Why Should I Tithe?
The purpose of this article is to share why every Child of God should give tithes to the Lord.
“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse —your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 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 there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe, ” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:8-3:12, NIV
1. What Does Tithe Mean?
The word “tithe” means “a tenth part” or “10%”. In the Bible, God teaches, that we are to return the first ten percent of all we receive back to Him. Giving less than ten percent is not tithing.
Many people give God their leftovers – this is not what God asks for. He says we are to give of our first-fruits. We are to honor the Lord with our possessions – we are to give our best to God. God wants the first part of our income not the last. Proverbs 3:9 teaches:
“Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 (NKJV)
Our giving must be motivated by promised abundant blessing (Malachi 3:10,11,12; Proverbs 3:9 NKJV)
2. Tithing is a Test of Faithfulness
Tithing recognizes that everything we have comes from God and belongs to Him. We are only stewards who have been entrusted with God’s possessions. And as stewards we are required to be faithful to our master’s commands to give a tenth of everything He’s entrusted to us to His church.
“Now, a person who is put in charge as a manager must be faithful.” I Corinthians 4:2, NLT
“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse —your whole nation—because you are robbing me” Malachi 3:8-9, NIV
3. God established the principle of tithing, 430 years before He gave the Law to Moses. (Genesis 14:20)
“And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Genesis 14:20, NIV
4. God Included Tithing In His Plan of Giving In The Law. (Leviticus 27:30, 2 Chronicles 31:5-6)
“A tithe 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.” Leviticus 27:30, NIV
“As soon as the order went out, the Israelites generously gave the firstfruits of their grain, new wine, olive oil and honey and all that the fields produced. They brought a great amount, a tithe of everything. 6 The people of Israel and Judah who lived in the towns of Judah also brought a tithe of their herds and flocks and a tithe of the holy things dedicated to the Lord their God, and they piled them in heaps.” 2 Chronicles 31:5-6
5. Jesus Commanded Tithing In The New Testament. (Matthew 23:23)
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.” Matthew 23:23, NLT
6. Is Tithing New Testament Teaching?
Yes. Some may ask, as New Testament believers, we are redeemed from the curse of the law. Therefore, shouldn’t giving be from the heart and not because we are under a mandatory legal system?
Tithing began before the law was introduced. The Law simply regulated the tithe. Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek, 400 years before the time of Moses and the Law, and according to Romans 4:12 we are to walk in the footsteps of the faith of Abraham. If tithing was good for him, it should be good for us, too.
We give tithes like Abraham gave them—not by the Law but by faith. And besides that, if the people of God gave ten percent before the Law, and ten percent under the Law, and then ten percent after the Law as Jesus taught (Matthew 23:23), then why shouldn’t we, who live by grace, be doing any less when we have a better covenant (Hebrews 8:6,NLT).
There is a passage in Hebrews, which deals with this issue directly. It is Hebrews 7:8:
“Priests receive a tenth, even though they are only men who live and then die. But Melchizedek, who received a tenth from Abraham, continues living, as the Scripture says” Hebrews 7:8, NCV
Please note: Melchizedek is a “type of Christ”
7. “Does our tithe all have to go to our church or can part of it go to a Christian ministry or other causes?
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house” Malachi 3:10
Yes, based on the storehouse principle in Malachi 3:10 a believer’s primary giving, which is the tithe (10% of income) should go to his or her local church. After that any “additional offerings” can go to other Christian causes, as he or she chooses.
8. Faithful Tithing Produces an Uncommon Blessing from God
“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 there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe, ” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty. Malachi 3:10-12, NIV
9. Should I Tithe on Net or Gross Income?
The amount that actually comes to you as wages, profits, dividends, gifts– increase of any kind– this is what you personally pay taxes on– you should pay tithes on. 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.
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. “ 2 Corinthians 9:6, NIV
10. Tithing is a great way to Show your Love to God
“If you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15
“In fact, this is love for God: to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome” I John 5:3
11. When Should I Pay My Tithe?
“On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.” I Corinthians 16:2, NLT
Basically, we should pay our tithes the Sunday following payday.
12. Is Anyone Exempted From Tithing?
No. This is the reason God set the standard of only 10%. Everyone can give this amount. The rich as well as the poor. We should be able, with God’s Blessings, to live on the remainder 90%. The Bible instructs believers in Christ to give generously, to give cheerfully, and to give regularly.
13. What is the difference between “Tithe” and an “Offering”?
A tithe is 10% of your total income. An offering is anything you give in addition to your tithe, such as gifts for special projects, Building Fund, etc. Tithing is God’s minimum standard, the starting point. As God prospers you, you will want to give more.
14. What If I Can’t Afford to Tithe?
If you are in debt, you can’t afford not to tithe! You need God’ s help to get you out of debt. There are many financial principles in the Bible, but the starting point is to be honest to God by beginning to tithe. Tell God you’re going to put Him first in your finances, that you are willing to obey the principles in His Word, and you are trusting Him to help you get out of debt.
Please Pray This Prayer of Commitment:
Father, I know you love me and want what’s best for me. I recognize that all I have, or will ever have comes from you. I am more interested in pleasing you than having more possessions. I want you to have first place in my life and I am willing to begin tithing as you have commanded. Out of gratitude for all you’ve done for me, I commit myself to returning at least 10% of all you give to me, back to you. I want to begin investing for eternity. Help me to remain faithful to this commitment. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.