I heard the other day that, on the average, Christians give about 2.5% of their income to the church. It made me think what percentage of our income goes to other things in our lives. That would be interesting to know. Does it show what’s important to us or where our priorities are? I’ve heard it said that the best measure of our priorities is our checkbook. We all need to take a look at that and see where our heart is.
As Christians, we are required by God to give back a tenth of our income to Him, the first tenth too, (See Malachi 3:10 and Proverbs 3:9). God gives us our entire income and expects us to give 10% of it back to Him. Why doesn’t He just keep His part and give us the 90%? That way, we wouldn’t have to worry about it or keep up with it. But He gave us a free will and He wants us to be obedient to Him. Are we? The Bible says if we don’t give back the tithe, we are robbing God! (See Malachi 3:8). Not a good thing to do. What if on January 1, God checked the books and saw what you gave during the past year and multiplied that by 10 and that’s what your income would be for the coming year? Could you live on that?
God is not requiring the tithe to be a harsh taskmaster over us but He wants to bless us. The Bible says over and over if we will give, God will give back to us and we will be blessed. I remember something about, “pressed down, shaken together, and running over”. Now, we don’t give in order to get. That would be like paying for something. We give because we want to, because God asks us to, because He loves a cheerful giver, (2 Corinthians 9:7). But the tithe is not all, God gave us another way to be blessed…offerings. That’s giving over and above the tithe. The more we give, the more it pleases God, and He does good things to those who please Him and honor His commands. It’s not a chore or a duty, it’s something we want to do for the God who has done soooooooo much for us.
Worth repeating: “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). One last point, giving is not just money. There are many ways to give and God will provide you with opportunities every day if you’ll just look for them. And it doesn’t have to be a lot. Remember the boy who offered his lunch of some fish and bread to Jesus? (John 6:5-15). He took that little offering and fed thousands that day. Put what you are required to give and some offerings into the hands of God and see what He will do. What was your income this week?