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Principals of Tithe & offerings:
As we consider Biblical stewardship, we must put part of our focus on tithing. Tithing is often misunderstood by Christians and is many times thought of in negative terms. However, tithing revolves around the general principle of surrender to the Lord. Malachi 3:10 teaches God’s people to be faithful in their giving to Him and being thankful in advance for His blessing
Tithing Encourages the Tithers
There are a number of charities who ask for money on a regular basis and one of the slogans they use is “If you give it will make you feel good.” That sounds like a great reason to give, but it is essentially a selfish motivation. A better reason to give is to express your thanksgiving as this is an outward expression, not directed toward yourself
Thanksgiving became a Tithe
Genesis 14:18-20 “Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: ‘Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.’ And he gave him a tithe of all.”
Genesis 28:20-22 “Then Jacob made a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.’”
Tithing became the Law
Deuteronomy 14:22 “You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year.”
Malachi 3:10 “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this," Says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it.”
When something that begins as voluntary and now becomes Law it loses some of its prestige, However, God realized that the people needed a minimum standard in regard to their giving. Parents would rather their children do what is right because it is right rather than establish a rule; however, if they don’t do what is right, a standard has to be established
The Law became Fulfilled
Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”
Matthew 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.”
Jesus fulfilled the law but He did not change the standard of giving a tithe Tithing became Thanksgiving
1 Corinthians 16:2 “On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.”
2 Corinthians 9:7 “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Because of what God does for us, we shouldn’t ask whether we can afford to tithe, but we should ask if there is anything else we can do to show God our gratitude
Tithing is Submission
The sacrificial system of the Old Testament was built around a concept of the costliness of sin and the holiness of God in judging sin. Even though we are not under the sacrificial system, it doesn’t mean that we should ignore the concept of giving offerings to God. Because of our thanksgiving to God for the once-for-all sacrifice of Christ, we offer our “sacrifice of thanksgiving” as we give our tithes and offerings.
Encourages the Community of Faith
To focus not on the blessing we receive by tithing, but the blessing it is to others. Jesus gave His life for us, not for Himself. He is to be our example in giving. If someone mentions the book of Malachi, most people immediately think about the passage on tithing; However, the entire books speaks of the ministry of priests, the marriages of the people, their attitude of faith, and their obedience in things such as the tithe. The focus of the book is on the commitment and obedience of God’s people – and tithing is just a part of the commitment.
Definition: the tithe is 10 percent of our gross income. We have talked about giving, we understand that tithing is only the beginning. Because of what Jesus has done for us on the Cross, we should want to do more under GRACE than the Jewish person did under the LAW. The concept of tithing is that it puts everyone on equal ground has mentioned the concept of “Equal sacrifice, not equal gifts”. Tithing allows each person to give in the same proportion to how God has blessed them. Since it places everyone on an equal playing field, it is the fair way for giving. Tithing is an expression of our love for God from the fact that we are willing to give back to the Lord a portion of His blessings to us.
Where to Give?
“...into the storehouse...” Malachi 3:10. In the temple there was a specific place designated for people to give their tithes and offerings. In the New Testament concept, the storehouse is the local church. 1st Corinthians 16:2 tells us that we are bring our tithe on the first day of the week, and since we go to church on the first day, that is the place we bring our tithe. Some want to give their tithe other places, but Scripture teaches the tithe should go to the local church. Offerings above the tithe can be given elsewhere. We bring our tithes to the local church because that is where we are fed spiritually, that is where we turn to get our needs met, etc.
Tithing is an important Biblical concept. Each Christian needs to learn to give, but should begin this learning process by tithing. May each of us be challenged to give as God has asked us to give. Remember, we are only stewards, it does not belong to us.