This is the fourth teaching in the series of five on the subject of giving and receiving, that I was asked write for my church.
Tithing is only the foundation.
Tithing is a vital part of Biblical giving and the prosperity that God has promised to those who follow His system, but it is only the foundation. Malachi 3 is one of the most well known passages on tithing, but in verse 8 God says that the Israelites have robbed Him in tithes AND offerings. To many the ten percent (on your gross income) that is a tithe seems like a lot, but it is only a starting point – we should actually be giving over and above the tithe. Now I realise that this can seem quite daunting at first, but as with tithing, it all comes down to trusting God. None of this is about taking money from you, it is about getting God’s blessings to you.
Check out where your money is going.
The money that you give above the tithe is known as a freewill offering, and as such, you are free to give it wherever you want and wherever you feel led to give. Almost certainly this will primarily be to the church you attend, but will likely also include Christian ministries, Christian charities, etc. As a note of caution, I would advise that you check out where your money is going – Christian Aid, for example, is decidedly anti-Israel (unless there has been a major change since the time of writing). You want to be sure that you are sowing into good ground and that is no way guaranteed by the word ‘Christian’ in the charity’s name or description.
Without the tithe firmly in place, you are attempting to build with no foundation.
All Biblical teaching on giving and the promised harvest from that giving, are based on giving over and above the tithe. Without the tithe firmly in place, you are attempting to build with no foundation. The bottom line is that the Biblical system of giving and prosperity is built on a foundation of tithing and as any builder will tell you, you cannot build without a foundation. But of course a foundation is useless, if you then do not actually build anything upon it.
If you put God ahead of your personal needs (or wants) – God will honour that.
One of the primary principles in the Christian life is putting God first, and this equally applies in the area of giving. For example, suppose you need a new carpet and so does your church. Do you give towards the church’s carpet, or do you buy your carpet first and then consider whether or not to give to the church – if you can still afford it? If, as an act of faith and obedience to God, you give an offering first to your church – putting God ahead of your personal needs (or wants) – God will honour that. A Biblical example of this, is how King Solomon delayed the building of his personal house by seven years, until God’s temple was completed. There are those who criticise the fact that King Solomon spent seven years building the temple and thirteen years building his own home. There are a number of reasons that would at least partly explain the longer time, such as the fact that King David had prepared everything needed for the temple in advance. But the fact is, King Solomon put God first, and God honoured him and blessed him. If you apply God’s principles and honour God in your giving like King Solomon did, you too will prosper – which is the good news. The bad news is that when you do, some people will criticise you – but it is certainly a price worth paying!
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
If you have never received Jesus as your Lord & Saviour, if you have gone away from God, or if you have any doubts regarding your salvation. I encourage you to click on the link below. Clicking on the link will not secure your salvation, but praying the prayer you find, from your heart, will.
For the salvation prayer, please click here.