UNDERSTANDING THE TITHE

WHY do we give to the church? It’s Biblical!

There are over 2,000 Bible verses relating to money…which must mean that God knew we would need a lot of guidance on the subject…it also could mean that He knew Satan would try to use this topic against us….to tear apart marriages, usher in greed & distract us from what really matters…winning people to God’s Kingdom through the love of Christ. 

WHAT is a tithe? VERB: to pay or give a tenth part of; especially for the support of the church;  NOUN: a tenth part of something paid as a voluntary contribution. 

WHERE can we learn about the tithe? Genesis 14 and Genesis 28 are the first tithe mentioned in scripture…voluntary tithing that came before the Law of Moses. Later under Mosaic Law, tithing was never voluntary, it was commanded by God. Leviticus 27 and Numbers 18 teach us about the Levite Tithe which was used to care for the Levite people, who had no inheritance in the land of Canaan. In Deuteronomy 14 we learn of the Festival Tithe which made it possible for the people of Israel to obtain the food and drink necessary to enjoy the religious festivals and worship God. Deuteronomy 14 also teaches us of the Poor Tithe. It was collected every third year to help care for the poor, orphaned and widowed. Nehemiah 12 teaches us the Storehouse Principle while Malachi 3 gives us an understanding of how serious God’s commandment to tithe was to the Old Covenant. God called His people out…challenging them to test Him….telling them to bring the whole tithe and He would throw open the flood gates and pour out blessing…what if we did that today? What if we all brought the whole tithe? What would “God pouring out blessing” look like in your life?  

HOW do we apply the Old Testament commandments of tithing to our lives today, in the 21st century? The Old Testament is where the 10% comes from…that 10% wasn’t referencing monetary gifts…it was referring to grain, harvest and livestock…so we have to keep reading through the New Testament…look up these verses to find out:  1 Corinthians 16:1-2, Proverbs 11:24, 2 Corinthians 9:7, Mark 12: 41-44, 2 Corinthians 8:12

WHEN do we start? Well, that’s kind of like asking “when is the best time to plant an oak tree?” the answer is either 100 years ago, or today! So how do you work toward tithing if it’s never been on your radar? How do you work past a giving rut if you are stuck in one? Let’s work together! One way to condition your finances and your family for tithing and/or growing your tithe could look like this: the 345Plan*…for 3 months give 3%, for 4 months give 4% and for 5 months give 5%. For the next 3 months, commit to give 3% of your household income to the church. So, go back to your last paystub from February, find your income (gross or net, you choose…that’s ‘a whole nuther’ topic) amount and multiply it by .03. Then for March, April and May give that number (3% of income) to the church.  Then, increase your giving for June, July, August and September to 4% of income (for 4 months). Then for October, November, December, January and February increase to 5% (for 5 months). 

As you give, stay in prayer with God about your heart for giving…allow His blessings and grace to wash over you as you step out in faith. Tell Him this is new and scary to you. Share with Him your fears and concerns. Ask Him to show you why you should give. Ask Him to reward your faithfulness and newfound level of commitment. Ask Him to pour out blessings upon your family. He will not disappoint! 3+4+5 = 12 You could potentially take your family from sporadic, obligation style giving with little meaning or focus to consistent, prayerful commitment over the next 12 months.  

Example: $2,000 of monthly income X .03 = $60, your consistent gift would be $60/month for 3 months
Example: $2,000 of monthly income X .04 = $80, your consistent gift would be $80/month for 4 months
Example: $2,000 of monthly income X .05 = $100, your consistent gift would be $100/month for 5 months

If you are already giving over 5% of your income to the church, or even over 10% of your income, use this model to stretch yourself…try 6% for 3 months, 7% for 4 months, 8% for 5 months…..or 11% for 3 months, 12% for 4 months, 13% for 5 months. The 345Plan can be adapted to your household as you see fit. It allows you an easy model to follow and grow with. 

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