Summary: This lesson is that tithing should be from the heart not the head.
Since the beginning of time man has offered God sacrifices to atone for their sins. The first problem started with Cain and Abel where Cain’s sacrifice was not acceptable unto the Lord. Cain got jealous of Abel and Cain then killed his brother. Today we don’t kill animals and offer them as a sacrifice to the Lord. The reason is this. In the Old Testament Jesus had not come. The people were to bring their best animal depending on the sacrifice as there were many different types of sins. This is talked about in Leviticus Chapters 1-7. Then the animal’s blood was shed on the altar of the Lord. The blood of the animal represented life and that blood atoned for a time the sin of the people. But the men and women needed to bring animals, sheep or lambs, bulls etc without blemish. There had to be no defect. You had to give your best and most expensive animal.
In the New Testament. Jesus became the Lamb of God. Instead of constantly bringing to the altar animals for the forgiveness of sins God offered Jesus as the ultimate sacrifice once and for all. His perfect life without sin was the ultimate sacrifice needed to pay the penalty for all mankind. Anything less would not do.
Malachi 1:7-9 “You place defiled food on my altar. “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’” By saying that the Lord’s Table is contemptible. When you bring blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice crippled or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty. “Now implore God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”—says the Lord Almighty.
Today we can do the same thing in our life so it is not wonder we don’t get a blessing from the Lord. What if you put $ 1,000 in cash in the offering plate when everyone else is giving $ 10 and $ 20 dollar bills? Looks pretty impressive doesn’t it. That is until you know that the man should have put $ 10,000 in the offering plate. He held back and gave God a portion of what was due. We are called to give 10% back to God and that is a minimum. The question is when you get paid do you look at your paycheck as all yours or all God’s money? That is where the problems start. If we look at it as our money we will usually be stingy with it. If we realize that even though that money is in our hands God blessed us with that money. So in essence when we tithe we could actually say to ourselves “how much of God's money am I going to keep and how much am I going to give back to Him? Ouch!!!!
Maybe God is asking you to sacrifice your time but your time is more important than God. So you give money instead. Maybe you send 10 people on a mission trip when they couldn’t afford it. That looks very good in front of man. The problem is we are not trying to do good for man. It is what God thinks that matters. So please do not try to fool God by pleasing man. God knows your heart. He desires that you know your heart also.
When you give your tithe at church or to another ministry do you give it with a joyful heart? If not then you need to pray and ask God why you can’t. Listen, God is big enough to handle any question you ask Him and this is a very legitimate question.
This next statement is very important. God doesn’t need your money. But God does desire our heart. If you are stingy with money toward God then you will get a stingy blessing or no blessing at all. Maybe you don’t have hardly any money. That is why in the Old Testament some people could only offer pigeons instead of lambs. This parable will help you understand God’s heart towards giving
Luke 21:1-4 “As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
All I can tell you is that you cannot out give God. When you can give with a joyful heart, in abundance, then your storehouses will be filled to overflowing. Now if you give to have your storehouses filled to overflowing then that won’t happen. You only give to give out of thanks for what God has done for YOU. You and I deserved hell but God sent is ONLY Son to be our sacrifice so that whoever believes in Him will have eternal life. God did all the hard work. Shouldn’t we give abundantly with a cheerful heart?