Get Blessed

Exodus 22: 29             NIV

Do not hold back offerings from your granaries or your vats.

I have a couple of questions for you today. First, why did Father God command us to tithe? Second, why do we hate hearing messages about tithing? What about offerings? You see, I think those questions demonstrate how little we understand about Kingdom dynamics and Kingdom finances. There are preachers all over this country who are afraid to teach on tithing because their congregations eat them alive when they talk about giving. However, when you understand about giving to God, you realize that those preachers are almost stealing from their parishioners by not teaching tithing and offerings. So, let’s look at this and see if we can resolve some questions. Why tithe and why did Father command it here?

Do you see this verse as a command? I do. It doesn’t strike fear in our hearts as if an angry God is berating us, but it does sound like an imperative. Therefore, for me, it is enough that God said do it, but why do you think God told us to give? It’s not that He needs our money, right? I mean, after all, His streets are paved with gold. I mean, he walks on gold pavers. He doesn’t worship it like people do, so why does He want us to give? Actually, He doesn’t want us to give, He requires us to give, so let’s take a look at this.

First, is this God speaking to us, because it is important to figure out if it is God or man who gives this directive. When you are sitting in church, you might not be clear on this. Does the preacher just want to get in your pocket or is God speaking? Let’s look at the leading scripture on tithing, Malachi 3: 10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and put Me to the test now in this,” says the Lord of armies, “if I do not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.” How do people not love this verse? I love it. Some, I guess, hear that they have to give away their money. I hear, God is blessing me until it overflows. And, what a deal, I only have to give Him back 10% of what He gave me in the first place. That is a financially sound deal. Not only that, but He actually gives me the seed to sow. I could teach on this for days, but can’t you see right here that the reason God requires the tithe is twofold? First, it is our duty to pay for the ministers. Don’t you see that? Tithing is meant to provide bread for God’s servants.

Second, God devised this means of getting the blessing to us. Essentially, He tells us that if we will provide for His ministers, He will pour out His treasury for us. Paul taught this too. He said, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 4: 19). Why did he use the conjunction “and” here? Because of what went before, “Now that Epaphroditus has brought me your gifts, you have filled my needs,” (Philippians 4: 18 GW). You see, this is just scriptural. You provide for the ministers and God provides for you. This is how Kingdom Finances works.

Tithes and offerings are part of our covenant with God. We ask Him for a lot, and He wants us to, but we have some obligations too. The tithe is 10% of your gross income and it is to be given to the church for the support of the church and the ministers. It is not for the Humane Society or even the MS Foundation, which I support. Those are called charitable gifts and are to be encouraged. They do not, however, qualify as part of your tithe. The entire 10% of gross income goes to the church. If you are a member of a congregation, then you would sow your tithe there. Offerings, then, are a good opportunity to support the other ministries which feed you. Ministers provide a lot of content for free, but it’s not free to them. It costs much and your offerings are the means by which you honor what you feed on from them (us). It is how they feed their families and it is how you support the work of the gospel. If you are not a member of a local congregation, then you should give the 10% to the ministries which are supporting you.

We are so tight fisted and selfish that we rob ourselves. It’s crazy, but when we begin to understand God’s benevolence and how He created His Kingdom to operate, then we can live in unlimited blessing all the time. Then you won’t have to squabble with God about giving 10%. You will have more than enough for yourself, your tithe, offerings, charitable gifts and a full life. It is all in the Kingdom, just waiting for you. Open your hand. Tight fists cannot receive. Just sayin’.

No Need

Philippians 4: 19                   Index Card 12

And my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

This is a familiar passage of scripture and you likely hear it quoted frequently. It was written by the Apostle Paul. There is a caveat to this scripture before you begin using it freely though. Paul wrote it to the Philippians saying to them that God would meet their needs because they had met Paul’s needs. So, this powerful promise is specifically for those who are meeting the needs of the clergy. Don’t be discouraged. Be a sower. Avail yourself of the might of this passage. And, if you already are a consistent giver to the church, then celebrate. Paul speaks blessing over you.

There is more and I wish for you to receive the fullness of Paul’s message. Let’s read Philippians 4: 18, “But I have received everything in full, and have an abundance; I am amply supplied.” I really see two sides of this coin. First, Paul declares that his needs are abundantly met. So, the church has clearly done a good job of looking after him. Secondly, I read this passage with the view that when I look to the needs of the church and specifically its ministers then God meets my need so that I receive everything in full, abundantly, and fully supplied.

This is an insight into God’s economics. When you sow, you reap. When you take care of the needs of the church, God takes care of your needs. Paul wanted the church he established in Philippi to be filled. He was thrilled to declare blessing over them. Every minister wants her flock to overflow with blessing and Paul was overjoyed knowing that through the generosity of the Philippians not only were his needs taken care of but the blessing was going to flow back and flood them. Yahoo!