In Your Bible Read This Out Loud:
Memorise This Verse: Genesis 14:20
'Then Abraham gave him a tenth of everything'
Afterwards Talk About This: Is
God expecting too much of us when he asks us to be tithers?
Something To Do Before Next Time:
Work out what % of your income you spend on things other than necessities.
Written Diploma Work: Write
one side on the reasons why God wants us to give him 10% of our income.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse:
Having seen previously that the way we live
by faith concerning our finances is through giving into the work of God
and the biblical illustration of sowing and reaping and giving and
receiving the following sections will look in depth at the dynamics of
This section will consider the question as
to how much God is expecting each one of us to give, a good starting point
is the story of the widow's offering in Mark 12:41-44.
The first point here is that Jesus watched
and knew how much each person had put into the offering the same is true
today, Jesus knows exactly who is (and who isn't) giving into the work of
God and he knows exactly how much each person is giving in.
For example, the next time an offering
plate is passed round in church why not imagine that it is Jesus who is
taking the plate round the church because in reality he seeing how much
each person is giving into it!
The second point to note is that Jesus was
more concerned with how much people had left as opposed to how much they
gave. For example, the widow gave less that everyone but she received the
highest commendation from Jesus because it left her with less to live on
than the rest of the people and it was a bigger sacrifice.
The final point that we can conclude with
therefore is that God deals with us individually in the area of finances
based on percentages and our ability to give. Those who have a lot of
money will be called to give much more than those who have less and so by
working on percentages no one has any advantage over another - if God
called us all to give a set amount it would be easier for some to give
The principle of God's people giving
according to their ability and in proportion to their income is brought
out in several scriptures dealing with money.
Acts 11:29 'The
disciples, each according to his ability, decided to provide help for
the brothers living in Judea'
1 Corinthians 16:2
'On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum
of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come
no collections will have to be made.'
Galatians 6:7 'Therefore,
as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people'
'Then celebrate the Feast of Weeks to the Lord your God by giving a
freewill offering in proportion to the blessings the Lord your God has
'Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your
God has blessed you'
The bible would indicate then that the
percentage that God is expecting of us to invest in him and his Kingdom is
10% (better known as a tithe). This principle is first seen in the bible
in Genesis 14:20 where a triumphant Abram returns from battle and shares
one tenth of the plunder with the King of Salem - Melchizedek a incident
which is also later referred to in Hebrews 7:4.
In Genesis 28:22 we see Jacob also vowing
to give God a tithe of whatever God put in his hands - notice that both
Abram and Jacob gave tithes before the introduction of the law so tithing
neither began nor ended with the law.
However, as the law came so did the command
to tithe as seen the following scriptures:
Leviticus 27:30 'A tithe
of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from
the trees, belongs to the Lord it is holy unto the Lord
Numbers 18:21 'I
give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance'
Malachi 3:10 'Bring
the whole tithe into the storehouse'
Hebrews 7:5 'Now
the law requires the descendants of Levi who became priests to collect a
tenth from the people '
Since tithing didn't start with the law, it
didn't end with it either Jesus assumed that his followers would be givers
i.e. in Matthew 6:2 he says when (not if) you give and in
Matthew 23:23 he commends the Pharisees for
tithing but not their motives. Jesus reserved his harshest words for the
Pharisees but the area of their tithing would appear to be one of the few
areas that he actually commended them for. It would appear then that not
only does God work by percentages but that the percentage he invites us to
give is 10%.
Since God's system is based on percentages
then no-one can claim that they cannot afford to give as a person's giving
will be in proportion to their income and the poor are not penalised more
than the rich.
A House of Prayer for
the Poorer Nations
- Pray for Burkina Faso
50% Muslim but strong church growth
- Very poor but is poised to release
missionaries as funds are released.