You will not read about it in the Courier Journal and no one will call 911 to report it to the police, but each service when the offering plate is passed, we witness one of the most serious crimes in our community. The crime you ask? First degree robbery of Almighty God. Oh! You must mean tithes and offerings! You may think we don't have to worry about tithing because we are under the New Covenant. What does "tithe" mean anyway? What is the difference between a tithe and an offering? Or maybe you do believe in tithing, but aren't sure what(gross or net) you should tithe, when you should tithe, where you should tithe or if you can afford to tithe. Let's address all of these concerns.
We are under the New Covenant, not the Old, so tithing doesn't apply to us...right?
The Tithe existed before God gave Moses the Law!!!
We tend to associate the giving of tithes with the Old Covenant and the Old Testament section of the Bible because we read so much about it there. However, it was not through Moses and the Old Covenant that God first introduced the giving of tithes. In the Bible we read of the giving of tithes from the earliest times as a feature of God's people's material and financial dependency on and connection with God. The first openly expressed reference to the tithe is when Abram (later called Abraham) gives tithes of all he retrieved from the marauders to Melchizedek, the high priest of his day. Just take a look at Gen. 14: 18-20. As a consequence of Christ's resurrection, He became a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek--the very Melchizedek who at the time of Abraham was the high priest and received tithes of him. Read Heb. 7: 11-24.
What does the word "Tithe" mean?
The word "tithe" means "a tenth part" or "10%". In the Bible, God tells us that we are to give the first 10% of all that we earn back to Him. Giving less than 10% is not tithing. Leviticus 27:30
What should I tithe (gross or net)?
Proverbs 3:9 says we are to honor God with the first part of all our income. This means the gross income. Additionally, 2 Corinthians 9:6 says: "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will reap generously."
When should I tithe?
You should tithe on the first church service opportunity upon receiving an increase. I Corinthians 16:2 and Proverbs 3:9 It doesn't necessarily matter if you tithe once a month or four times a month just as long as you are tithing.
Where should I tithe?
Your local church. Malachi 3:10 says "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house.... Any giving to external ministries like the 700 Club and TBN, guest speakers at church; would be considered an "offering" which is anything over and above the tithe.
What if I can't afford to tithe?
You can't afford NOT to tithe! If you don't tithe, God says you are using money that rightfully belongs to Him. God says: "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me! 'But you ask, 'How do we rob you?'God says: ' In tithes and offerings. Youare under a curse-- the whole nation of you--because you are robbing me.' (Malachi 3:8-9). The tithe belongs to Him. Tell God you're going to put Him first in your finances. Let Him know that you are willing to obey the principles in His Word, and that you are trusting in Him, not your checkbook.
A matter of the heart...
There are many excuses for not tithing. The excuses are usually to hide a disobedient heart. The reasons can usually be boiled down to two things: materialism and unbelief. If you're more interested in "having things" than pleasing God, you won't tithe. You may store up treasures on earth, but you won't store up treasure in heaven. Don't worry about leaving things behind, but sending them on ahead.If you don't really believe God will keep all his promises He has made regarding tithing, you won't do it.
Other Scriptures regarding Tithing and Giving
Leviticus 27:30 -The tithe is Lord's.
Deut. 8:18 -God is the One who gives you the ability to make money. Without Him you wouldn't have ANY money!
Deut. 14:23 -If God does not have first priority in your finances, He isn't really first in your life.
Deut. 16:17 -Tithing expresses my gratitude to God for helping me earn income!
Matthew 6:33 -Seek God first, He'll take care of the rest.
Matthew 23:23 -Tithing is about the only thing Jesus commended the Pharisees for doing.
Luke 6:38 -Give and it will be given unto you.
Acts 4:37 -Example of giving.
Acts 11: 29-30 -Not everyone will give the same, but everyone gives.
2 Corinthians 8:8 -Your giving tests the sincerity of your love.
2 Corinthians 9:7 -God loves a cheerful giver!
Hebrews 7: 5-8 -How much more should we tithe unto Jesus? Jesus is our High Priest!