Summary: God is a generous God and has invited me to join Him in the Great Adventure of Tithing. This message shares 6 reasons why I tithe (and you can, too). (4 are godly reason,the first 2 are not).
Living with God-Size Generosity
Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)
19Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
INTRODUCTION: The Great Adventure.
Ever been on a great adventure? A great adventure happens when someone offers a different approach to life. You think their crazy, but try it anyway. The diet you were convinced to try. You were reluctant, You grumbled when you started. You found 3 months later, you had never felt better in your life. Welcome to the great adventure of dieting.
The book you were urged to read. It seemed so long for a book, and turned out to be the longest book you ever read ¡K and the best. Welcome to the great adventure of reading.
The new dish you felt challenged to fix for dinner. The picture looked so good in the cookbook and so challenging in the recipe details, but you fixed it for your guests. They said it was the greatest meal and chocolate dessert they ever had. Welcome to the great adventure of cooking.
The fear you had in calling for a first date. You were nervous. Your palms were sweaty. Your voice was dry. You were tempted to lick your palms, and just dial that number. How glad you are that the first date happened and every moment since. Welcome to the great adventure of dating.
The great adventure of pregnancy and parenting features 9 months of anticipation. Weight gain, Lamaze classes. The joy and terror as you hold your first child in your arms and years later walk her down the aisle for another to hold in his arms. Welcome to the great adventure of parenting.
The great adventure of a pastor, who said if you give away 10% of your income, you will not only have more to live on, but a greater sense of satisfaction, faith, expectancy and fulfillment. Welcome to the great tithing adventure. Since 6th grade, I¡¦ve been on the great tithing adventure. I¡¦ve discovered giving God the first 10% of my income is a great adventure that leads me to trust God more, have a higher level of joy, feel a greater sense of satisfaction, and impact eternity. Today I will share 6 reasons why I tithe. 4 are godly reasons, 2 are not.
My goal is to be transparent and invite you to be part of what seems like a crazy idea and take the ¡§In God I Trust¡¨ challenge that will change your life and others for eternity.
Why I Tithe
REASON 1: OBEDIENCE: I give as part of my duty to God because I have to give. This sounds like a godly reason, but it is not, even though I have a scripture passage to support my application. God Himself says in Malachi 3:10a, ¡§Bring one-tenth of your income into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house.¡¨ -- (GOD¡¦S WORD). Out of obedience I give, because I have to give. In a certain sense, ¡§have to¡¨ talks about how giving burns within me, and has become part of the habits of my life and most of the time this is true. Yet the sense of ¡§have to¡¨ here refers to giving because tithing is a command to be fulfilled, than a practice to be enjoyed. Obedience is a great reason to give when I give as part of my delight in being a child of God because I want to give.
When I was 10 years old, my family went on vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I had done my chores and saved my money for those Smokey Mountain souvenirs. We stopped for a watermelon snack. I remember asking to pay for my family. Compared to what my father spent to put us in a hotel, drive us up there, and all the food we were eating, paying for watermelon was chump change. But for me, it was a way to say thanks for a great vacation. I paid because I wanted to give thanks.
REASON 2. GREED: I know God blesses those who tithe and I like to be blessed. This is not a godly reason to give. The word greed gives it away. Such a reason perverts what God says in Malachi 3:10b, Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. -- (The Message)
If given the choice between blessings and curses, I choose blessing every time. In high school, I heard a radio preacher claim if I¡¦d send him $100, God would multiply my $100 and give me $1,000 in return. I thought ¡§if you need the money, send me the $100 and God can send you the $1,000.¡¨ Notice the motivation at work, greed not gratitude. God wants me to give 10% out of gratitude, not greed.