“Why must we give to God?” “Does He need our money since He created everything?” “Isn’t it better to give to charity as it helps people? After all isnt that what a church does anyway?” “How much should I give the church so that they don’t waste what I give them?”
These are some of the thoughts I have had from an early age when it came to giving money to church. And honestly a lot of these thoughts are valid on the face of it. Especially when you start to hear about pastors asking money for a 65 million dollar private jet. But what’s God say about giving? That’s what really matters.
The first giving mentioned in the Bible is the sacrifices of Cain and Abel. And in a World where there really was no economy, no money or religious institution to speak of, they gave to God. And how did they give? Cain gave an offering while Abel gave the firstborn of his flock. It was that heart attitude of giving to God the first and the best that resulted in Abel pleasing God. This was the tithing that Abraham first did when blessed by the king of Salem and later became a basic law of worship in the Mosaic Law.
It is true that a Christian isn’t under the law and the law is a representation of the bare minimum that we can’t fulfill. If that is the case wouldn’t tithing (giving a tenth of you first fruits) be the bare minimum to give God? Recently I have been learning the hard way to discipline myself recently to tithe on every single dollar I get. And no matter how little it may end up being I do my best to give because I love My Father and Heaven and I want to show I love Him by worshiping Him in word as well as in deed.
He in turn has been Jehovah Jireh to me, providing for me in amazing ways that I can’t even comprehend sometimes. While it hasn’t always been showers of money, He is provided and taken care of my needs. And isn’t that what Jesus tells us the Father does?
This isn’t legalism. It isn’t a requirement that you just need to fulfill because even when you tithe God can shun it if it isn’t from a willing and submissive heart. This is why Cain’s sacrifice was rejected. The same is true of the Israelites mentioned in Amos and Hosea where God says their heart wasn’t turned to him nor was it a willing offering and their sacrifices were rejected as a result. On the other hand God tells us through Micah that when we joyfully give our full tithes God will bless us so abundantly that we cannot contain it.
The question then arises about where and how do we give since God doesn’t have a bank account. To the church that feeds us, the one we call home. The purpose of the tithes as mentioned in Numbers is to feed the Levites who minister. If we get fed spiritually from a church isn’t it our duty to ensure the Levites there (pastors, staff, volunteers) are taken care of physically? We shouldn’t begrudge them their due so when we tithe do it gladly knowing that God is using it to bless those that minister to us and grow us.
Tithing alone isn’t the way we can give to God. Noah have a sacrifice for safely making it through the flood. And since then whether for thanksgiving, praise or just because people have given to God. Some of the kings took it a step further and gave their own livestock to the people so that they in turn could give it as an offering to God. So maybe we should learn to give to God willing too out of thanks for what He does for us, to praise Him and His provision and grace, or just because.
If you have been fortunate to have a good father who was there for you, you know the lengths you go to for their birthdays, Father’s day, Christmas etc. to make them feel special, to thank them for all they did and are and the influence they have been on your lives and just let them know how much you love them. How much more Our Father?