When Pastor Miles was a child, his mother used to take him and his siblings to church each Sunday. Each child was given an envelope with a coin to put in the offering. This was simply a starter kit to tithing, as she was teaching her children to give.
In this series, we have learned that God is the source of all good gifts and that He gives to us that we may be a source of blessing to someone else. He does intend for us to enjoy what He gives us, but not all of it is for us to keep for ourselves.
God actually wants you to acknowledge that all you have is because of His goodness. He wants your whole life and your whole heart, just as Jesus gave His whole life for you.
A starter kit to giving in church is called tithing. You may feel wary when the church begins to ask you to give money, but the truth is that tithing your income is only a starter kit to having a giving spirit. God actually wants you to acknowledge that all you have is because of His goodness. He wants your whole life and your whole heart, just as Jesus gave His whole life for you. As you tithe with your starter kit for giving, you can taste and see that the Lord is good. This can lead to increased trust in Him and increased giving for His kingdom.
The first tithing experience recorded in the Bible happens after Abraham has rescued Lot and recovered all that was stolen from the city. He meets Melchizadek the priest along the road and offers a portion of what he has gained:
Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said:
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
And he gave him a tithe of all. Genesis 14:18 - 20
1. A tithe is the first 10% of all of what you receive from God (gross, not net.)
The tithe is a giver’s starter kit. It is 10% of your whole income, the first-fruits of all you receive. If you want God to bless all of what you have, you must be willing to share a portion of all of it – it’s all His anyway!
Whenever you are challenged in church to do something, it is from the Bible, and it is between you and God whether or not you obey by faith. Because we are living under grace, we don’t have to do anything, but all of our choices have consequences – good and bad. As you walk by faith and obey His Word, pay attention to what God is doing in your life and how He is changing your heart.
2. Tithes were a source of blessing to:
- God, because it supported ministry. (2 Chronicles 31:4-10,
The same is true today. If the people of the Rock don’t tithe and give offerings, we have no building, no staff, and no ministry.
- the giver, because it secured a blessing on the 90% they kept. (Leviticus 27:30, Deuteronomy 26:13-15, Romans 11:16)
God promises the giver that He rewards giving.
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.” Malachi 3:10
Pastor Miles extended to all of us an invitation to register for the 90-day challenge: tithe on the gross of your income for 90 days and see if you are blessed. (This doesn’t mean you will be a millionaire, but that you will be blessed more than you are now. Pay attention to what God does!) If you are not satisfied that God has blessed you as you give, we will return your money.
3. Offerings are over and above the tithe. Exodus 35-36, 2 Chronicles 28-29
When Solomon built the temple, David supplied the resources by taking an offering over and above the tithe in order to support the project. The Rock has a Pervasive Hope campaign with the goal to raise $6.7 million in the next six weeks in order to refinance, reduce the church’s debt, and fund expansion of ministry. God is up for this challenge, but He doesn’t drop checks from the sky; He uses people! Please join us in praying for a miracle, that He would stir in the hearts of His people the desire to give and that He would provide what is needed in such a way that people would know that He was the provider.
4. The tithe is a sign of trust because it actually belongs to God. Malachi 3:7-11
The tithe is not giving, but returning. All of our resources and blessings belong to God. He gives them to us in stewardship to see what we will do. Rise to the challenge today and commit to a regular tithe. You can click this link now to give online: www.sdrock.com/give/