By: Steve Shirley
(Mal 3:8-10) Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. (9) Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. (10) Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Tithing is, in essence, to give a tenth of one's income for the purposes of God's work. There are also instances in the Bible of giving a tenth of one's property, produce, etc...
Tithing is an act of trust in God, trusting that He will provide for us. To give 10% back to further God's work is not too much to ask. He has promised to bless us if we are obedient to Him. The Bible says that all we have belongs to God (Ps 24:1,89:11)(1 Cor 10:26). We are but stewards of what He has given us. The laws God originally set up for tithing in the Old Testament called for the firstfruits to be given (2 Chr 31:5-6)(Prov 3:9)(Lev 2:14)(Neh 10:33,37). This means that we are to give the first part of our income or whatever is tithed (i.e. the first thing we should do after being paid is to write out a check for 10% of what we earned to give to God's work).
I have seen God's blessings in this over and over. People share testimonies of how they struggled to make ends meet, or did not think they could afford to tithe, but they stepped out in sacrificial faith, and God worked a miracle in their finances. It is my personal belief that God can bless our finances in ways we might not normally think about. For instance, our car might last longer than it should, or appliances might run longer than they would normally be expected to run, etc....
There is an ongoing debate amongst Christians as to whether we are still to tithe today. Tithing was an Old Testament law and we are no longer under the law. The command to tithe is not clearly found in the New Testament (the words tithe and tithing are used only 8 times). However, Jesus clearly seems to say it is proper to do so.
(Matt 23:23) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay
tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of
the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: THESE OUGHT YE TO HAVE DONE, AND NOT TO
LEAVE THE OTHER UNDONE. (emphasis mine) (Lk 11:42 the same)
Also see: (1 Cor 9:13-14 for why tithing is for today)
We are also told to be cheerful givers (1 Cor 9:6-8) and to give liberally (Lk 6:38). The tithe is a standard for us. Giving more than the 10% standard is certainly seen and blessed even more. There is a story in (Lk 21:2-4) about people who were paying offerings to God and most of those giving had plenty and were giving out of their abundance, but Jesus took notice of and commended a poor widow who offered only a tiny amount, but it was almost everything she had. Giving sacrificially is commended all over the Bible. However, we are warned not to give in order to draw attention to ourselves, or to seek praise and recognition from men, or we will not be rewarded by God (Mt 6:1-4). How many more unsaved people around the world might be reached if we gave at LEAST 10% of our income?
(Mt 6:19-21) Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.