Summary: The motivation for giving is love.
2 Corinthians 9:6-15 The Ministry of Financial Giving
OPENING ILLUSTRATION: What did you get for Christmas?
Of course someone gave you something for Christmas. You gave someone else a gift for Christmas. We accept the fact that we exchanged gifts with one another. Let me tell you what I got for Christmas. I got a PDA. It is not new, but it was given out of love. I also got a new calendar for 2007. I also got a few other small things. Someone gave us coffee and lots of candy. My wife got a lot of presents from various people this year. Did we enjoy these gifts? Yes, of course we did. Why? Not just because we received something, but because we know that the person who gave the gift out of their love for us. Heike spent her money and gave something precious to me. I spent my money and gave something special for her. There was a motivation behind the giving. The motivation was love.
THE MATHEMATICS OF GIVING (9:6)
What of Giving
Normal math is 10-1=9. God’s math is 10-1=10+
The world says that you take 10 Euros and subtract 1 Euro, you get 9 Euros. This is true when you look at all of your giving as an expense. Of course, you have to pay for all that you have on this Earth. You have to pay taxes - more next year than this year. So, it is easy to think that when you give God ten percent, you lose ten percent.
But God says that when you give to Him, He collects and gives back to you. When you give to God, it is like an investment, not an expense. Giving to God ten percent doesn’t mean that you will get rich. But it does mean that your needs will be met financially. You have a full 100% to pay your bills. You won’t go hungry. But you have to trust God with your money. The best way to start this New Year is to make God a priority. The best way to show God that you have made Him the first priority of your life is with your money. Notice how 2 Corinthians 8 says it:
imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. (2 Corinthians 8:4-5 NKJV)
There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty. (Proverbs 11:24 NKJV)
He who has a generous eye will be blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor. (Proverbs 22:9 NKJV)
The Bible calls giving God ten percent a tithe. It literally means a tenth or (1/10). Here is a brief overview of the Bible teaches about giving a tenth of your money to Him.
OVERVIEW OF THE TITHE (Giving Ten Percent to God)
It is not just a Mosaic Law. Abraham gave the tithe as a an act of worship. He recognized that God had given Him the victory and so he gave 10 percent of his profits from the war he had won to God - this is represented by the priest to whom He presented the profits, Melchizedek.
And he (Melchizedek) blessed him and said: "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand." And he (Abraham) gave him a tithe of all. (Genesis 14:19-20 NKJV)
Since this practice started with Abraham, it continued through the life Moses. You can see that as an act of worship, people gave ten percent of what they had to the temple.
"You shall truly tithe all the increase of your grain that the field produces year by year. And you shall eat before the LORD your God, in the place where He chooses to make His name abide, the tithe of your grain and your new wine and your oil, of the firstborn of your herds and your flocks, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always.
(Deuteronomy 14:22-23 NKJV)
The ten percent that the people gave in the Temple was considered holy. That means that once it was given, it was God’s. He chose to use it as He wished.
And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’s. It is holy to the LORD. If a man wants at all to redeem any of his tithes, he shall add one-fifth to it. And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the LORD. He shall not inquire whether it is good or bad, nor shall he exchange it; and if he exchanges it at all, then both it and the one exchanged for it shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed."’ (Leviticus 27:30-33 NKJV)