Episode 010: Test God By Tithing (ENG)

October 12th, 2015

Test God By Tithing

10 ”Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty. ~Malachi 3:10

 

Introduction:

 

·     GOP candidate, Dr. Ben Carson was asked in an interview with FOX Business Network about his tax plan that is based on tithing.  His response was, “It’s a model that I’m looking at. The proportionality model -- what could be fairer than that,” he said.  

 

·     How are you doing financially, spiritually, and physically?  In the present times, people are robbing God by failing to offer their tithes. A tithe is 10 percent of a harvest or a wage, which is given to God.

 

Background:

·     Bible Practice of Tithing: (Genesis 14: 17-24; 28:16-22; Leviticus 27:30-23; Numbers 18: 21-24; 2 Chronicles 31: 5-10; Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42; 18: 12.

 

·     What is tithe?

Tithe is the practice of giving a tenth of one’s income or property as an offering to God. It is an expression of gratitude to God by His people. Before the Law, the patriarchs gave tithes unto the Lord. In fact, about 430 years before the Law was instituted, Abraham, the friend of God, coming from one of his exploits, gave tithe to Melchizedek, the righteous King of Salem. 18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying,  “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.  20 And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.”  Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. (Genesis 14:18-20). The conduct of Abraham in this dramatic meeting laid a solid foundation for the practice that God was to ordain for that time and all times.

 

Still before the law, Jacob, a grandson of Abraham, had knowledge of the practice of tithing. This was evident in his vow, in Bethel, to give tithe of all his possessions: “22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” (Genesis 28:22).

 

In the Law, that is, in the days of Moses, God instituted tithing thus, giving His irrevocable sanction for the earlier practice of Abraham and Jacob. The Law of Moses prescribed tithing in details. 30 A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. (Leviticus 27:30). The tithes of the land were to include the seed of the land and the fruits of the trees. Besides, the Israelites were mandated to set aside every tenth of their animals of their herds and flocks to the Lord. They were also instructed to take their tithes to a place the Lord would prescribe. The children of Israel carried out these instructions in the days of Moses and the kings.

 

However, the Israelites deviated from this practice of bringing in their tithes and offerings at the time of prophet Malachi. Hence, he indicted the whole nation of Israel for robbing God. Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me.” (Malachi 3:8,9).

 

And in the New Testament, we see the stamp of Christ’s approval on this noble and most rewarding practice. If tithing were wrong or questionable, Christ would not have approved of it. Backed by His knowledge of the counsel and mind of God in all matters, tithing inclusive, Jesus says: 23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. (Matthew 23:23). Christ did not condemn the Pharisees for tithing but for their hypocrisy.

 

That the early church continued the practice is obvious from the 1 Corinthians 16: 2 verse, On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. Thus, this pivotal, yet much misunderstood subject enjoys mention in practically every section of the Bible. What an outstanding proof for all sincere seekers and worshippers of God. And what a challenge to those who think that the truth of the Word of God concerning tithe and offering is alien to the New Testament!

 

I.              Christian Stewardship:  (1 Corinthians 4:1,2; Romans 14:12; Matthew 25:20-30; 1 Peter 4:10; Luke 12:42; 1 Timothy 6:19,20; 2 Corinthians 9:1-9)

 

1 Corinthians 4:1,2

This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful

 

Romans 14:12

So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.

 

Matthew 25:20-30 (Parables of the talents)

 

1 Peter 4:10

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

 

Luke 12:42 (Watchfulness)

 

1Timothy 6:19,20

19 In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.  20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge.

 

2 Corinthians 9:1-9

There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

Generosity Encouraged

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

 

A good understanding of the Bible doctrine of stewardship will lead us to surrender all our material wealth to God and give to Him in joy and gratitude. Stewardship is giving us to God and using our human and material resources for the glory of God and allowing Him to have first place in our lives. As believers, we are in charge of God’s material and financial assets and are called to be faithful stewards of all our possessions.  We are called to a life of giving which goes beyond paying tithe, which is the minimum.

 

CONSEQUENCE OF DISOBEDIENCE:  (Malachi 3:8,9; Nehemiah 13:10-12).

 

In commanding us to give, God gave us an excellent example on giving. His giving is immeasurable: it is as high as the heaven and deep as the ocean. He gives as sacrificially as He gives mercifully. It was the gift of His only begotten Son that made salvation possible. Besides, He gives us other essential things to meet our needs.

 

If God’s uncountable and immeasurable gifts do not compel us to give, we are putting ourselves at the risk of incurring His judgement. Prophet Malachi told the children of Israel that they had been curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. (Malachi 3:9). They rejected the blessings of God and shut themselves out of His abundance by their refusal to bring all the tithes into the storehouse of God. Whereas God was ready to pour out His blessings, that there shall not be room enough to receive it”, they were placed under a curse. Likewise, when believers fail to fulfil their obligation of paying tithes and offerings, they unknowingly deny themselves of God’s blessings and place themselves under curse.

 

Tithe and offering is more than a duty that should be done without putting any effort into. A business partner expects dividends at the end of the month. Nobody expects a bank to pay interest on money that was not deposited with it. Yet, some Christians expect God to bless them financially when they are not committed to Him in giving. Many sing: “Take my silver and my gold, Not a mite would I withhold” only to frown each time they are faced with an opportunity to demonstrate their love and commitment to God.

 

II.           Giving Acceptable Tithes And Offering: (Proverbs 23:26; Malachi 1:6-8,12-14; Deuteronomy 23:18; Psalm 29:2; 1 Chronicles 16:29).

 

Proverbs 23:26

26My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways.

 

Malachi 1:6-8,12-14

“A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.  “It is you priests who show contempt for my name.  “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’ “By offering defiled food on my altar.  “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’ “By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.

 

12 “But you profane it by saying, ‘The Lord’s table is defiled,’ and, ‘Its food is contemptible.’ 13 And you say, ‘What a burden!’ and you sniff at it contemptuously,” says the Lord Almighty. “When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord. 14 “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.

 

Deuteronomy 23:18

18 You must not bring the earnings of a female prostitute or of a male prostitute into the house of the Lord your God to pay any vow, because the Lord your God detests them both.

 

Psalm 29:2

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

 

1 Chronicles 16:29

29 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering and come before him. Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

 

Giving is not measured by the amount of money given. The Macedonian believers, in spite of their poverty, gave to the Lord: 2They are being tested by many troubles, and they are very poor. But they are also filled with abundant joy, which has overflowed in rich generosity.” (2 Corinthians 8:2). A prospective giver’s willingness, therefore, is very important if his tithes and offerings will be acceptable unto God.

 

 

III.         Manner of Tithing and Offering:  (2 Corinthians 8:1-9; 9:5-9; Philippians 4:14-19; Deuteronomy 16:16; Luke 6:38; 1 Kings 17:8-16).

 

2 Corinthians 8:1-9; 9:5-9

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich

 

9: 5-9

So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.

Generosity Encouraged

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”

 

Philippians 4:14-19

14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

 

Deuteronomy 16:16

16 Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed.

 

Luke 6:38

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

 

1 Kings 17:8-16

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” 10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” 11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”

12 “As surely as the Lord your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.”

13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. 14 For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land.’ ”

15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. 16 For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.

 

 

Christians should make Christ their model of giving. Therefore, giving should be done voluntarily, not by compulsion; willingly, not reluctantly; cheerfully, not grudgingly. It should be done in the light of our accountability to God and by no means limited to a tithe of our incomes since all we have is from God.

 

1 Corinthians 16: 2

On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.

 

·     One, give to God first. (Proverbs 3: 9,10) Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. 10 Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.

·     Two, plan to give willingly and systematically.

·     Three, there must be conscious efforts to give in spite of peculiar situation.

·     Four, give regularly, consistently and at every opportunity to give.

·     Five, making giving part of worship.

·     Finally, give graciously. Allow the leading of the Spirit of God in giving and you will discover untold blessings that God reserves for the cheerful giver.

 

Conclusion:   The Blessings of tithes and offerings.

 

·     There will be abundance in God’s house.

·     Giving is getting. The more Christian gives to God in tithes and offerings, the more he gets. The blessings range from healing, health, material, physical, financial, relationship to other countless blessings.

 

The blessings of tithing and offering are immeasurable. It give opportunity to all to go into the green pastures of prosperity, plenty and abundance.

 

Give to God today and He will begin to fulfill His promises in your life

00:0000:00