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What is tithing?


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The word "tithe" means "a tenth part" or "10%". In the Bible, God tells us that we are to give the first 10% of all that we earn back to Him. Giving less than 10% is not tithing.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A "TITHE" AND AN "OFFERING"?

A tithe is 10% of your income. An offering is any amount you give over and above that amount. An offering is anything you give in addition to your tithe, such as gifts for special projects, the church building fund, missions, etc. Tithing is God's minimum standard, the starting point.

As God prospers you, you'll want to give more.

WHY SHOULD I TITHE?

11 REASONS FROM GOD'S WORD

1. Because God commands it!

"A tithe of all you produce is the Lord's and it is holy." (Lev. 27:30)

2. Because Jesus commands it!

"Yes, you should tithe, and you shouldn't leave the more important things undone either." (Matt 23:23) Tithing was the only thing Jesus commended the Pharisees for doing!

3. Because tithing shows that God has first place in my life!

"The purpose of tithing is to teach you to put God first place in your life". (Deut. 14:23 (LB)) If God does not have first priority in your finances, He isn't really first in your life.

4. Because it reminds me that everything I have was given to me by God!

"Always remember that it is the Lord your God who gives you the ability to produce wealth." (Deut. 8:18) Rather than feeling "I'm giving God 10% of my money," realize God is letting you keep 90% of HIS money. Without God's help, you would have nothing.

5. Because tithing expresses my gratitude to God for helping me earn income!

"How can I repay the Lord for all His goodness to me?" (Ps. 116:12) Here's the answer: "Each of you should bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you." (Deut. 16:17)

6. Because refusing to tithe is stealing from God!

If you don't tithe, God says you are using money that rightfully belongs to Him. "God says: "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me!' But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' God says: 'In tithes and offerings. Bring your whole tithe to My house.'" (Mal. 3:8-19) (God has a right to whatever He asks for from you.)

7. Because tithing gives God a chance to prove to you that He exists and wants to bless you!

Bring me your tithe. Test me in this," says the Lord, "and see if I won't throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it, I will prevent pests from devouring your crops and the vines in your fields will be protected from plagues."

This is one of the most amazing promises in the Bible. God actually offers you a challenge. He says "I dare you!" Start tithing and watch what happens!" He not only promises to bless you with more, but He also promises to protect what you already have! In the Bible, tithing is the only way given that you can prove God exists. Start tithing and get ready for God's blessing.

8. Because it is essential to spiritual growth!

"Just as you grow in everything~in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in earnestness and love...see that you also grow in the grace of giving." Many Christians remain spiritual babies because they disobey God by not tithing.

9. Because tithing shows I really love God!

"Where your treasure is, your heart will be also." (Matt. 6:21) Wherever you put your money is where your affection is going to be. Everytime you give back to God you are drawn closer to Him. You may say you love God, but 2 Cor. 8:8 says that your giving tests the sincerity of your love.

You can give without loving but you cannot love without giving.

Jesus said, "If you really love me, do what I command." (John 14:15)

10. Because tithing is an investment for eternity!

Jesus told us to "Store up treasures in heaven." (Matt. 6:19-20) How do you do that? By investing your money in helping people get to heaven! Most of the things you spend your money on will not even last for ten years, much less last for eternity.

11. Because you cannot outgive God!

There are more promises in the Bible connected to giving than any other subject. Giving unlocks the promises of God in your life. When you give, God always gives back to you in a greater degree. Jesus said, "For if you give, you will get. Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure. Whatever measure you use to give it will be used to measure what is given back to you." (Luke 6:38)

WHAT SHOULD I TITHE?

The first 10% of every paycheck, and all else you earn. "Honor the Lord by giving Him the first part of all your income, and He will fill your barns...to overflowing." (Prov 3:9-10) God doesn't want your "left-over" income at the end of the month. He wants first place.

WHERE SHOULD I GIVE MY TITHE?

The Bible is very clear that God expects the tithe to be given back to Him at the place where you worship. In the Old Testament, they brought their tithes to the temple. In the New Testament , the tithe was given at the synagogue or church. While there are many fine organizations, charities, and ministries, the church is God's institution. You may support other ministries with additional offerings.

Only gifts given to God as an act of worship at the house of worship are considered tithes.

WHEN SHOULD I TITHE?

1 Cor. 16:2 (LB) says: "On the first day of every week, set aside some of what you have earned and give it as an offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you to earn."

ISN'T TITHING AN OLD TESTAMENT JEWISH LAW THAT I CAN IGNORE?

No. That's just an old excuse with no biblicale basis.

First, God established the principle of tithing, 430 years before He gave the Law to Moses. If tithing was only a Jewish law, why did Abraham tithe 430 years before the law was revealed? Tithing was being practiced long before the Jewish nations even existed!

Second, although tithing is mentioned in the Old Testament Law, there is no punishment mentioned for not tithing. Can you imagine a law without a punishment? Tithing is a Life Principle that is to be a voluntary act.

Third, Jesus commended tithing in the New Testament.

SHOULD I TITHE ON MY NET INCOME OR GROSS INCOME?

Which do you want God to bless ~ your net or your gross? Proverbs 3:9 says we are to honor God with the first part of all our income. I believe that means the gross income. Anyway, 2 Corinthians 9:6 says: "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will reap generously."

WHAT IF I CAN'T AFFORD TO TITHE?

If you are in debt, you can't affort NOT to tithe! You need God's help to get out of debt. There are many financial principles in the Bible but the starting point is to be honest with God by beginning to tithe. Tell God you're going to put Him first in your finances that you are willing to obey the priciples in His Word, and that you are trusting Him to help you get out of debt.

THE REAL ISSUE

As a pastor, I've heard every excuse ever invented for not tithing. But in every case, an unwillingness to do what God says can be boiled down to two motivies: First, materialistic values. If you're more interested in "having things" than pleasing God, you won't tithe. You may store up treasures on earth, but you won't store up treasure in heaven. Second, unbelief. If you don't really believe God will keep all his promises He has made regarding tithing, you won't do it.

PASTOR DONALD H. DINNINGER

 

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