core studies : tithes and offerings
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15
Tithes and Offerings
Abraham started the practice of tithing to God when he gave a tenth (or 10%) of his spoils to Melchisedec (Hebrews 7:1-6). Jacob also vowed a vow to the Lord stating that, if God would deliver him, he would give God a tenth of all that he gained (Genesis 28:20-22). In the Levitical priesthood, God commanded that the people would give a tenth of their first fruits to him; therefore, their tithes (which means a tenth or 10%) were brought to the priests who ministered in the house of God (Leviticus 27:30-34). In the New Testament, God has fulfilled the carnal commandment of “tithing” with the concept of natural and spiritual “offerings.” An offering in the Old Testaments was that which was above and beyond ten percent (Exodus 25:1-8, 1 Corinthians 16:1-3). In the New Testament, offerings include all of a person’s resources, because we are commanded by love to totally give our life to God (Mark 12:29-31). God is asking for the best, in the “first fruits” (that which first comes to your possession) of income and in complete spiritual dedication (Romans 12:1-2).
Giving tithes and offerings is more than just a carnal commandment: God wants us to give so that we can gain spiritual blessings from heaven (Luke 6:38, 2 Corinthians 9:5-15, Hebrews 6:10, 1 John 3:17, Matthew 25:34-40). It is the quality of the offering and not the quantity that pleases God (Mark 12:41-44). It is also the attitude in which it is given that will decide whether God will bless the offering or not. Although offerings are most often considered to be money, we should offer our whole self— our time, talents and money (Romans 12:1-2).
Just like disobeying any other commandment of God, not obeying the commandment of giving is a sin (Malachi 3:8-9, 1 Timothy 6:10, Matthew 19:16-22).
God places great importance on giving. God expects his people to contribute of their substance, thus enabling the church to minister (Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:33-37). When we give, we are acknowledging that it is God who gives to us all that we have (Malachi 3:10, Acts 5:1-11).
The subject of tithes and offerings has been greatly abused by many modern-day preachers. Some people are reluctant to give to a ministry because they think that their money is going straight to the minister’s wallet. This concern is understandable when one looks only at the physical aspects, but the giver must understand that there is a difference if his giving is truly unto God. Once we freely give our offering, it belongs to God, not man; and we receive our reward from God (Matthew 6:3-4). Every person that has respons ibilities to account for the money that has been offered to God will give account to God as the stewards of God (Luke 12:33-43, Titus 1:7).
There are many examples in the scriptures of people giving their tithes and offerings (Mark 12:41-44, 2 Kings 12:2-5, Acts 2:44-45, Acts 4:33-37).