Tithing as God Commands – What’s Mine is Mine
Tithing as God commands is as old as time, itself, yet there is much confusion about it in the Christian world. Many claim that tithing is only for the Jews, not Christians. They would tell you that tithing is part of Mosaic law, which doesn’t apply to Christians. There are some great problems with that idea, that all Christians need to examine. How many Christians are living under the devourer’s curse? Are you one of them?
Please read Malachi 3:7 – 11. Keep it open for reference.
The late John R. Rice shared the story of an evangelist named Kuykendahl (kerr ken DOLL) in Texas in the early 20th century. He had a circuit riding ministry and his offerings were so small that his large family had a really hard time. One year a wealthy businessman visited the area to share his testimony in several churches, and Kuykendahl was his host, taking him from meeting to meeting in his buggy. Among other things, the businessman challenged the people to tithe. As they were traveling along one day, the businessman asked the evangelist if he believed in tithing.
He replied, “Yes, I would love to tithe, but I am very poor and must take care of my large family.”
The businessman responded, “I will make you an offer. If you will tithe for an entire year, I will be your guarantor. If at any time during the year you find that you can’t meet your obligations and don’t know where to turn, just contact me and I will send you the necessary money. I am a wealthy man, and I am a man of my word.”
Kuykendahl enthusiastically replied, “I will gladly take you up on this offer.”
The evangelist kept his word and tithed faithfully, but he never had to contact the businessman. At the end of the 12 months, the evangelist was meditating on what had happened. God had richly blessed him that year and had met every need. People gave him more than ever, and the family experienced many special blessings. As he contemplated these things, his heart was suddenly smitten, when he realized that he had readily trusted the word of a wealthy businessman but he had not been willing to trust the Word of the Living God, who had made even greater promises! “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” Luke 6:38
“What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours.” This sums up in modern vernacular what God has told you about tithes and offerings. Ten percent off the top, not after taxes or anything else, is God’s. (Hint* – if you need an accountant to figure out your tithe, you’re probably not doing what God says!) It is not an offering when you bring it into the storehouse, the church. It’s His money and you owe it to Him, no matter what. On the other hand, the other 90% is yours to do with as you choose. God has not told you what to do with it. He has not laid requirements on it. It is yours, by the grace of God, to do with as you choose, which includes giving an offering to God from a loving and thankful heart when you want to.
God lets you keep considerably more than the government does!
- Tithing, the practice of bringing 10% of your income from all sources to God, predates the law of Moses. It was practiced by Abraham, according to Genesis 14:18 – 20, and by Jacob, according to Genesis 28:20 – 22
- The Bible says to tithe ALL of your income. “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9,10 The simplest way to apply firstfruits in the 21st century is to recognize that it is all your before tax income. If you have any questions or doubts about it, take it humbly to the Lord and BE HONEST ABOUT IT!
- Remember this. Many times when a Christian decides to begin tithing, he will face some financial problems to test his decision. Expect that to happen to you! “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” James 1:2,3
II. God Claims 10%!
- Think about this! You were lost, bound for hell and eternity in the Lake of Fire. You were sold out to sin, because of the sin nature you inherited from Adam.
- But Jesus Christ, God’s own son, shed his blood for you, and bought you back. Jesus Christ the Lord purchased you with his own blood! Let that sink in. “Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:” 1Peter 1:18,19
- God bought you back when you were his enemy! “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Romans 5:10
- Yet, even though God paid for you 100% with his own blood, all he claims is 10%! He lets you keep the other 90%!
III. What’s Mine is Mine
- Make no mistake. God lets you freely keep 90% of all your income from all sources, but he also says, “What’s mine is mine.”
- God asks us, “Will a [mere] man rob God?” Who are we, created beings, to think that we can rob God? Who are we to think that we can wrest the scriptures and perform mental gymnastics to justify robbing God?
- God says, “Ye have robbed me.” Who is he talking to? Just the Jews, right? Not if you believe the scriptures. Tithing is something believers have done since the beginning. It was directly commanded of the Jews in the law of Moses.
- God the Son commanded Christians to give. “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38
- He also warned us about being greedy. “ And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.” Luke 12:15
- Our Lord also made it clear that he did not abolish the law. “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” Matthew 5:17 God does not change (Malachi 3:6). He still says, “What’s mine is mine.”
- God makes it clear that he wants all the tithes brought into the storehouse, which is his house, which the Bible clearly says is now the church (1Timothy 3:15)
IV. What’s Yours is Yours
- That brings us now to the astonishing fact that what’s yours is yours! 10% of your gross income from all sources is God’s, but 90% is yours to do with as you will. It’s all yours, with no strings attached. God did not say, “At least 10% is mine, and you will have to figure out what’s mine of the remainder in your particular case.”
- What’s yours is yours, with no strings attached. It is out of what is yours, the 90%, that you have the privilege as a child of God of making offerings. The 10% that God says is his is for the local church.
- You can do whatever you want to do with the remaining 90%. It is out of the 90% that we have the privilege of taking the gospel to other towns and even other countries to support missionaries and church planters.
- But how much of this 90% do I have to give for that purpose? None! God has not put any requirement on the 90%. It’s up to you. What’s yours is yours. What he says, which we will look at another time is, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2Corinthians 9:7 This is the amount you would put in an offering envelope and enter the amount where it says “Faith Promise Missions.” It is voluntary, decided or purposed in your heart with prayer, and is between you and God.
V. The Blessing of Obedience
- In these few short verses, God makes it clear that we rob God if we keep any or all of the tithe for ourselves. That’s his money. Then he warns that when we rob him, we live under a curse. Verse 11 mentions the devourer. He is a being who keeps people in poverty. Notice that the most pagan nations in this world, for all the potential bounty of their lands, are also some of the most poverty stricken. We ought to take note of that in our own personal lives and be thankful we are saved! God has promised to supply all our needs.
- But if it sometimes seems that no matter how many hours you work, no matter how much money you make, no matter how hard you try, something always comes up that makes it impossible to save, impossible to get ahead, perhaps always struggling to pay bills, the very first thing to look at is, are you tithing. I believe with all my heart that no Christian can afford not to tithe!
- Here is the blessing of obedience. God says to prove him in this. Notice that he is not talking about giving above the tithe here. He’s not talking about dipping into the 90% here. He is clearly saying that if you honestly bring his 10% to the storehouse, which is the local church, today, he will open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing that you won’t have room for. This blessing is both corporate – the whole church is blessed when everyone walks in obedience – and individual – when you walk in obedience, God’s blessing is upon you. It is when you walk in obedience that you discover an amazing fact, that you don’t need a big bank account and lots of stuff, because God, who says, “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” Psalm 50:10, is pouring out his blessing upon you at every moment as required, without limit.
- In a nutshell, God says, “What’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is yours.” It is folly for a believer to rob God. It is folly and robbing God for a believer to go through mental and spiritual gymnastics to justify keeping the mere 10% that God says is his. “Will a man rob God?” Is 90% not enough? Are we wiser than God? God will let us do it our way, but he will also remove his blessings and he won’t help us when we do. Only when we submit to God and walk in obedience will he hear our prayers and give us his blessing… but when we DO submit to him in obedience, he pours out his blessing, opening the windows of heaven that there will not be room enough to receive it. Is God blessing you? Is God answering your prayers? Does God seem silent? Christian brother. Christian sister. Submit to God and obey him. God will bless you when you do.