Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need (Malachi 3:10, ESV).
I think every blessing in my life was initiated by the generosity of others.
From God, in sending Jesus as my savior; my parents, using their retirement account to start the ministry of Fellowship Christian Church; and friends, giving my wife and me the finances to travel to Russia for the first time.
My list goes on and on. How about you?
I try to bless others too. It gives me joy to tithe and even give above my tithe.
Yesterday, I was sitting at a coffee house, and I noticed a group of men having a Bible study. I knew the leader, and afterward he said to me, “We discussed that tithing isn’t in the New Testament; it’s an Old Testament teaching.”
My response was, “I look at tithing as the starting point, not the goal.”
The Bible study leader was right – tithing isn’t taught as a primary discipline in the New Testament. Though the entire New Testament teaches us to live generously.
Consider that the Old Testament ends with tithing.
In Malachi 3, the entire nation of Israel was rebuked for not faithfully bringing in their tithes…
Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you (Malachi 3:8-9).
Then the New Testament begins with a new principle of generosity…
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16).
Jesus now sets the example of generosity from 10 percent to giving everything – from Old Testament law to New Covenant love.
I believe some of the men in the mentioned Bible study above were justifying not tithing. I’ve heard the same argument that “tithing isn’t a New Testament principle of grace,” with the implication that we don’t need to give 10 percent of our income.
I admit financial giving should not be legalistic, but Paul isn’t talking ritual when he writes to the Corinthians…
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Paul says that we should be willing to give everything because we love God.
Tithing has always been a starting point with my discipline of finances. Like prayer lists in morning devotions – the purpose of giving financially, praying, and all other disciplines is simply…
God loves a cheerful giver.
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully (2 Corinthians 9:6, ESV).
If the Bible is true, that the more you give, the more blessing you receive, I want more than a 10 percent blessing.