Part of the answer is, He wants us to learn to trust Him, and He wants us to feel significant by participating in His work.
Four thousand years ago, after receiving a financial gain, Abram went to the priest, “And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.” Genesis 14:20
During the time of the prophet Malachi, God’s people were languishing. God sent Malachi to tell them why:
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed me.
“But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?"
“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse… because you are robbing me. 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 open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Malachi 3:8-10
For most of us, the idea of giving God the first 10% of each paycheck is so challenging that we need a faith-boost to do it. So God says, “Test me in this.” It’s the only time in Scripture we are allowed to test Him. Deuteronomy 6:16 explicitly commands, Do not put the Lord your God to the test. This is the only exception.What Happens When You Tithe
At least six things happen to you when you tithe:
1. You express faith.
No matter how much or little you earn, giving the first 10% to God is a stretch. Writing that check, or making that electronic transfer requires you to say, “Lord, I trust You. I believe Your promises. I believe You’ll provide for me.”
2. You honor God.
Every time you tithe you honor God’s request that you “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse.” The “storehouse” was the room in the Temple where the money was collected. Today, the storehouse is the local church where you are fed and fellowship.
3. You fund ministry.
Every time you tithe, you enable the church to fulfill its mission of helping people hear about God and become fully devoted followers of Christ.
4. You diminish greed.
Our society is good at convincing us that we must buy, try, taste and wear certain products in order to feel good about ourselves. There’s a grip of greed that can drive us to believe we must have more and get more. Giving away a portion of our resources loosens that grip and helps us to be content and appreciate what God has already given us.
5. You feel good.
It feels good to give! John 3:16 reminds us that God is the greatest giver of all time, and we were made to be like Him. We are never more like God than when we give. Which is why giving feels so good!
6. You make yourself eligible for God’s promises.Proverbs 3:9-10 promises:
Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the first fruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
Luke 6:38 promises:
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
Malachi 3:10-11 promises:
“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 there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty.
Malachi’s promise is both offensive and defensive. Not only will God pour out more than we can store, He’ll protect what we already have from being devoured by pests!Taking the Tithe Challenge:
At New Song, we believe so strongly that tithing is beneficial to every member that we offer what we call, “The Tithe Challenge.”
It goes like this:
What People Have Experienced
- Let us know that you’ll be giving the full 10% of every increase you receive for the next 90 days.
- Give in a way that we can verify your giving. (Put your name on your giving envelops, make direct deposits from your bank or debit card, use text-to-give, etc.)
- If, 90 days later, you do not feel blessed in whatever way you would measure a blessing, ask us for your money back and we’ll refund it.
The First Two Couples –
A month after New Song was born, Pastor Hal explained the tithe at the end of a message. When the offering was taken, two couples both did something faith-stretching. The first put in a check for $100. The second put in a check for $500.
Couple number one came to Hal after the service and said, “We took your challenge. We wrote a check for everything we had. Now we’re not sure how we’ll pay for the kids lunches tomorrow morning.”
The next Sunday, the husband told Hal, “You’ll never believe what happened! After writing that check last Sunday, we went home and were watching football when I got a phone call. The man said, ‘Remember the work you did for me about a year ago? I can pay you now. Would you like me to put the check in the mail?’ “I drove over to his house and picked up it up instead. It was for $1,000!”
The wife of the second couple reported, “You’ll never believe what happened to me! Six months ago, I was in an auto accident. They told me the claim would take about twelve months. But on Thursday this week, the check came. It was for $5,000!”A Small Business Owner –
A few months after that, a lady named Donna called the church office. “We’ve been thinking about trying the tithe,” she said. “But we own a small business and have employees. If I write a check for 10% of what we earn, I won’t be able to pay them at the end of the month.”
We didn’t have The Tithe Challenge back then, so Hal said, “I don’t know what to tell you. This is about your faith. You have to make this decision for yourself. Donna decided to tithe that next Sunday. Three weeks later, she said to Hal, “You’ll never believe what happened! This month, we took in more money than ever before. I was able to pay all our employees and put reserves in the bank.”Pastor Hal
I was a teenager when I came to Christ, and no one told me about the tithe. I learned about it at a conference four years later. I wanted to honor God, so I decided to give Him everything I had. I went to the bank and withdrew it all - $724. I took it to the church and handed it to the pastor. He said to me, “Are you sure there isn’t anything you want to buy before you turn this all over to us?” I thought for a second and decided to hold onto $14, giving the church $710.
For the next ten weeks I worked as an intern before heading off to my first year of college. At the end, somehow I had more money than I had earned from my internship. I don’t know how that happened.
Then, the night before I left for college, my father took me out to dinner. As the meal ended, he handed me an envelope. “This is so you can have some spending money for your first semester. It’s the amount your sister spent during her final semester of college.”
Dad didn’t know I had given the church $710. But when I opened his check, I found it was for exactly that amount.
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse…,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” Malachi 3:10