Often-times when the word “Tithes” or “Giving” is mentioned, people tend to have a negative idea about it. Some people have a hard time understanding why they need to give their money to a church at all. And for those reasons people either do not give at all, or they don’t give enough.
If the truth be told… when a person truly wants to please God in all aspects of their lives, surrendering their finances to God’s principles will not be hard, but enjoyable. So therefore, in this basic study, we are not going to look at “IF” we need to pay tithes/give, but “WHY” we should tithe and give. Understanding “WHY” will help you understand the blessings behind the giving of your finances.
THE BEGINNING OF TITHES
As stated earlier, I am not going to get into the subject of “IF” we should pay tithe’s and give, because scripture has always mentioned tithes as a principle of honoring the Lord with our increase. Therefore, we are just going to make a few points as a foundation.
• Tithes was first mentioned in the time of Abraham (before the law of Moses).
• Tithes is considered holy unto the Lord.
• Tithes is a “tenth part” (10%) of our increase (or first-fruits).
• Tithes was commanded in the law of Moses and mention by Jesus in the gospels.
GOD DOES TEST OUR FAITHFULNESS
Deu 8:1-3 All the commandments which I command thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the LORD sware unto your fathers. (2) And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. (3) And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
For most new born babies in the Lord, God will often “test” a person’s commitment to Him by allowing them to go without some material needs. This testing process is not a punishment, but the means by which God teaches a person to trust and obey His word more than their daily necessities.
This testing process can be very trying to a new saint of God. However, the goal of this process is to teach a saint how to exercise their faith in God. When a person has to go without, they either have to believe God’s word or fail. God doesn’t desire a person to fail; but there is no other way for God to strengthen one’s faith, but to test it! God wants to know… will a person obey God’s word more than a person leaning on their own means to solve their problems or provide for themselves.
GOD’S DESIRE IS TO BLESS
Deu 8:7-11 For the LORD thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths that spring out of valleys and hills; (8) A land of wheat, and barley, and vines, and fig trees, and pomegranates; a land of oil olive, and honey; (9) A land wherein thou shalt eat bread without scarceness, thou shalt not lack any thing in it; a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass. (10) When thou hast eaten and art full, then thou shalt bless the LORD thy God for the good land which he hath given thee. (11) Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day:
God’s ultimate desire is to provide and bless us with good things both spiritually and materially. Now, truthfully speaking, for some, it is God’s will for them to stay materially poor, but rich in faith. However, for the most part, God wants to bring His people into a “land of promise” that we call the blessings of the Lord.
In this “Land of Promise” are both spiritual and material blessings. Each “spiritual promise land” is different for each person, but this “land” can include callings, gifts, promises, wealth, good health and prosperity. However, one has to understand, that we don’t enter this “Promise Land” automatically. We enter this “good land” after we have been faithful with the process of learning faith. It is very similar to Israel’s journey to the promise land.
TITHING IS SOWING FOR THE FUTURE
Deu_14:22 Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed, that the field bringeth forth year by year.
Pro 3:9-10 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: (10) So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
What most people fail to understand about paying tithes and giving, is that they are actually investing in the future. As we stated above, a person can go into a “promise land” if they are faithful in the little things and passing the “testing” phases of their lives. One of the ways God tests His people is in their faithfulness with tithes and giving.
As the two scriptures above mention, when a person tithes (10%) of their increase it will bring financial blessings down the road. Tithing and Giving are both principles of sowing and reaping. Paul even mentions that a person, who sows sparingly, will reap sparingly. That principle has never been done away with in God’s eyes.
GOD WILL REBUKE THE DEVOURER
Mal 3:8-12 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. (9) Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. (10) Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. (11) And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. (12) And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
The above scripture is critical in understanding why we should pay tithes and give. To be plain and straight forward… if a person isn’t faithful in their tithes and offerings, they are robbing God. And when a person doesn’t pay the complete 10% of their increase, God will withhold from blessing a person until they have fulfilled His word.
A person has to understand, that the tithes (10% of increase) belongs to God. It is not an offering (that is covered below). Tithes belong to God in the sense that it provides the needs of the house of God and for the leadership of a church. To not pay tithes is robbing God because a person is withholding what God’s house and leadership needs. Therefore, robbing God reveals that a person is not fully submitted to God’s divine principles and commandments… which can’t be good for the one robbing God!
The ultimate blessing of being faithful with tithes and offerings is that God will eventually rebuke the devourer and bless a person. The devourer in this scripture can come in the form of devils that destroys a person’s stuff, loss of job; never having enough to pay bills, bad health and many other type of decreases. However, when God rebukes the devourer, you will have enough and even more, be blessed financially and spiritually… basically you will come into a state of prosperity (promise land).
The point the Lord is making in the scripture above, is that we are to TEST GOD! Well, how do we test God? Simple… by exercising faith; believing in His word when it comes to tithing and giving. When a person pays their tithes faithfully, and doesn’t pay other bills before paying their tithes, they are showing God that they believe His word; they believe God will take care of them!
Luk 6:38 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.
2Co 9:6-8 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. (7) Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. (8) And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
So far we have mostly been talking about Tithing, which is not the same as “offerings.” Tithing is required and belongs to God, while offerings are given freely by an individual. Giving is also something a person does by faith; and it is also a principle of sowing and reaping.
In understanding giving, we have to realize that giving is voluntary. A person gives because they want to give; and they do it cheerfully. If we give because we have to, or someone tries to make us feel guilty – to give; then we are not giving cheerfully. For God loves a cheerful giver!
Giving into offerings is also investing into your future. A person has many offerings they can give to such as; missions, building funds, Sunday school, ladies/men ministries, organization offerings and so many others. Sometimes a need will be made known in church or a person’s life. Giving to these causes will not only make you feel good, but also allows God to bless you too.
Now, we must also point out. A person needs to give because they love God and others… not to just get back. If a person gives just to get it back, then that is the wrong reason to give. It’s true, God will give back! But, we should freely give because we love God regardless if we get anything back or not!
Php 4:18-19 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. (19) But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
The secret to receiving provisions from God is by exercising ones faith and being faithful in their tithes and offerings. One good test to see if a person has faith in God financially is to see how tightly they hold onto their finances or how hard they try to bail themselves out of financial hardship.
In the above scripture when Paul talks about a very popular scripture on God providing, we fail to see the first part of that verse. The Philippian church had taken up an offering for Paul which was WELL PLEASING to God. Then Paul says “BUT” my God shall supply all your need etc. Their giving came first and Paul lets them know that because of their giving God will supply their needs. Again, the principle of sowing and reaping applies here.
Most saints of God will at one time or another face financial struggle. It’s usually the newer saint of God who struggles with trusting God to provide for their needs, and that is why they need to be tested… that is how we learn!
It is what happens during these testing periods that will gauge their blessings down the road. Sometimes what will happen with a newer saint of God when things get tough is that they will falter by paying their bills with tithe money or not pay tithes at all. This is a major concern in the eyes God because it reveals a person’s commitment to God.
From my own experience, when I sit down and do my bills, my tithes are the VERY FIRST THING that is taken out… no matter what; I don’t even think about it twice. Because the tithe of my increase belongs strictly to God; that is why I pay the most important “bill” I have above all others. In the past, there have been times I needed the money, but I paid my tithes even if I had to go without.
I remember one major financial test I had long ago. I was making $4 hour and proving for 3 people. I was very poor. I got my tax refund and needed the money desperately. The Lord expressly told me to give $300 (that is all I had) as an offering. It was very difficult to do because I needed it so badly. Well, I obeyed and a month down the road someone gave me a used Cadillac El’ Dorado. It was in great shape and had all the bells and whistles… a nice car!!!
By being faithful through my testing years I have seen God take care of thousands of dollars of medical bills (written off), give me two cars, and supply all my needs. And as of this writing, I have no credit card debt or major loans to fulfill. God has taken care of me financially in ways that would take too long to cover here.
The KEY is in being faithful with the little bit God does give me. Being a good steward with the finances that God gives us is more crucial then we think. Sometimes, when we are faced with debt… we can “GIVE” our way out of the mess as long as we pay our tithes first, then give willingly and be faithful in the small things.
Finally, the greatest thing someone has to understand is that robbing God by paying partial or not paying your tithes at all is going to determine whether or not the “devourer” has any effects on your life. When a person doesn’t take that 10% off the top before anything else gets paid is not believing and trusting that God will provide for their needs.
The best way to overcome the lack of faith is to catch up on any unpaid tithes and “give” your way out of financial debt. Giving to offerings is exercising ones faith. It is this “cheerful giving” that God takes notice of and blesses a person. A person simply cannot afford to NOT GIVE unto the Lord!!