Tithing (giving to God)

What is the meaning of “tithe”?

Hebrews 7:2 (NIV) and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.

The word “tenth” is also translated “tithe” in other places.

Why tithe?
Giving to God is an expression of our love to Him

(John 3:16 NIV)  “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

For God so loved the world that He gave…

Giving is an expression of love. God loved us so much He was willing to give us His best – His only Son.

When we give to God, we do so also because we love Him.

Tithe belongs to God

Leviticus 27:30 (NIV) “‘A tithe (i.e. tenth) of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the LORD; it is holy to the LORD.

Because it belongs to God and not to us, we rob God when we don’t tithe.

Malachi 3:8 (NIV) “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings.

Full time workers need to be fed

Numbers 18:21 (NIV) “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the Tent of Meeting.

Levites are one of the 12 tribes of the Israelites that has no occupation other than serving as priest. Therefore, there is a need for the other tribes to contribute a tenth of what they produce to support the Levites.

Romans 10:14­15 (NIV) How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can they preach unless they are sent?

Non-Christians may never know Christ unless churches sent out missionaries. How can the church afford to sent out missionaries if the church members do not tithe?

1 Corinthians 9:14 (NIV) In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

Galatians 6:6 (NIV) Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor.

The church needs to be built

Ezra 2:68 (NIV) When they arrived at the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, some of the heads of the families gave freewill offerings toward the rebuilding of the house of God on its site.

What happens when we tithe?
God will meet all our needs

(2 Cor 9:6-8 NIV)  Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. {7} Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. {8} And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

God blesses us with every good thing

Malachi 3:10 (NIV) Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it

We will get back more than what we give

(Luke 6:38 NIV)  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

What happens if we don’t tithe?
We come under a curse

Malachi 3:8­9 (NIV) “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse ­­the whole nation of you ­­because you are robbing me.

Being under a curse means that God may in some way punish us for not tithing.

We don’t seem to have enough

Haggai 1:4­6 (NIV) “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” 5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

Right attitudes in tithing
Give to God first

Deuteronomy 14:23 (NIV) Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.

Do not give to God from the remainder of your income after you have spent it. God does not like leftovers.

Give cheerfully

2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Give sacrificially

Mark 12:42­44 (NIV) But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything ­­all she had to live on.”

2 Corinthians 8:2­3 (NIV) Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own…

When you give something precious to God it touches God. What is precious to us is precious to God. Do not give to God something that cost you nothing.

Abraham’s offering Isaac.

Woman offering Jesus her expensive perfume

Giving to God the firstfruits of our labor

Give responsibly

2 Corinthians 8:12­13 (NIV) For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. 13 Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality.

Give discreetly

Matthew 6:1­4 (NIV) “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2 “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.