By: Marie W. (March 2011)
Its payday, and I’m staring at the screen on the ATM machine in the bank, looking at the amount that was just deposited into my checking account. Okay (I say to myself), times are hard, so I have to divide this up wisely. Just when I think I’ve taken care of all my expenses, I remember that I didn’t put aside 10% for tithes. I feel burdened. That means I have 10% less money to spend. Then came the guilt for feeling that way. Okay God, you said it, so I’ll do it.
Tithing by definition is giving a tenth of one’s income to the church. Many believe that tithing was only valid under the law. But even before the Mosaic Law, the dedication of giving a tenth to God was acknowledged as a duty. In Genesis 28:22 Jacob vowed and made a promise to the Lord saying “Of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.”
The giving of tithes allows for the spreading of the gospel. For example, when missionaries and evangelists travel to other countries to feed the poor, provide aid for the sick, and preach to those who haven’t heard the message of Jesus Christ, your tithes contributes to that.
There is a promise that comes with tithing. God honors your obedience and sacrifice. He says to us in Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD 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.”
You might think that you don’t have enough to give, but consider the woman in the bible who gave her very last, even in her poverty, to help the church. Jesus was pleased with her sacrifice (Mark 12:41-44).
Interestingly enough, my list of God please bless me with A, B, C, and while you’re at it X, Y, and Z is as long as ever. We are constantly asking God to honor our requests, and we even remind him of his Word when asking for it. How about flipping the script and asking God what can we do for him, and reminding ourselves of what His Word says: “Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase; So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10. So find a ministry to support (if you don’t already have one) and give your best. You cannot lose by giving to God. You’ll only gain from it.