~ Agathos Church is a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio. This blog post is a summary a sermon by Brad Ettore. You can read the whole sermon, Financial Principles of the Bible (part 6), by clicking here.
It is very important that we get the same mind God has about money. Jesus only mentions two people that you can serve: God and Mammon. When you look at the origin of the word “Mammon” it refers to a demon-god using money to grab your soul. Therefore, God gives us principles in His Word about how to view money and how to deal with money so that it purifies our involvement with it. God is not opposed to you possessing things – at any level . . . He is opposed to the things possessing us.
Knowing God’s mindset about money is the bedrock to our financial house. The foundation of our financial house is the tithe. Some of our brothers and sisters in Christ have a common argument against the tithe: that “tithing is from the Law.” BUT, tithing is in fact NOT from the Law! We see 3 clear examples of people tithing 2500, 1400, and 600 years prior to the Law being given to Moses! The tithe is a principle of God that has existed from the beginning of man.
So, what is the tithe? Tithe (in Hebrew ma’ aser) comes from the root word Asar – which means 10. Adding “ma” as a prefix is like adding “th” to the end of “ten.” Ma’ aser is “tenth.” So tithe means 1/10 or 10%. Not 17%, 12%, 4%, or any other percent. To “tithe” some other percent would miss the essence of what the Hebrew word even means.
Whose is the tithe? “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord.” (Lev. 27:30) The language in Malachi 3 further bears the ownership of the tithe out. God says we “have robbed Him in tithes and offerings.” That means that the tithes are His. He owns them; otherwise, he could not have been robbed! The tithe is God’s. We are not really “giving” the tithe to the Lord (in the sense of giving an offering, for instance). We more accurately “bring” the tithe to the Lord because the tithe is His!
Where do we tithe? We see 3 characteristics of the place He has chosen for us to bring the tithe:
- Where the Lord chooses to make His name abide (Deut. 12, 14, and 26)
- Where the priest is (Deut. 26)
- Where would they have brought their burn offerings and sacrifices. (Deut. 12)
So where is the tithe to go? To the temple of course! Tithes are to be given at a specific location. If we do whatever we want to do with it, we’re robbing Him. Surely we can also make “freewill offerings” to the poor, the needy, those that have blessed you, etc. With a freewill offering, we can do what we want with it, when we want, and where we want! That is not true of the tithe. The tithe is the Lord’s, it is holy to Him and we are to do what He says to do with it. Very specific.
Here is a list of 7 reasons WHY we tithe.
- It is an act of obedience. Tithing declares and demonstrates to God our faith in Him as our Provider! “I believe Your Word concerning the tithe and here is my proof of that.”
- It is the practical plan of God for His Church. He says in Malachi 3 that we are to tithe so that “that there may be food in my house.” We bring all the tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in God’s house. If that house is not handling the finances well, who has to answer to God for that? The house! What they do with the finances is between them and God. What we do with His tithe is between us and God!
- For blessings over our finances. Malachi 3 says to bring all the tithe into the storehouse “that there may be food in my house” AND “‘prove me now in this’ says the Lord of Hosts ‘if I will not open to you the windows of heaven and pour out for you blessing.’” Prov. 3:9-10 also promises abundance when we honor God with the first fruits of all our increase.
- It brings protection over our finances. Do not be deceived, the enemy is actively involved in destroying people’s financial well being. Remember from Malachi 3 that the blessings were “not enough” in God’s eyes. He ALSO promises to “rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground.”As a note, this is not legalism. This is a covenant relationship with God. It is a covenant based in FAITH. EVERYTHING we get from the Lord we get by faith! Faith is the currency of Heaven. James tells us it’s the “doer” that will be the one that gets blessed. When you give by faith, then it shall it be given unto you. It does not say “it will come and then give.” Tithe and the protection will come! This the Word of the Lord. It’s an awesome relationship of FAITH that we have with our Father!
- To deliver us from the spirit of Mammon.
- To develop and maintain a spirit of gratitude. By constantly bringing our tithe before God it causes us to rehearse God’s blessings and provision in our life. That keeps you in a spirit of gratitude for all the blessings that you have.
- It is an act of worship. Tithing is one of many ways to worship God! Deut. 26:10 talks about this specifically: “Then you shall set it (the tithe) before the Lord your God, and worship before the Lord your God.” We worship God with the tithe!
Please know that there is no law / legalism in this message. The tithe is a beautiful protection and blessing from the Lord that has been given to us for one purpose: He wants to bless us!