A Few More Thoughts on Tithing

By tithing, I assume you realize the word means “a tenth.”  It is the biblical term for giving 10% of one’s income to the Lord, specifically, one’s local church family.

 

One of the reasons I tithe to my local church family is because of the similarities that I see between the Old Testament and New Testament verses on giving.  We meditated on 2 Corinthians 9:8-12 before the service last Lord’s Day, and then we studied Malachi 3:8-12 during the sermon.  Here are those passages again.

 

2 Corinthians 9:8–12 (ESV)

8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

9As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”

10He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

11You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

12For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

 

Malachi 3:8–12 (ESV)

8Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions.

9You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you.

10Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

11I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.

12Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

 

Note these similarities from both Corinthians and Malachi:

 

1 – God blesses those who give, including financially.

 

11You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

 

And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

 

2 – It is a testimony to others

 

12For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.

 

 12Then all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a land of delight, says the Lord of hosts.

 

3 – It is a thorough blessing, above and beyond what the giver needs

 

8And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

 

and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

 

4 – They are illustrated by sowing and reaping

 

10He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.

 

11I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the Lord of hosts.

 

Now, I’m aware that there are some dissimilarities, namely, there’s no mention of “tithes” in the NT.  I am aware of that and can understand why some would stop short of saying that tithing isn’t a New Testament responsibility.  But, on the other hand, I can see why others think we should side with caution and be careful about saying we shouldn’t do something when there similarities are striking.

 

So, let me simply encourage you to prayerfully consider your giving.  I rarely talk about this, and I should probably talk about it a lot more because it is a huge part of our lives.   If our church received larger offerings, it wouldn’t increase my paycheck one bit Near as I can tell, my motives are pure in this. 

 

You can’t out-give the Lord.  You might be able to give too much than you ought, but you can’t ever out-give the Lord.  So whether you actually tithe or not, this is a grace that we can all pursue.  As Paul urged the Corinthian church:

 

2 Corinthians 8:7 (ESV)

7But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.