our own benefit, not God’s benefit. God does not really need your money or mine, but money is a good area in which to test our hearts.
The tithe [10% of a person’s income] is not an option. Neither is it a gift to God. It is God’s property tax for the use of His earth. It is owed by everyone on the planet. Christians, who claim to acknowledge Jesus as Lord, have no excuse for not paying it yet up to 80% of Christians in North America do not give this way faithfully.
Let’s be honest, tithing is an act of faith. You sit down at your desk and look at your bills. They more than meet your income. I have noticed this law: bills expand to meet income. The temptation is to say, “I cannot afford to do this.” The truth is, we cannot afford not to tithe. Failure in this area is robbing God of what is His requirement [Mal. 3:8]. We wonder why the kingdom of God doesn’t seem to have the finances it needs - its no surprise when 80% of the kingdom citizens are stealing from the King! Faith pays the tithe first, then looks at the rest of the bills believing in God’s provision. If we will put God first, then it is His responsibility to look after us. That’s part of covenant [See The Making of a Blood Covenant & Covenants].
I don’t often give personal testimonies, but I can say before God I have always tithed my income. My parents trained me that way, for which I thank them. I have had my financial ups and down and brushes with disaster like most people, but I can say that since my teens to now [50+] I have only been unemployed for a total of 3 months. Am I saying this will happen to everyone? No. I only know my own story, but I do know that God’s faithfulness is a story which will express itself somehow in each life which trusts in Him.
God also requires offerings. Tithes are not a gift, but payment of an obligation. Offerings are a gift. Tithing goes to the church which you attend and belongs to God. You have no right to direct them or to withhold them. Offerings are a gift and may be given to any Godly cause you like. You may use it support missions, to help the poor, to promote Christian education, or any one of a million other good causes. Tithes release God’s provision in your life, offerings allow God to multiply His blessings back to you. It will be in a way and timing of His own choosing, but they will return many times over.
Of course, the dynamics of this are set in the context of a heart that is seeking first the kingdom of God [not greed] and is seeking to walk holy and acceptable before God. If we are walking in deliberate violation of some part of God’s Word it will hinder every part of our life.
If you are not giving of your finances, I challenge you to obey the Word of God in faith and trust God to meet your needs. He promised He would. Believe Him!
If you have been tithing, but not giving offerings, I challenge to step out in faith, as God leads, and give an offering. It does not matter how small - the widow’s two mites were more than all the wealth of the rich. Record it and record how God multiplies it back to you. Your faith will grow.