Last night my wife Robin came to me and said, "God just convicted me about something: we never tithed off of my book royalties last month that were auto deposited into our bank account. We need to bring the tithe that belongs to Him so He can continue to bless our finances without hindrance."
I immediately texted in our tithe, needless to say!
Since very early in my Christian life I was taught that the tithe of all we earn belongs to the Lord. It isn't our money to do with as we please. And we can't give it because it isnt ours to give. We BRING it back to him by tithing to the local church we are a part of, the best part, the FIRST 10% of our gross income. In turn, God blesses the remaining 90%. As my first pastor asked me when I was struggling with tithing, "Do you want a blessed 90% or a cursed 100%?" (Malachi 3:10)
Here are a few facts about tithing:
1.The principle of bringing the tithe goes all the way back to Abraham bringing the tithe to the priest Melchizedek long before the Law was ever established. The law defined it more clearly. Jesus affirmed it as well in Matthew 24 and it has been a practice in the body of Christ ever since, the historical baseline for real generosity.
2. The way I see it is that if Jesus said that our righteousness must be greater than that of the scribes and Pharisees who practiced giving exactly 10%, then 10% is where I start as a Christ follower, seeking to give as time goes greater and greater portions of my income to the work of the Gospel. Giving less than 10% as a supposed devoted follower of Christ is beneath even Old Testament standards and a slap in the face to the grace of God in my life.
3. Tithing really is a matter of it being a "token" of my recognition that everything I have comes from God. It is a sign of my dependency not on myself and my own resources but that I truly am dependent upon God. It is a matter of honor to God as my supreme Lord and ruler and Provider.
4. For those who have never tithed before, I challenge you to read the 3rd chapter of the book of Malachi. It is the only place in the entire Word of God where God urges us to TEST him in this matter of tithing. At The Bridge we do a 90 day challenge: put God to the test for 90 days of bringing the tithe and see if He does or doesn't do what He said He would do, open up the windows of heaven with blessing upon your financial life.
5. Finally, I see tithing as a practical way to store up my treasures in heaven, into my heavenly investment account. Each year for the last 30+ years that I have been a tither, when I get my giving statement at the end of the year, it makes me deliriously happy to see how much I have invested into the kingdom of God. For me personally, it is my REAL retirement account!
Just a few thoughts that occurred to me earlier. Hope it helps some of you out there!