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I'm Not Sure What a Tithe Is?

A tenth of the produce of the earth is consecrated and set apart for special purposes. The dedication of such a tenth to God was recognized as a duty before the time of Moses. Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek (Gen. 14:20; Heb. 7:6); and Jacob vowed unto the Lord and said, "Of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee."

The first Mosaic law on this subject is recorded in Lev. 27:30-32.  It cannot be affirmed that the Old Testament law of tithes is binding on the Christian Church, nevertheless the principle of this law remains, and is incorporated in the gospel (1 Cor. 9:13, 14); and if the motive prompts us to increase religion and the service of God, to be greater now than in Old Testament times, then Christians ought to go beyond the ancient Hebrew writing in consecrating both themselves and their substance tithe to God.

"Hey, Iím just barely making it with my budget. How can I afford to tithe," you say? 

"God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others." 2 Corinthians 9:8

If we’re not careful, we will never think we have enough. The secret of happiness is learning to be content with what we have, whether it is much or little, and learning how to live abundantly even with little.

"If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you."  Luke 6:38

"So I can give to get to give to others huh?"

Well... maybe you should read on further.

Want to know more?  Read on

What is Tithing?

Robbie L. Rogers

 

Do you tithe regularly?

"Not really. The Church has too much money anyway, and besides they’re always asking for more," you say.

Do you know that everything you have belongs to God? And, if everyone tithed the minimum ten percent that scriptures say we should, the churches would not have to ask at all. As an example, say there are about 300 families in your church. If the average level of giving is indicative of a ten percent tithe then the average yearly household income is only $20,000 while it averages well over $48,000. Furthermore, if the average value of our homes is around $250,000, how can a $20,000 income afford a home that expensive? Besides that, the plate that goes around each Sunday is not just to take up money for the church; that’s why we call it an "Offering." It is given to God, as an offering from everybody, the whole body, the Church. The same way as when we give our whole body, ourselves, to God through Christ.

While the Old Testament specifically talks about giving one-tenth of what we make to God, the New Testament encourages us to give what we can, and to give sacrificially out of a grateful heart. For many, this will mean giving far more than one-tenth! However, what you give and how much remains a quest between you and God, not between you and the Church or any minister. 

No one can determine your tithe for you.  They might suggest, but this important question is ultimately yours.  Furthermore do not get tied up in the gross or net question; it in itself is ambiguous.  In a normal working person's salary there are too many factors to even determine what an actual gross salary or the cost to your employer is for your services.  To some it might be $100/hr or more while a take home pay/hr might be only $20 or less/hr.  Also, the buying and selling of property, concerning increases, if applied to like items is simply liken to moving money from one bank account to another.  In other words, if you buy a house or land and apply the entire amount on another but greater investment property the increase is virtually just moved forward. 

"So, an investment is not really income producing until the increase is taken as spending money."

Yeah, but nevertheless, when you begin to draw on the investment for living expenses, that fund-increase is "income" and would be considered worthy of tithe.  God does not expect us to double or triple tithe on the same money or property. Remember however, if God tells you to give money from your store house, no matter where it comes from or from what pile, do so.  The number one objective is to follow God's will not your own or even the Church's. 

Doing God's will is the most important thing you can do.  In doing that you are truly worshiping Him.  The gross vs net question heavily applies here.  Don't get caught up in it.  If it is real income, not income before costs are applied, then tithing should apply.  The real bottom line is you can't out give God. 

Now who do you send it to, please apply the same question to God concerning this?  The Church is in great upheaval in this day and age.  Be careful as to who you bequeath your tithe to.  Remember it is God's not the Church's money.  There are many worthy areas to give part or all your tithe to. 

Don't limit yourself to give to the church.  The church already has enough problems and throwing money at it will not usually help any situation.  Take for instance Oprah Winfrey building a $40 million facility to educate 150 girls in Africa.  How much more good would it have been to give $40 million to a fund with which poor students could pay the measly $6/month fee for attending schools there.  When you receive to glory for giving something then you simply receive your reward in that glory.  When you give make sure He gets the glory not you. God wants you to see that what you give goes to good purposes and building expensive buildings, whether they are to hold church services or not, might not be a good idea.  Do what God wants, that will always work out.

"Hey, I’m not that big on God yet. Gimme a chance. I’ll come along as I can."

You don’t get the picture yet. Everything belongs to God. You don’t have to give it to Him, it already belongs to Him. Everything even the rocks, even the space we tend to call a vacuum, the so called nothingness is His, the whole of creation. We are merely stewards of what He allows us to posses.

"Ya mean of what I own, I really don’t own, it belongs to Him anyway?"

Yep, we are just stewards of what He let’s us use. It works like the "Parable of the Talents." How well we use what He has given us can determines how much more we might or might not get to be a steward over. It can also indicate where we might find ourselves in the end.

"You mean if we are not good stewards, not taking care of what we have and seeing that we bless others with what we have, that what we have may be taken away? Sort of like the atoms that make up what we have turning into nothingness?"

Yeah. Poof! Like a vapor into a vacuum, it could evaporate, even into the abyss.

"I see, then since Christ is the head of the Church, what I return to Him by way of the Church or whatever He directs me to send money to or donate my time to as a tithe is a reflection as to how much I love Him and the Church, isn’t it? So I need to give to get, huh?"

Well, yes and no. As a Christian we should not do anything with wrong motives. You must never give, or do, to get. God simply gives to us that we may bless others. If we give with the idea that we will get more, we will most likely receive very little or nothing in return; or, at the very least we can expect to receive some sort discipline for our wrong motives, or actions. God’s creation is governed by many Laws, both physically and spiritually. This is just one of them.

"You mean like gravity?"

Yeah, and like gravity when we break these laws, casting our deeds on the waters of life, we usually receive back much more in return than what we cast out, good or bad. Only a miracle from God can change or negate the results of our good deeds, or our misdeeds.

"But, the Tele-evangelists don’t say it that way. They say you should give to them as a challenge to God and that He’ll give you back ten times more than you give to them."

That my friend is one reason why God gave us prayer, to get answers from Him about seemingly perplexing questions. However, the answers you seek about tithing, your level of giving, are in the Bible, study it to find them. The main thing is be a good steward of what He has given you. Ask Him who to bless, and how much of that which He has allowed you to posses should you give. Your giving is between you and God. I don’t want to know whether you give back to God less than 10%, or even 30% or more. However, I do believe one of the questions we will be confronted with when we get to the Judgment Seat is, "What did you do with the blessings I gave to you?" Our life as a good or bad steward, and what we do with the blessings we have now, will determine how we are able answer that question then.

 

See: THE VILLAGE MITE   Tithing   What About Finances?

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