Summary: A scriptural look at tithing.
Stewardship of Tithe
Tithing is always such a sensitive subject!
Three Truths About Tithing
I. Tithing Is Commanded By God
Leviticus 27:30,32 "Ten percent of everything you harvest is holy and belongs to me, whether it grows in your fields or on your fruit trees...When you count your flocks and herds, one out of ten of every newborn animal is holy and belongs to me." (CEV)
A. It is an act of worship.
We invest in our beliefs; much like investing in a hobby.
Numbers 18:21 "To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve, their service in the tent of meeting."
B. It is a service to those in ministry.
Deuteronomy 14:22-23 "People of Israel, every year you must set aside ten percent of your grain harvest. Also set aside ten percent of your wine and olive oil, and the first-born of every cow, sheep, and goat. Take these to the place where the Lord chooses to be worshiped, and eat them there. This will teach you to always respect the Lord your God." (CEV)
C. It is a mnemonic reminder
It serves as a memory peg
II. Tithing Reflects Our Attitude About Church
How do we see the church? As an occasional place to gather, a social meeting place with spiritual overtones. De we see the church as the house of God? The place where God resides to perform the wonders of His mighty love? Do we see it as an agent of God’s grace where sinners can be saved, the broken hearted can find comfort, the sick can find healing, the desperate can find hope?
John 2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me."
Psalm 69:9 For zeal for your house has consumed me, and the insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.
How much am I willing to invest in God and in God’s house?
A promise for those willing to invest in God:
Proverb 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine.
Malachi 3:10 Bring the full tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house; and thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.
III. Tithing Reflects Our Love For God & Others
Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."
"For your heart will always be where your riches are." (TEV)
"If your profits are in heaven your heart will be there too." (The Living Bible)
When we tithe we are making a declaration in support of what God is and will be doing. *Purchasing stock in God’s corporation
A. Lesson #1. Tithes are never taken; only offered and received
When something is taken, it is not done of free will.
*Taking Valerie’s pickle
B. Lesson #2. Tithing is a matter of the heart
*The reason why they must be given and not taken:
II Corinthians 9:7-8 "Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don’t feel sorry that you must give and don’t feel that you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give. God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others."
"Not with regret or out of a sense of duty" (TEV)
"Don’t force anyone to give more than he really wants to" (The Living Bible)
"Not reluctantly or under compulsion" (RSV)
*What would Christmas be like if we had to go to our relative’s houses and take our gifts? What kind of spirit would be exhibited?
Four Types Of Tithers
1. Non-participants -those outside the story needing to be brought in
2. Cheering crowd -those who praise the large tithers, but give nothing, or very little, themselves
3. Pharisees -those who give dutifully (from a purely perfunctory spirit)
4. Widow -those who give without reserve
Which kind of tither are you and why?
Isaiah 1:12-14 "When you come to appear before me, who requires of you this trampling of my courts? Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and sabbath and the calling of assemblies– I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me, I am weary of bearing them."
Matthew 6:2-4 "When you give to the poor, don’t blow a loud horn. That’s what show -offs do in the meeting places and on the street corners, because they are always looking for praise. I can assure you that they already have their reward. When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you."