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Tithing and Love Offerings

Practical Application

 

What is the difference between a tithe and an offering?

A tithe is the first fruits, 10 % of your earnings. An offering is money that you give that is above and beyond the 10% that you faithfully give for your tithe. An offering should not take away from the amount of your tithe.

 

Which church should you tithe to and how do you decide where and when to give a love offering?

Your tithe belongs to the local church you are plugged into and grounded in, where you should be faithful in attendance and tithing. Do not pay your tithe to a T.V. evangelist, or to another church you may visit. An offering can be given wherever your heart desires. Money you give to evangelists or churches you visit should be a love offering. If you are not committed to one church, you really need to pray about it and choose a church to faithfully tithe to.

 

Do I tithe on my net or gross income?

The answer is gross income. Jesus said to render to Cesar what is due and give to God what belongs to God. The very word “First fruit” says it all; Pay God first, from the total of all you have earned.

 

If my spouse doesn't want to tithe, what do I do?

If a spouse refuses to tithe off of their income, tithe 10% off of your income, so long as it does not cause fighting in the marriage. If a spouse forbids you from tithing, just submit to their wishes, and pray that God will change their heart regarding tithes. There may be circumstances where you really have to seek God and hear His voice to make a decision. Tithe if at all possible, and don’t use a spouse as an excuse not to tithe. Most importantly, be honest and honor God.

 

Do I tithe from gifts or Social Security Income?

Any source of money coming into the house can and should be tithed on; even income that comes to a child through inheritance, child support, or a child’s disability.

The Benefits of Tithing

 

"38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down,

shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom.

For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Luke 6:38

 

            You may be asking, "What is tithing?" Tithing is a tenth of all your wages. The Hebrew word for Tithe is ma'aser – from 6240; a tenth; especially a tithe. God desires that we give Him our first fruits of our earnings by bringing in our tithes into the storehouse.

            Throughout scripture, you will discover that God demands our obedience in tithing. The first place we see tithing in operation is found in the book of Genesis 4:3-4 where Cain and Able brought their tithes unto the Lord. God was pleased and accepted Abel's offering because he gave of his first fruits. But Cain's offering He rejected because He did not give his first fruits, but only what was left over. Tithing was taught to them by their father Adam who taught them the principles of tithing. It was their choice to be obedient or not. In today's society, it is common to find Christians who do not tithe. Some say it was only under the Old Testament Law of Moses, and that we no longer have to tithe because we are no longer under the law. But the fact that Cain and Able tithed proves that tithing existed from the beginning; Tithing started in the garden. We also see in Genesis 14:18-20, Abraham gave a tenth of his first fruits to the Priest Melchizedek.

            Malachi 3:8-11 says, “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me. But you say, ‘where have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse: for you have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in My house, and prove me now with this, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open to you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.”

How can it be robbing God when we withhold money that we have worked hard to earn? It is because God gives you the breath you breathe that allows you to work. He gave you the gifts that got you the job. Out of all we earn, God allows 90% to belong to us, and he claims that 10% for Himself. He doesn’t need your money; He wants your obedience. And if you can’t trust God with your money, then He really doesn’t have your whole heart. If you rob God and withhold the 10%, then it puts a curse on the other 90% that remains. If you obey in tithes, then it releases blessing upon 100% of your money.

            When we tithe, it also involves the attitude of the heart. When we give out of a cheerful heart, God accepts our offering. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, the Word says "But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work."

            If you are tithing faithfully, and you are still struggling with poverty, there may be an explanation. God says we must build our spiritual house before we try to build our physical house. In Haggai 1:3-7 it says, "3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! 6 “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” 7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!" If we neglect our spiritual house, no amount of tithing will bring the blessing of the Lord. When we seek to build our kingdom instead of building God’s, it will seem as if everything we do is in vein. But if you follow Matthew 6:33, and seek first the Kingdom of God, then all these things will be added unto you.

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