TITHING

 

PASSAGE: MALACHI 3

OUTLINE

Mal 3:7-11
7 “From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes, and have not kept {them.} Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD of hosts. “But you say, ‘How shall we return?’
8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings.
9 “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation {of you}
10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
11 “Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast {its grapes}” says the LORD of hosts. (NAS)

 

 

  • INTRODUCTION

 

  1. Types of giving
  1. Generous giving
  1. Offering – what we give voluntarily in the Church especially during services.
  2. Almsgiving (Charity) – what we give to those in need ex the poor, hungry, orphans, the deceased, etc. It may be through the church, another organization or directly to such people.
  3. Love offering – what you give voluntarily to any church (even if it is not where you attend services). For example, you may give a love offering to your Kenyan Church, an American church that you like, etc. A contribution to a church/ministry for example in a funds drive can be considered a love offering.
  4. Thanksgiving – what we give to appreciate God for what he has done in our lives. For example for academic success, good family, getting a child, safety, and protection, etc.
  1. Sacrificial giving
  1. Planting/Sowing – what you give with a prayer to God to meet a certain need or expecting a particular result. You sacrifice it for something else. These are usually not budgeted for. Often, once given, you have to financially recover from it; it is usually provided by faith. In most cases, it may be the only thing you have left, but you take a step of faith to give it to God believing Him for more. It is just like a seed. You sow/plant so that you can later reap/harvest.
  1. Faithful giving
  1. Tithing – this is what we will be looking at today.

 

 

  • OVERVIEW

 

  1. What a tithe is NOT (Ps 119:66)
  1. The tithe is not … a man made idea.
  2. The tithe is not . . . Mine to use as I desire.

* Does your giving exalt you, or God’s Word?

  1. The tithe is not . . . A gift to God.

    * We are Commanded to pay tithes not give them.
4.  The tithe is not . . . an admission fee.

     * Not just to be given if you are able to attend church.
5. The tithe is not . . . A vote of approval.

    * I like the pastor, so I will tithe etc.

 

  1. The tithe is not . . . Something to be done without faith.

    * When we say we can’t we eliminate Faith.
  ILLUSTRATION
A man received a sharp letter from one of his creditors demanding payment. He wrote back to the firm and said, “Dear Sir. Every month I take all the bills I have and put them on the table, shuffle them, and pick out six, which I pay. Now, if I have any more trouble out of you, next month you’ll be out of the shuffle entirely.” Have you shuffled God out of your giving?

  1. What a tithe is
  1. The tithe is . . . A command of God.
  • Num 18:26
    “Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, `When you take from the sons of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the LORD, a tithe of the tithe.
  • Deut 14:22
    “You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year.
  • Heb 7:5
    And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest’s office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham.
  1. The tithe is . . . God’s plan to finance the work of the Church.
  • Mal 3:10
    “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
  1. The tithe is . . . Part of lordship.
    ILLUSTRATION
    Milo Kauffman develops this thought a step further when he writes:

“Stewardship of Possessions is the effect of God’s saving grace upon one’s self and his property. When God gets a man with a car, He gets a car to be used in His service. Some seem to think of stewardship as a whip or as legal action to drive people to give to the expenses of the church. No doubt too often the attempt has been made to wring generous offerings from selfish souls. Christian stewardship most certainly is not church legislation nor a scheme to deprive men of their cash. It is the natural consequence of an experience with God — the natural reaction of the human heart that has been touched by the divine spirit. — Milo Kauffman, The Challenge of Christian Stewardship.

  1. FIVE CHRISTIAN CHARACTERISTICS OF TITHING

 

  • Obedience

 

10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

The clear command of verse 10 is: bring the tithe into the ‘storehouse.’ The Old Testament child of God heard His clear call. They had to make a decision to obey or not to obey. In the New Testament Jesus said, “For you tithe mint and dill and cumin. . . . These are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.” Mt. 23:23 the people in the New Testament times knew the approval of Jesus concerning the tithe. They had a choice to obey or disobey. Today I have the Old and New Testaments. My vote must be cast. Do I receive the Word of God or reject it?

If I received the Word of God and act upon it, I am obedient. If I hear the Word of God, understand it and refuse to act upon it, I am disobedient.

Notice what Paul writes in I Cor. 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him.’ What proportion did he mean? These folks only had the Old Testament, so it had to be a minimum of a tithe. Some want to toot a horn that says the tithe is really an Old Testament law. If you buy that idea, it shows how ignorant you are about Biblical truth. There are ceremonial laws in the old Testament that have been eliminated. Tithing is not ceremonial law but moral law. But Abraham and Jacob tithed before the law, so tithing is an eternal principle.

Also please note that the scriptures are clear in telling us when laws are eliminated. The law required an animal sacrifice, but that is apparently changed. The Bible never eliminates tithing. Do you?

ILLUSTRATION
A missionary tells a story of the importance of obedience. One day he was sitting in his back yard. His son was playing in a tree. The father saw a deadly snake moving towards his son. He told his son, “drop to the ground and run towards me as fast as you can.” The boy obeyed immediately. When he got to his father, he saw the result of his obedience. The snake would have bitten him if he had not obeyed his father’s command.

 

  • Honesty 

 

8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed Thee?’ In tithes and offerings.   9 “You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation. Notice that God states, “You have robbed me in tithes and offerings.” Being a thief is not living honestly. Thieves are not trustworthy; they are dishonest. Honesty requires one to give the tithes and offerings.

The Ten Commandments are still in force. One of them says, “Thou shalt not steal.” That law of God is eternal. It can relate to the tithe because God accused His people of robbing Him. Therefore, they were stealing from God which is an act of dishonesty against God. About a year ago some ladies in the choir had money taken from their purses. This happened while they were in the choir. They had left their bags in the choir room. They felt sure they were safe in a church. But as bad as that is, it is worse to steal from God. If you don’t tithe, you are not an honest Christian.

ILLUSTRATION
Yesterday several of us attended an auction at a public school. Bids were made on a slip of paper attached to the items available. At 12:00 noon, the bidding ended. But I saw a lady start to write something after the time had been called. I told her she couldn’t do that. She said, ‘Can’t I just write my name?” I said, “Yes, I guess you can do that.” She then signed her name and started to make another bid. I told her, “Stop that. The man said bidding is ended.”

You see, she was dishonest. She was going to steal from some other bidder. She wasn’t going to play by the rules. God has rules for his children and one of them is “bring all the tithes into the storehouse.” I can’t be an honest Christian and refuse to tithe. Neither can you.

 

  • Love  

 

John 14:15    “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.  

The greatest and purest motive for doing good is love. Real love for the Lord, His Work, and the lost of our world will cause a person to tithe. The Lord said in John 14:15, “If a man loves me, He will keep my words.” His commands include tithing.

Threats will not actually make a child obey his parents. But if love is communicated in the home and a request is made for the child, he will be much more eager to fulfill that request. Love motivates more than just strict orders. Love makes it easy to give. In the Old Testament Abraham gave a tithe. Jacob gave a tithe. Surely all the leading characters gave unto the Lord tithes and offerings. We can conclude from the words of Jesus in John 14:15 that they loved the Lord. Should we love less than they? Do you think an Old Testament believer without the grace you and I have received should give more than us? Surely our motive for giving ought to be greater.  

But when love waxed cold, then the people robbed God. Robbery always indicates a love for self-more than the love of God or others. I cannot be a loving Christian and refuse to tithe. Can you?

 

  • Gratitude

 

10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

The Lord promises to pour out a blessing to those who honor Him with the tithe. Paul says in Rom. 12:1. “I urge you, therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves a living and holy sacrifice. . .” Gratitude should pour from the heart, mind, and spirit of a Christian. We have received a great blessing in our salvation. We are promised more blessings in proportion to our faithfulness. Surely out of gratitude we should pay the tithe.

We sing a song about counting your blessings. It says, “Count your blessings, name them one by one, Count your blessings, see what God hath done, Count your blessings, name them one by one. .And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” Jacob promised to give a tithe unto the Lord if He blessed him. A little later in his life, he wrestled with the Lord. Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” The Lord blessed him, and Jacob continued to tithe. Has the Lord blessed you? Then out of gratitude, you ought to tithe.

 

  • Faith

 

10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

God makes all of the believer’s life one of faith. In the text, He calls on His people to prove Him. He wants to be put to the test, but it takes faith in Him on the part of the believer. If I claim to be a Christian and I don’t tithe, then it is because I lack faith. If one believes the Word of God they need to act upon it. If they don’t act, it indicates they don’t believe. Do you believe God will do what He said He will do? He says He will bless the tither.

Jesus said, “Seek first His kingdom, and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you. He also said in Luke 6:38, “Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye measure.” Notice the verse said, “For with the same measure that ye measure.” Some people seem to have a teacup religion. Occasionally someone has said, “I wish God would bless me as he blesses you. Friend, I come to the Lord with a punch bowl, not a teacup. (I’m challenged to come to Him with a 10-gallon tub). But you and I are going to receive by faith if we receive.

If I don’t tithe it indicates my lack of faith and my doubt of God’s Word. What about you? Years ago my mother explained tithing this way. She said, “Son, which would you rather have $100.00 without God’s blessing or $90.00 with God’s blessing?” It made sense then, and it makes even better sense today because I have put my faith and trust in Him. How about you?

 

preachhim.org. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://preachhim.org/titheis.htm

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