Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Enough #4

Here are some thoughts on tithing (giving 10% of your income to the church) -

- God doesn't need us or our money, but he wants us to be in relationship with him. The spiritual discipline of giving God 10% of our income isn't about God, it is about us. Money is often a barrier to faith and reliance upon God. Giving him that first 10% helps us to stay in relationship with God and reminds us that it is not all about us.

- God let's us keep a much bigger amount than he asks for us to give. Everything we have is God's - our money, our abilities and our time. He has given all of these things to us on loan. He doesn't ask for us to give him 80% or even 50%. He asks for 10% and then for us to be mindful of the needs of those around us with the rest. Remember - we can't take any of it with us. Feeding or clothing someone is going to be a lot better in the long run than buying something for yourself that you can really do without.

- Tithing is a spiritual discipline. Unless you are very unusual, you are not going to be able to go from 0% to 10% in one leap. You have to start where you are and work up to it. Every time your family gets a raise, try to give at least %10 of that raise to God. Reduce what you spend on going out to eat or at coffee shops and give that money to God. It is surprising how quickly you get used to living with doing less and you have the added bonus of knowing that your money is being used to help others.

- There are no brownie points. Whether we give 0%, 10% or 100% of our income to God, there is no extra grace or mercy to earn. We don't get brownie points for doing what God has asked us to do. He is not going to love us more or less because of the amount we give to his Church. Jesus died on the cross to save all of us from our sins. Nothing we can do will ever earn us more grace than that.

-We should tithe because God asks us to. Bottom line - God has asked us to do this so we should make it a priority in our lives. If your spouse or your parents asked you to do something that was difficult, you would because you love and respect them. It is the same with God. He has asked us to give a tenth of our income to his church and to be mindful of how we use the other 90%. Because he has asked us, we should do it.

CS

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there might be food in my house. "Test me in this", says the Lord God Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." Malachi 3:10

2 comments:

Gary Arnold February 6, 2011 at 2:48 PM  

God did not asked Christians to tithe.

NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE pays the Biblical tithe today.

Leviticus 27:30-33, Numbers 18: The First Tithe - a tenth of crops and animals and commanded to take the tithe to the Levites.

Deuteronomy 14:22-27: The Second Tithe aka The Festival Tithe - a tenth of crops, plus add to that the firstborn animals, and take for the yearly feast.

Deuteronomy 14:28-29: The Third Tithe aka The Three-Year Tithe aka The Poor Tithe - a tenth of crops, kept at home, and invite the Levites, widows, orphans, stranger to eat.

Now, tell me. Which of the above three tithes commanded by God does anyone follow today?

The ONLY people in the Old Testament that were commanded to tithe were those who INHERITED THE PROMISED LAND WITH EVERYTHING ON IT. They got the land, house, animals, crops, etc. ALL FREE AND CLEAR. No mortgage payment or rent to pay. And THEY were commanded to tithe on the crops and animals and take it to the Levites who INHERITED the tithe INSTEAD OF the promised land with everything on it. No one else tithed. Wage earners did not tithe. Jesus didn’t tithe. Paul didn’t tithe. Peter didn’t tithe.

HOW CAN YOU COMPARE THAT WITH CHRISTIANS WHO HAVE TO PAY THEIR MORTGAGE PAYMENT OR RENT, INCOME TAXES, PROPERTY TAXES, SALES TAXES, ETC?

Malachi is addressed to the priests, not the general population.

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