Robbie L. Rogers
Do you tithe regularly?
"Not really. The Church has too much money anyway, and besides theyre
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; thats 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, Im not that big on God yet. Gimme a chance. Ill come along
as I can."
You dont get the picture yet. Everything belongs to
God. You dont 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 dont own, it belongs to Him
Yep, we are just stewards of what He lets 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
Yeah. Poof! Like a vapor into a vacuum, it could evaporate, even into the
"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,
isnt 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.
Gods 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 dont say it that way. They say you should
give to them as a challenge to God and that Hell 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 dont 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.
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