Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Should I Tithe 10% to my Church?

Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce

Let's talk about tithing!  In my view, tithing is very important.  God gives us Jesus, he gives us life, he transforms us, and makes us new in Jesus.  He sends His Holy Spirit to live in us and make us holy.  

He almost always sends us to a church, to serve in some manner, and we become part of that family of believers.  It's a beautiful thing. We become part of a church, and we begin to serve and contribute to that church family.  Usually it's fairly clear where God leads us, for me, the Salvation Army, the best church ever in my humble opinion.  But there are many great churches out there.  If your looking for one, don't look for the one you like.  Look for the one that teaches the entirety of the scriptures, is Spirit-filled, and most importantly look to where God is leading you.  

And remember, when joining a church, it's not about the church meeting your needs.  No.  This is God's body on Earth, and instead our attitude should be: How can I serve God through this church's ministries?  How can I be a faithful servant of Christ? 

It's not perfect. And it's not always easy.  There are issues at churches, and divisions, and certain things that happen, but we work through those things, through prayer, conversation, and obeying the word of God.

So about tithing: What is tithing?  Tithing is a concept from the Bible, from the Old Testament, that we give 10% of our income to God.  Sound like too much?  It's all His anyway.  It's not ours.  God owns everything.  We're blessed enough that he gives us a great deal of wealth, especially in the west.  We're so blessed! Wow!

Tithing is very important. And we should take it seriously. We don't want to "rob God of his tithe" as was recorded in Malachi, in regard to Israel. Tithing is a big deal, it's a clear instruction from God.

Please take that command seriously, and if your a Christian leader, or a pastor or officer, you should tithe to your church just like any other would. The minimum is 10% but preferably more, because the New Testament standard is to give joyously of we all have! God gives us so much, and it all belongs to Him anyway.  So do give tithes at your local church.

Something I also do is I support charity work, I support Compassion International and other charities.  I give to The Salvation Army world services to help build the kingdom overseas in Africa and Asia and South America.  

2 Corinthians 9:7  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

God loves a joyful giver.  God loves those who give regularly to support His work.  And let me remind and encourage all of us: God will hold us accountable for our giving.  He expects us to tithe, as much as he expects us to serve the poor and needy, and stand up for those who are outcast by society.  God expects us to tithe, and he sees everything!  So please settle it in your heart and mind to give generously to your church family, and to charities as you feel led. 

I like David Ramsey's approach of starting at 10% and then slowly working your way up to 15% then even 20% and further.  I love that!  

Proverbs 11:24 One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.

God blesses us when we tithe.  When I didn't tithe it seemed like I never had any money, and kept struggling in debt.  But when I gave my first fruits to God, just writing out a check right when I got paid, God blessed me.  

Now today I have investments in the stock market!  Can you imagine that?  Me?  I could never get that going on my own.  God blessed me, because I honored him by tithing.  Do the same, and test God in that way, and He will respond. It's a promise for us today.

Malachi 3:8-10 Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.