More than money

Today’s topic is going to be a sore topic for some people, or will it? The topic on tithing is a necessary but unwanted topic. The problem is that we get attached to our money as it is hard enough to earn it or get it, that we don’t want to part ways with it. The Bible says in

Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

And God wants our hearts. There are plenty of verses in God’s Word that speak on tithing your money, and I’ll quote some, but I want to dig deeper into the topic than that.

Numbers 18:21 saysAnd, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.”

Deuteronomy 8:18 says “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.”

Deuteronomy 16:17 says “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.”

Malachi 3:8 says “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.”

Ezra 2:68-69 says “And some of the chief of the fathers, when they came to the house of the LORD which is at Jerusalem, offered freely for the house of God to set it up in his place: They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests' garments.”

These and many other verses in the Bible speak on tithing money, but listen to

Luke 21:1-4 says “And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: For all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.

It is clear in scripture here and elsewhere, that God would rather you give sincerely than give a lot. It is not about how much you give, but the attitude you give it in. God doesn’t need our money,

1 Chronicles 29:11-12 says “Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all. Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.”

God would rather have our lives, but of course that does not negate us from our responsibility to tithe from our income. Please don’t mistake me, I am not saying don’t tithe. I’m trying to go further into what the Christian life is apart from that.

Romans 12:1 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

1 Chronicles 29:17 “I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.”

God wants our hearts on him, he wants our lives dedicated to him. It’s really not that bad a deal as he promises never to leave us nor forsake us and says his thoughts toward us are of peace, not of evil and of an expected end. What end you may say, a great end with us in heaven with him.

Now why should we tithe, apart from God commands it? Well, how do you think the church staff pay the rent or mortgage for the building, pay the electric and water bills or feed their families? Tithing helps keep the church running. Yes, I understand the church is the body of believers, but you know that I mean the church building and church services.

2Corinthians 9:12 says “For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God”

The tithes and offerings help pay for church. Why else should you give? It’s not only kind, but God will always give more through you than he gives to you.

Luke 6:38 says "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Now, as promised, this is not just about money, so what else are we commanded to give you may ask.

Matthew 22:39 says “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

1 John 3:17 "But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?"

Proverbs 18:9 “He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.”

Proverbs 28:27 “He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.”

Haggai 1:8 “Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.”

The Lord God wants our life as much, if not more than our money, after all, he only requires a tithe which is ten percent of our gross income. As I read in Romans chapter 12 and verse 1 that he wants our lives to be a sacrifice. This doesn’t mean we are to die like a sacrifice in the movies or stories from the Old Testament. What he means is he wants us to live our lives for him. He wants us to honor his name with our testimony or lives we live. Show your light and help people, work heartedly as in working for the Lord. Be a good Christ like example to those around you. Serve those less fortunate or even those with, just do it in the spirit of the Lord.

Haggai 1:5 says “Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

Where as:

Haggai 1:7 says “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.”

We are to do inventory in our lives daily and make sure that however we are living our lives brings honor to God. Our lives may be the only Bible that some may read. Do those around you know that you are a Christian? Do you share the gospel or your salvation testimony with them? Do you avoid certain conversation or do you participate in worldly activities and speech? Your sins are sure to find you out. Those around you that know you’re a Christian will be the first ones to call you out when you mess up and curse or get angry over something dumb. They will be the first ones to notice when you have that drink, smoke or flirt with someone that is not your spouse. And then what? They can’t be won over to the Lord with that sort of testimony. People do watch you. They pay attention and your life can make the world of a difference.

As much as the world tries to say follow your heart and love is an emotion that can be wrong, they are sadly very mistaken. As it says in Jeremiah our heart is desperately wicked. Also, love is a gift, love gives, love sacrifices. Love is a verb, not an emotion. Yes, emotions come with love, but love is not an emotion. So, in love you are to do service unto God by serving others. Even Jesus himself when he left heaven as a baby to be born flesh and blood, did not come back the first time to be served but to serve others.

In conclusion, when you think of tithing, don’t only think of money but also remember to do a service. Participate and volunteer in church ministries and help in the community if you can. As Jesus said in Matthew chapter 25, when you fed the hungry you fed me, when you clothed the naked you clothed me and so on. Jesus Christ, our God wants our hearts, he wants our service. He wants our lives to represent his holy love.

I challenge you to go out this week and be a blessing to someone. You don’t have to even spend money, just help someone. As you are a service to them, you will see how it’s a blessing on your own spirit. When you help them or do something mindful to honor God, do it with a thankful and willing heart. God does say if you will do it unwilling, don’t do it at all. Take this week to think on how you can help yourself by helping others.

That is all. Thank you.

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