What is a “tithe”?
The word “tithe” literally mans a tenth (10%). So a tithe is when you give your first 10% of your income back to God. An “offering” is anything you give beyond 10%.
Why Give Back to God?
Giving our tithes and offerings reflects a grateful heart that wants to give back to God a portion of what He has so freely given us; in reality, what is already His. This is our opportunity to show God that He is first in our lives. The Bible says, The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives (Deuteronomy 14:23 TLB). Tithing is a reminder that God is the supplier of everything we have. It is also God’s personal invitation to an outpouring of his blessing in your life.
FOUR REASONS TO GIVE BACK TO GOD
Giving is a Reflection of the Heart:
Matthew 6:20-21 “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
What’s the most important thing to you? We see the way our culture encourages us to store up treasures on earth and exalts materialism to the point where debt has become acceptable. We can probably even recognize that truth by looking at our own checkbooks. As Christ-followers, however, we are called to free ourselves from the bondage of debt so that our resources are available for His purposes.
Giving is a Reflection of Priorities:
Long before tithing was a practice of the Israelite people, Cain and Abel, the 2nd generation of the human race, brought an offering to the Lord. Abel brought the “firstborn of his flock,” while Cain brought “some of the fruits of the soil.” The Lord blessed Abel’s offering, but rejected Cain’s. God wants to be first in our lives.
Deuteronomy 26:1-2 “When you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land and present them to the LORD your God.” (NIV)
Giving is a Privilege:
The 1st Century church modeled for us what it means to give generously and joyfully so that more and more people could find their way back to God.
2 Corinthians 8:2-4 “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.” (NIV)
Giving is a Blessing:
God uses the tithe as an investment where everyone involved gets a return. If we are blessed beyond our needs, it is not for the purpose of living more lavishly but to bless others. The church and the kingdom are blessed, and yet God’s nature is to also bless the giver.
Malachi 3:10 “‘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.’” (NIV)