Tithing

“Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the LORD of hosts; “and all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the LORD of hosts. – Malachi 3:10–12

To me, the issue of tithing is one of the great paradoxes in the church today. Though we believe in a God we have never seen, trust our eternal salvation to someone we have never met, pray fervently to a God we have probably never audibly heard, and act on things we believe He wrote thousands of years ago, we refuse to prove God in the one thing the Bible says we are to prove Him in, and that is tithing. We say things like, “Tithing is part of the law,” but Abraham paid tithes and he wasn’t under the law. Others say, “We only have to give what we can give cheerfully,” so does that mean we no longer walk by faith but by emotion? And if we can’t give anything cheerfully, does that mean we are exempt from supporting the work of the Lord? The arguments against tithing just don’t hold up.

I will be the first to admit there is much abuse in the arena of finances within the church as a whole, such as those who teach a “give to get” approach. But I will say now what I have said many times before: don’t let a liar make you into a thief! The verses preceding the exhortation above equate the failure to tithe to robbing God. But here’s the real paradox: who loses when God is robbed? Certainly not Him.

So let’s keep a balanced perspective on this issue and not use charlatans as an excuse to be a thief. Tithing is a principle that spans the whole of the Bible; it’s not for God’s benefit, but for ours. It’s not His work that is going to suffer or bear the consequences, but ours. God said, “Try Me in this and watch what I will do in your fields and vineyards and how I will rebuke the devourer for your sake.” Contrary to what you may hear from some, God’s work is going to get done whether you tithe or not. But God has said to us all, “If you want Me to bless the 90 percent of what you keep, then you have to be faithful in the 10 percent I have commanded you to give.”

Excerpt from “Body Builders” now available on Amazon.

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BARRY STAGNER

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