Should We Tithe?
Thoughts on Giving Tithes
Why should we tithe?
To tithe or not to tithe - that is the question of many people in the church.
Should we be Paying or Giving Tithes?
Are we supposed to be paying tithes? No, God does not want us "paying" tithes. But yes, he does expect us to be giving tithes of our own free will.
You don't "have" to tithe. Nobody "has" to tithe. But God doesn't "have" to give his blessings either.
If you want God's special blessings on you, your life, your business, your family, the tithe is the model you should follow. Provided that your heart is first right with the Lord.
What is a Tithe?
A tithe is 10% of your income. Actually, in the Bible in the Old Testament, God asked his people for about 20-30% or more, by the time you figure in alms for the poor and other free will offerings.
The 10% tithe is the bare minimum standard. It is the least God expects us to do, to receive his blessings.
God usually does not want us to test him. But he makes an exception, when he wants us to test him in the area of tithes. We are to test him, to see if he does not give the blessings he promises, when we do give our tithes. We are to see if God does not make the windows of heaven open and send down such a blessing on us that there is no room for it. (Malachi 3:10)
And instead of the law demanding the tithe, Jesus gives his followers a new commandment to love one another as he has loved us. (John 13:34, 35; 15:12, 17)
Who could ever repay how much Jesus loved us? His whole life was dedicated to helping us by his teachings and by his example. He ended his life by giving himself as a sacrifice for us, suffering for us more than any other human being, and shedding every drop of his blood for us. His life was truly one of service for us, to save us from bondage to the devil and sin, and to give us true life forever in heaven.
The Apostle Paul writes that charity compels us.
The Purpose and Reason for Tithing
What is the real reason for tithing?
Actually, to get God's blessings is still kind of a selfish reason for us. The main purpose of tithing is to help extend the kingdom of God. This is primarily seen by supporting his church, his pastor's, his missionaries, and the ongoing work of education – the great commission.
To go and make disciples of all nations, to baptize them, teach them all the things Christ has commanded us. (Matthew 28:19)
Should We Tithe? - A Heart Issue
Tithing is a heart issue. Are we generous with God? Do we love God with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength above all things, or does our expenses show a pursuit of worldly treasure.
For where your treasure is, there is your heart. (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34)
Supporting Christ's Church by Tithing
When Christ's church is doing its job to fulfill this great commission, when like Jesus and the apostles the leaders are poor in spirit, then the church is most deserving of our tithes, and free will gifts and offerings.
This type of church will also be the first to see firsthand the needs of the deserving poor, and may be best suited to allocate funds to reach the poor – by meeting their physical needs, at the same time, fulfilling their spiritual need of evangelization.
(The word evangelization means to share the Gospel (the Good News) by word, and especially by example.)
This type of evangelization is much more powerful, because it is not just words. It is also action. It is a good example of Christ and his apostles, who went about everywhere doing good. (Acts 10:38) Not just saying good things.
The Example of the Early Church
In fact, when Jesus first sent out his apostles, and then his disciples two by two, they were to rely on the charity of others. (Matthew 10:10; Mark 6:8; Luke 9:3; 10:4) Later, he told them to take a purse, because of increasing persecution and lack of support. (Luke 22:35-37)
We read that the early church shared their property so that no one was in need. And a man named Joseph, whom the Apostles named Barnabas (meaning encouragement or comfort), also sold his field, and brought the money to the feet of the apostles. (Acts 4:34-37)
God certainly blessed Barnabas, because this financial encouragement and support to the apostles resulted in him also being called by the Holy Spirit to work as an apostle beside Paul the Apostle. (Acts 13:2) I bet he doesn't regret his generous sacrifice.
His joyful reward in eternity is still just barely beginning - now that he has been in heaven about 2000 years.
Should We Tithe? Freedom in Christ
When we support the church, we free our pastors, ministers, teachers, and missionaries to better serve Christ and his kingdom by their ministry, and we share in the good that God is accomplishing through them.
In fact, Jesus says anyone who honors (welcomes, supports) his apostles, does so to Jesus. He who honors a prophet because he is a prophet, will receive the reward of a prophet. Who honors an upright (righteous) man because he is an upright man, will receive the reward of an upright man. And if anyone give only a cup of cold water to someone the least of his followers, Jesus says that person will certainly not lose their reward. (Matthew 10:40-42)
Thank your stars, it'll last forever!
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