March 16, 2009
One final word: you should pray diligently to God for where your tithe should go.
Give back to those who've helped you grow spiritually
I personally believe that for most everyone it should go to those who are responsible for your growth in the Kingdom. Those pouring into your life spiritually must be supported financially. For most people, that is your local church. They are also the best at distributing your gift to the community. You should give additional offerings directly to areas of need that you see fit.
Not only does your local church know the local needs (or should), but by giving this to someone else to distribute, you are truly giving it to God. If your entire tithe goes to a pet project that you are fanatical about, then I think the line begins to blur between tithing and discretionary spending. This is not a biblical mandate. Feel free to disagree. If you have been scarred by the idea of giving to a church for some reason, then I would say give it somewhere else rather then not giving at all. There are many ministries desperate for this help. Read the rest of this entry »
March 13, 2009
The tithe can also help us understand a couple of financial principles. We’ll cover these in more concrete ways later, but tithing utilizes both leverage and velocity.
When we tithe, the velocity of our money creates an impact greater than we can imagine
We’ve already spoken about the fact that when we tithe, we are giving something that is not ours to help someone else and in return receiving future benefit. This is the concept of leverage.
Velocity involves the movement of money through a system that actually increases the amount and affect of money simply through the movement. This is measured in national economies and corporations, but too often ignored in personal finance – as we’ll see later. Read the rest of this entry »
March 12, 2009
Finally (See Level 1 & Level 2), after giving out of duty, and then seeing the blessings of God that flow, you enter the final stage – which is the “Loving to Give” stage. You’re better for it, and you get to be a part of blessing others. Why wouldn’t you want to do more of this?
Tithing is a matter of the heart
You must be careful to make sure – as Jesus said, “But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.” (Mt 6:3-4)
Pride will try to creep in and you will want to tell everyone what a good person you are. Always keep in mind that God is the one who blesses and without Him you would have nothing to give. Give quietly and with a humble heart.
Tithing is a matter of the heart. We discussed the fact that tithing works as a method to bring you financial blessing even if your heart is hard. But this is not what God envisions for you. He wants you to grow to truly understand that He is using you to bless others in this world. And that as you do this, He will give you more so that you can bless even more people. As you understand this, your heart will be filled with joy to give. Here’s what Paul had to say about it… Read the rest of this entry »
March 11, 2009
Many people outside the Church practice tithing (continued from yesterday).
Do you trust God to be faithful as you tithe?
People of other religions do it. I’ve seen modern financial books that I would consider “new age” that promote tithing in some form. They all receive a blessing for doing this. And yet too many of us in the Church look suspiciously at a pastor or don’t trust God enough to give the tithe and receive this blessing. Jesus is telling you here not to make that mistake. The principle works and that is one reason why He commands it. He does not command things of you to punish you. He knows how you will be blessed and He has provided a guidebook to help you be blessed. Use it! But when you do give faithfully out of duty, something interesting happens.
We realize that God really does bless us as we are faithful in giving Him the tithe He commands. Sometimes it’s amazing. We spoke earlier of stories where a person gets a check in the mail or an extra paycheck they weren’t expecting which helps them get by after dutifully tithing when it seemed impossible. Read the rest of this entry »
March 10, 2009
Everyone who is in Christ has been bought by the blood of Christ. You are His. Everything you own has become His. You are only a steward over your money and possessions. Without this, eternity is a curse, and with it, a blessing. He grants you ever increasing love, joy, peace & blessing (this does not mean life is always easy as noted before when discussing testing).
Tithing opens our eyes to God as the One who blesses
Even though everything you own is His, He only gives strict commands on the first ten percent. As you follow Him, He will lead you to give more and more free-will offerings above this. When and how will be readily apparent at that time.
There is a progression that one goes through as a tither. At first we tithe out of duty because it is commanded of us. Next, we live it and begin to realize the supernatural blessing that God gives us as we are faithful. Finally, we love to tithe, and become more attuned to His heart as the One who blesses. We begin to live life step-by-step with God and an eye towards where we can next bless someone over and above our tithe with the surplus He has blessed us with. Let’s look at these. Read the rest of this entry »
March 9, 2009
In Genesis, God gave us a picture of what was to come. He promised Abraham that even though he was extremely old he would have children and build a nation of people from him and eventually bless the world through him. Abraham waited and got even older. He eventually did have Isaac. God then told Abraham to take Isaac up the mountain and kill him in sacrifice to God.
Do you have faith to make the sacrifice He's asking of you?
Abraham was faithful. He prepared to kill Isaac. There are a couple of interesting things to note. Abraham knew that he was going to kill his son and yet he told his servants that “they” would be back. (Gen 22:5) God had told him that he was going to kill his son, but God had also told him that a great nation would come from his son. He might have thought that after he killed Isaac, God would raise him from the dead. We don’t know what he thought, but he said, “we will be back!” He had great faith in God’s promises. This great faith is why we are all blessed through Abraham. Read the rest of this entry »
March 6, 2009
Our temptation is to look at our own circumstances and decide that they are too difficult and to say that God understands your reasons for not tithing. Please understand that Satan tells everyone this when they’re not in the habit of tithing. By following the wrong master you’re are not allowing God to bless you in the way that He wants to and promises that He will.
Ever feel like you're in a tug of war with your money?
In Malachi 3, God tells us that we are robbing Him when we do not give a tithe. This is hard to understand if we don’t see that God owns everything and that which you have, He has freely handed to you. But He has also instructed you to give back to Him a tithe and offerings. He also says that when we do not, we are under a curse. This is not the framework from which we want to build wealth.
The good news is that He goes on to say that He will bless us immensely when we do bring the tithe to Him. He even says that we can “test Him” on this and watch as He “opens the floodgates” to us. He will protect our assets and cause them to grow. Why wouldn’t we want God actively blessing our labor to create wealth like this? Read the rest of this entry »