Summary: Two weeks ago I taught that the core principle of satisfaction was rooted in giving. Not spending, not getting, not working, not saving, not investing, not begging, and not gambling. The only way to achieve a satisfied life is by giving.
There are a lot of things in the world that just don’t make sense. They are mysteries to me. Here are a few of the things I wonder about:
As we get older in school why do the desks get smaller? This is the desk I had in elementary school. Here is the desk I had in Junior HI. Here is the one I had in HS. And in college… That just doesn’t make sense.
And talking about school. Why do grades go A, B, C, D, and F. Where happened to E? Was E bad? Did E get kicked out of school?
Speaking of the letters, why do we say “lmnop” really fast when we say the alphabet?
And why when we are sick do we go into the bathroom to throw-up and then when we’re done, look in the mirror? That’s just wrong.
Why do we press harder on the remote buttons when the battery is dead? You know you do it!
Why is it called Fun size candy when it’s smaller? Fun size should be bigger. This is petite… not fun.
Why does the dentist ask you questions when your mouth is full of cotton and metal instruments?
Now here is the real question… Why do people tip the server in the restaurant 15, 18, or even 20% and then freak out when the preacher says God expects a tithe of 10%?
You can live on less when you have more to live for
We’re talking about what it takes to live a satisfied life.
Two weeks ago I taught that the core principle of satisfaction was rooted in giving. Not spending, not getting, not working, not saving, not investing, not begging, and not gambling. The only way to achieve a satisfied life is by giving. It is what leaves us in the present and at the end of our days on earth with a deep sense of satisfaction.
Last week I taught you that one of the biggest enemies of giving is debt. Many have attempted, futilely to buy satisfaction at any price and finance their attempts with borrowed money only to discover that, not only does it not work, but now they have to pay it back and now can’t afford to be a giving person. They are in debt.
Today I’m going to teach you about the values, the benefits, and the purposes of returning the tithe to God. It’s completely counter-intuitive and very difficult for many to grasp. It’s also very important and it shouldn’t freak you out!
Before I do that let me take a few minutes to cover the basics of what tithing is because there are a lot of misunderstandings and misconceptions.
Tithing is Not a Good Idea… Tithing is God’s Idea
Tithing is not a just a good idea for the church… Tithing is God’s idea for you.
Tithing is a Bible principle that will change your life. I am convinced that practicing the tithe is a key part of a satisfied life. But what is it exactly? To put it simply
Tithing is the returning of a tenth of your increase to God as an act of submission, worship, and honor.
A tithe is the return of 10% of your increase or your income to God as an act of submission, worship, and honor. We see it practiced by Abraham in the OT and upheld by Jesus in the NT. To the Apostle Paul it’s a good starting point.
But what is the value of tithing? What is the purpose of giving God 10% of one’s income? Seriously, why would the Creator and Almighty God who made the universe with his word, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the oil in a thousand wells, and the gold in a thousand mines, want a tenth of my meager possessions?
In my studies I have made three observations of how a tithing is able to experience a satisfied life. The first some observations are from a preacher named Haggai and a preacher named Malachi. Let’s look at Haggai says first.
Tithing Puts God First
2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.” 3 Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet,
Haggai was a preacher after the return of the exiled people of Israel. Let me cover a little OT History very quickly.
Israel had been a great kingdom under David and Solomon. But after Solomon the kingdom had divided and eventually both the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah were destroyed and the people were taken into captivity. Jerusalem was razed and the temple destroyed.
Now, it was 70 years later and the people of Israel returned to Jerusalem which was still in ruins.