Sermon on Tithing/Giving

Mar 10:21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
Mar 10:22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”
-Mark 10:23

It’s amazing how little solid teaching is done on the idea of giving and tithing. When I speak of solid teaching, I mean teaching that includes all the principles of the entire Bible, not just part of it. At fault seems to be a focus on me, myself and I. What am I going to get out of it?

Well, what are you going to get if you tithe? Some would say more than you give. In fact, if you give 10%, the Lord will repay you 20% or more… If you sow sparingly, you reap sparingly, and if you sow generously, you will reap generously. So says I Corinthians 9:6, and it’s even better in the book of Malachi. There the Bible says,

“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” – Malachi 3:10

How can you argue with that?

And so our entire argument for tithing has been that God will give back more than you give to Him. Certain evangelists and television personalities have made a living promising health and wealth for everyone who sends them a check. Others have flat-out played on these beliefs and swindled people out of their money, promising their diseases, sicknesses and infirmaries will be healed if they will give to the Lord. ie… give the evangelist or the healer a large sum of money.

In this sort of environment, giving becomes a means to an end, and our motives become centered around ourselves instead of around the Lord. Why do we give? Because the Lord promises to bless us, haven’t you read Malachi 3:10? More and more, this type of preaching has resulted in the people of the Body of Christ looking for what Christ can offer them in terms of money, material possessions, personal happiness, advancement, and recognition.

While the Paul and Barnabas preached “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” Acts 14:22, we preach quite the opposite these days. Just trust the Lord and he’ll take care of you, but is there a call to for us to be more responsible with our own money? Is there ever a call for us to sacrifice some of those worldly pleasures? Is God required to always give us more than we give Him, or might He ask us someday to possibly think about not spending so much on ourselves instead?

Ask any personal financial consultant worth his or her salt these days, and they’ll tell you the same thing. Most Americans don’t have an income problem, they have a spending problem. The first order of business on getting on top of your finances is to get control of your spending.

And the first order of business, when talking about tithing or giving, is to not only get a handle on what exactly we are doing with our finances, but to also get a handle on what the Bible teaches. It’s not my goal to finish this sermon by seeing an increase in giving. God has blessed us considerably and I trust Him with His church. I’m not going to preach to you anything that I continue to be uncertain about. And I must confess, I don’t understand, or quite get, every single thing in this Bible. I’m a student of it, not just a teacher. God is still teaching me, and helping me grow in this. I can’t come to you as a financial expert. To the contrary, I am prone to impulse buying. I’ve purchased things on credit cards because I still had credit left on them. More than once I’ve written a check just hoping I had enough to cover it. And once I got talked into a 2-year commitment on a vacuum cleaner…

Nevertheless, along the way, God has helped me grow up in regards to this issue, and although there’s a lot of voices preaching this doctrine or that one about giving, the Bible as it turns out, has a lot of good things to tell us. Practical things. Real advice. Real teaching.

And as we come to the Lord today and tell Him once again that we love Him, that we want to follow Him… As we worship and lift our voices in praise and identify ourselves publicly as believers in Christ, we who have been baptized and made the commitment to live for Him, are we trusting God with our finances and seeking His guidance and instructions or are we managing our own account?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.-Galatians 2:20

If someone wanted to investigate whether or not we were truly followers of Jesus, and they had no other evidence but our financial records, would they conclude that we live for Christ, or live for ourselves?

The Bible seems to be very clear about the idea of giving to the Lord. It’s comes from a heart that worships God, not a heart that’s looking for something in return.

GIVE IN RETURN, NOT JUST SEEKING A RETURN

Why? Because giving is then an act of worship and thanksgiving, not just a business proposition.

Nation of Israel began to tithe, part of that was to bring their firstfruits…

So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with miraculous signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, O LORD, have given me.”
-Deuteronomy 26:8-10

When you give to God, whether it be in the regular offering or a special offering, or just a gift to help someone who is in need, you can give hoping to see a return, but then it’s just a business proposition. If you’re not careful, your motives might start and end on “me, myself and I.”

Or you can give because God has blessed you, giving out of thanks, recognizing that it came from the Lord in the first place…. NOT requiring a return.

Psalms 24:1 declares, “The earth is the Lord”s, and all it contains,” and in 1 Corinthians 4:7, Paul asks, “And what do you have that you did not receive?”

When you give as a way of telling God thank you, recognizing how He has blessed you,
Then it’s worship

Considering a special offering, Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church:

This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves,

men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
-II Corinthians 9:12-13

It doesn’t do the body of Christ any good when evangelists and church leaders beg for money and spend it on themselves and a lavish lifestyle. Because the focus is on them, not God.

It doesn’t do the body of Christ any good when Christians give money for the loudly stated purpose of seeing even more in return. Even if God kept it, and gave us nothing in return, don’t we owe Him our very lives?

However, when people see real generosity that doesn’t expect to be repaid
When they see giving that recognizes God,
Then the world sees not only our confession of the gospel, but our obedience too.
So when it comes to your finances, and your giving, this is where the rubber meets the road
Where our real priorities and real faithfulness comes to light.
As we bring our finances under obedience to God

GIVE IN THE RIGHT WAY, NOT NECESSARILY RIGHT AWAY

There are a lot of folks caught in trap of debt & obligations
For them, honoring God with their finances starts, not necessarily by giving more, but by being a better steward.

Don’t forget what ELSE the Bible says about finances:

Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
-Romans 13:7-8

Do you have debt? Credit cards? Do you owe someone? God wants you to pay that back.
We should look at the bigger picture, not just the one that promises us a bigger return.

Too many times, hear message on giving, feel guilty and we give without even looking
Then suddenly, we run out of money and we quit… we wonder why God didn’t come through
Maybe God wanted to teach us MORE lessons than simply giving 10%?

Crown Financial is a small group we have here at the church
I once purchased “Transforming Debt Into Wealth System”

Those tools Teach you to manage your money, take care of your obligations, and
many of us need to learn those lessons,
get control of our spending
so we can be MORE generous and honor God with good stewardship.

And we should do it not only because it makes business sense
But because we care about God enough to take the time to do it, for Him

Now someone might be saying: “Ok, I’ll pay my debt, so can I skip tithing for awhile?”
I don’t know. Where are you spending your money?

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.

But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a fraction of a penny. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.

They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
-Mark 12:41-44

She made a sacrifice. She was trusting God, sure, but she was sacrificing her next meal as well.
We need to be careful we don’t tell the Lord: “Sorry, I can’t afford to give you anything!”
And then continue to purchase premium channels on satellite television…
Or continue to spend hundreds each month on a hobby

What’s God going to think? He sees everything. He knows if we’re giving only out of our wealth
Or giving out of real sacrifice. Which one do we think He will bless more?

That’s the bottom line…

GIVE, TRUSTING IN THE LORD, NOT TRUSTING IN WEALTH

Everything about life in this world teaches us how temporary it is, how impossible to keep it is
what we buy wears out
New technology becomes old
Our income doesn’t go as far as it used to
Jobs can end
The economy can slow down
the stock market crashes occasionally

Tomorrow you might strike it rich, or you may have to go to the Dentist again…
When you think about it, it can scare you to death, and make you want to hold on to your wealth

Giving, not only worships God, but it trusts God as well… not only to take care of the future
But in looking forward to an eternal reward that is not temporary, or subject to taxes…

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.

Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
-I Timothy 6:17-19

What’s the Bible saying here? It’s encouraging us to start investing in our eternal future, not just our earthly retirement.

This is really more than just giving, this is about you and God, right now

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. -Galatians 5:24

Will you trust Him with it?

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Sermon on Tithing/Giving

  1. thanks for posting this sermon. It is a way of enlightening us and waking us up to that very important teaching about giving and tithing, which is the key to Godly blessings. God bless you more!

  2. I happened upon this and enjoyed reading your thoughts. I do believe that to imply that anything but tithing is obedience is a little presumptuous in my opinion. You mentioned that the Word says to Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
    -Romans 13:7-8
    And that is a correct scripture, however the laws of God and the laws of man are not an either or. If I chose to make man my source for support and hope, then I would make the decision to pay man first. Personally I believe that as we walk in the obedience to the Word concerning tithes we are opening a source that takes on those things that we need to pay. I agree with you that first we have to look at the luxuries that we are living when we make an excuse that we cannot afford tithes.
    All of that being said, you mentioned the heart of the widow woman and that is truly the heart we are to demonstrate in our giving. She gave out of her need instead of out of her abundance. It doesn’t take away from those who were being obedient, the Word does say that she gave greater. The Word also says that we are to have a cheerful heart in our giving – this of course can only come with the attitude that you mentioned…a heart of thanksgiving and worship in our tithes.
    Thanks again
    B

  3. I have read the sermon and I also desire your prayers on teaching my congregation on giving as the Bible says. Pastor Toomer

  4. The book of Leviticus (chapter 27) tells us that the tithe is the Lord’s and that the tithe consisted of crops and livestock. It also reveals that the tithe was required of the children of Israel only. It was not for other nations.

    Throughout the Old Testament, and even into the New Testament, the tithe remained unchanged… of crops and livestock. It was never money.

    Under the post-crucifixion and resurrection rule, we see a different plan… that of giving cheerfully. The tithe is not taught at all by the Apostles, not even in the Pastoral Epistles.

    As a matter of fact, in Acts 15, we read that the Jerusalem Council wanted the Apostles to teach the Gentile Converts that they were to keep the Law of Moses and James said that it seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to the Apostles that no greater burden by placed upon the Gentile Converts than four necessary things. Tithing was not one of those things. The Holy Ghost did not want Gentile Churches to be told to tithe.

    The monetary tithe is not found anywhere in Scripture, but rather is a man-made commandment. What did Jesus say about teaching for doctrine the commandments of men? That those who do so, their worship is vain. Steer away from the man-made doctrine of the monetary tithe. It is not taught in the Word of God.

  5. it is a wonderful message may d lord continue to bless u and your family.i want you to assist me in any way for my ministry to grow and develop we are about building the house for the lord we need your financial assistance because i really enjoy your sermon on giving may the lord almighty prosper your ministy thanks.pastor kehinde alamu..

  6. Did Jesus praise the old woman who gave all the money she had because she was following the Law? Or did he criticize her for not giving crops or animals?

  7. Scripture does not say she gave because of following Law. As a matter of fact, context shows that it was gifts that were given, so she could not have been giving out of obligation.

    Also, her gift was not tithes… it was money. Money was never tithed in the period of time she lived.

  8. But she gave money and Jesus was ok with it. More than ok. The Jewish system of Law included various forms of giving for various reasons, and all of it was considered giving the Lord whether it was money or crops or animals. For those who did not have animals or crops to give as tithes, the Law allowed them to give the equivalent amount in money. Anyway, we don’t have the same agrarian type of society that Israel had, and we don’t have the same Theistic form of government that they had, so to apply giving crops and animals to our day seems a bit out of context to me. We don’t have a Levitical priesthood to give our animals to. I agree with you that there is no rule for 10 percent of giving. Nevertheless, the 10 percent idea pre-dated the Law so it’s a pretty good rule of thumb I’d think.

  9. CP,
    You said, “For those who did not have animals or crops to give as tithes, the Law allowed them to give the equivalent amount in money.”

    Where is this found in Scripture? I find no instance in the Word of God that allows one who did not have crops or livestock to tithe money.

    I find where, if one wanted to redeem his tithe, he could buy back the tithe for the value it was assessed to be worth plus an additional 20%. But nowhere do I find one tithing with money.

    Israel was not strictly agrarian. They had merchants and tradesmen of many occupations; butchers, bakers, tent makers, stone masons, lawyers, etc.. Everyone had money… even the poor. This is evident when one reads that every male over the age of 20 was required to pay a yearly Temple tax of half a shekel of silver.

    The “Israel was agrarian” argument doesn’t fly in light of the fact that there were many occupations, not just farming and herding.

    And money was obviously abundant, even prior to the Mosaic Law being instituted, yet no instruction in the Word of God to tithe money at all.

  10. bold… yep I was referring to the passage that allowed someone to redeem their tithe for money, but on that particular statement, I was wrong to say they were tithing because they didn’t have crops or animals. That was for someone who already had crops to tithe, but chose to redeem them for money. You are right to say that tithing was not required in the Jewish Law for people who did not have crops or animals. You are right in saying the tithe was technically applied only to the land and to livestock. But I’m not sure what conclusion you are coming to, and you’re missing mine. A tithe for Israel is one thing, but a tithe meant something a little different for Abraham evidently, and the word tithe doesn’t have to strictly be used by us like it was used in Israel. My article is about giving to the Lord today in our time as part of the practice of Christianity. Whether we are right to do so or not, we do often refer to such giving as tithing. Technically, giving a tenth of anything is a tithe. Abraham gave a tenth of everything in an offering four centuries before the Jewish Law came into existence. The Bible calls Abraham’s gift a “tithe” even though it was not limited to his own crops or livestock. It also included his plunder from a military victory. And to say the Israelites never gave money is misleading isn’t it? After all, you yourself admit that the widow, living at the time of Jesus, was giving money. According to John Gill and others, there were 13 chests in the Temple that took offerings of money, 6 of them were freewill gifts that went toward various things such as the supply of sacrifices and what was needed for temple worship. There were gifts to the poor as well. Such giving may not have been called “tithes” by the Jews. Granted. It wasn’t tithes, but my point is she was still giving to the Lord and we still give to the Lord. Again, you are correct that tithes in the Jewish Law were different from anything we call tithes today. I absolutely concede that point and agree with you. But in my defense, I never made the point that it had to be 10 percent because the Bible commanded we tithe 10 percent. It doesn’t. But the Bible and Jesus do talk about giving in ways that apply to us, and giving was my point in this sermon article.

  11. CP,

    I have never said that money was not given in the Temple. What I have said, and the Bible supports my statement, is that God never required a tithe of money and that from the Law to the Apostles, a tithe of money was never taught.

    It is possible that part of what Abram gave as a tithe did include silver or gold. The Bible does not say one way or the other. What it does say is that that tithe Abram gave, he did not want it to be recognized as his own lest he give opportunity for the pagan king Bera to say he made Abram rich.

    Abram is never said to have tithed of his own property in the Word of God… only of spoils of war. Where is the ‘tithe principle’ in Genesis 14? I don’t see one myself.

    That is, unless it is saying the Christian can recover stolen goods and then give 10% of those goods to authorities before returning the rest to its proper owner.

  12. I’m still left with the question of why all this matters. Abraham gave Melchizedek a 10% tithe of his spoils. People gave money to the Lord in the Temple, sometimes a lot more than 10%. Churches in II Corinthians 8 gave to those in need. If people want to give a 10% tithe to the Lord in money at their church, that is perfectly consistent with the principle of giving 10% as demonstrated by Abraham. No one knows exactly what he gave (although to assume there was no gold or money is a stretch), but the principle of 10% is there. If they want to give even more than 10% that is perfectly consistent with the example of the widow who gave all she had and was commended by Jesus. He said nothing about her example only applying to someone giving to the Jewish temple. If people want to give to those in need or for some good cause, that is perfectly consistent with the example of the churches mentioned in II Corinthians 8. If people want to give crops and livestock to the poor, that is consistent with the Israelites tithing so the Levites would have provisions. If they want to tithe 10% of their paycheck at church they can do that too for the glory of God. There are no commanded requirements for believers, but there are the examples of others at other times. It’s fine to mention those or use those. Examples provide principles, not laws, but principles to consider. Nevertheless, let each person give to the Lord, as the Lord has laid on their hearts to give, in whatever way and in whatever form.

  13. Enjoyed your posts and your article. Abraham gave of his increase. The bible doesn’t say he never gave again it just doesn’t tell us where or when he gave. His example repeatedly was to take care of people, and there is a lot in Jewish tradition about what he did in the end of his life in the town of Beersheba after the story line migrates to Isaac. Also, Isaac was not a tithe. In fact, he wasn’t even a boy. I always thought he was. He was about 37 years old if you extrapolate from the age of Sarah at her death. The record is that on Abraham’s return to Beersheba he found that Sarah had died in Hebron so he went there and bought the field and the cave.

    My favorite truths about the tithe are that, first, it’s holy to God. That means it’s special. God sees it, he responds to it, he welcomes it, and he blesses it. If anything I can learn from Abraham it is that after I give my tithe, in my heart, I have raised my hand to God that nobody but God is my source. My tithe in a sense helps me to be holy to God. Second, I give to be like God who gave his first fruits for me. When I tithe I reflect the image of his awesome generosity. I show just like God that when I give my best I trust that it will bear fruit. I get to provide for others, bless the work of the kingdom, help the poor, and be free from the bondage of greed. Tithing isn’t about the church as you said. It’s about believers reflecting the image of God.

    Keep up the good work brother. You have a great love for God.
    Be blessed.
    Mike

  14. when it comes to trusting God, other that for you salvation, tithing is really the first line of defense. If we can trust God with our tithing, we can trust God for our healing, or anything else. Christians suffer a lot because they refuse to trust God. We complain about tithing because the word of God is not abiding in us. Since God does not change, we can put God to the test as He has said in malachi and just watch and see what he will do when it comes to tithing and giving offering. God said we are to be kind. That means we are to first show kindness to God through out tithing also. It is important to put God first in everything. Thus, tithing is a prerequisite to trust God for abundance. If we are unfaithful in small things, (tithing) we will be unfaithful in abundance. Tithing became a part of the law. It was established before the law. Abraham did not tithes on his own, it was God that laid it on his heart to do so. Thus, tithing allows us to trust God for our every need. However, tithing should also be with expectation to received from God. In addition, when we love God, we will not only settled for tithing, but we will go beyond that and give as the Lord blesses us, as Luke 6:38 states, give and it shall be given back to us a ration of 7:1. Now that powerful. So any Christian who does not tithes, that they may learn to give, is not walking in the love of God. You can say what you want, but only God’s truth will prevail. For those of you who does not tithes, take a look your selves, you children, families possession, and see how much destruction you are suffering. Now start tithe and see if those difficulties you were facing are not subsided. Just trust God word, and most likely, you will be receive you healing, your marriage will be restores, your children will begin to act better and the list goes on. Tithing changes everything-spiritually, emotionally and physically. Abraham life was a good example.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s