Take God’s Tithing Challenge
A recent five-year constituency study released by the State of the Plate gives an inside look at the financial, giving, and spiritual practices of 4,413 people who donate 10% or more each year. According to the Christian Post, researchers compared tithers to non-tithers using nine financial health indicators and found that tithers were better off in every category.
Is this any surprise when the Bible promises God’s blessing on tithing? (Don’t believe me – look at Malachi 3). To tithe is the Bible’s teaching to give at least 10% of our income to the Lord. This is a concept taught throughout the Old Testament (and even before the Law was given!) and is also mentioned in the New Testament. In Malachi 3, God promises to pour out blessing (financial?, physical?, emotional?, on our marriage?, etc.?) on believers who faithfully tithe.
And…just in case you’re wondering, tithing is primarily directed towards our local place of worship in the Bible. If we want to give to other ministries, then we should give above our tithe. There is no Biblical precedent for spreading our tithe all over the place. God’s blessing in Malachi is connected to tithing to our local church.
The ironic thing is this: many Christians cannot afford to give, precisely because they are not giving. In other words, they are robbing God of their tithe, and God’s blessing is not on their finances.
Last year, we issued a call to take God’s challenge to be obedient and tithe. We asked those who had never tithed (on a regular basis) to indicate their intent to do so. The challenge was to tithe our income for four months and see what God might do. Over thirty families took up the challenge. The Pastoral team prayed over these names for several months, asking God to bless them and show His power in their lives. The stories coming out of those who took up the challenge have been very encouraging. You will hear more this coming year.
SO….we are issuing the same challenge for 2016. If you have never been obedient in regards to tithing, we want to encourage you to indicate your desire to do so on the tear-off response card in the bulletin. By doing so, you are committing to begin to tithe (give 10% of your income) starting in January and going through April, asking God to pour out His blessing on your family. This blessing may come in a variety of forms. The pastoral team will also commit to pray over those who commit to do so.
So, if you claim to be a follower of Jesus and desire God’s blessing on your life, I have one word for you – tithe! Obey God with your finances, direct your tithe to your local church, and watch God open the doors of heaven on you. Not a bad deal huh?!
by Pastor Jay, Senior Pastor