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Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do, says the Lord..., I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!
-- Malachi 3:10
Why Donate to church, and what is tithing?
The tithe is 10% of your income, and it should be given to God faithfully. People who don't believe in tithing often argue that they work hard for their money and can't afford to give 10 percent to God's works. They don't understand--or choose not to remember--that it's God that gives them the ability to make a living and everything comes from Him (Psalm 24:1). You can't cheat God of what's His. For many people, once they understand the blessings of tithing they realize they can't afford not to tithe.
Tithing honors the Scriptural principles of generously providing for God's works in this world, giving to those in need, and laying up treasures in heaven.
Throughout Scripture, we are encouraged to give the first part of our resources to God as an expression of honor and gratitude. “Honor 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 first Biblical reference to tithing is recorded in Genesis 14:20, in which Abraham gave a tithe of his treasure to the high priest, Melchizedek. Five hundred years later, it's written that God set up a tithing law for the Israelites to support the priests and Levites serving in the Tent of Meeting (Numbers 18:21-16). Also, Jewish males paid annual temple taxes (Exodus 38:26). King Solomon demanded a temple tax and tithes to support temple priests when he built the first temple in Jerusalem in 960 B.C. When the temple was destroyed in 70 A.D., the temple tax stopped because there was no temple.
New Testament references on tithing include Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42, Luke 18:12 and Hebrews 7:8-9. Today, most churches encourage tithing, however, in some churches it's needed for membership.
In the New Testament, Jesus affirmed the practice of tithing (see Matthew 23:23), and the Apostle Paul encouraged Christians to give to those in need and to those who were ministering in the Gospel (see II Corinthians 9:6–15). When you tithe today, you enable those whom God has called to serve as pastors, missionaries, and ministry personnel to faithfully build up the Church and expand the kingdom of God.
Tithing provides greater wisdom in using your money wisely. It strengthens faith, giving peace of mind. By tithing, people receive opportunities to grow closer to God as they witness how he takes care of them. When you don't tithe, you miss the joy of knowing how God comes through in times of need, strengthening faith. Tithers are more prone to become involved with missions through prayer and serving. Also, tithing gives inner peace, as givers feel good they're making a difference in lives.
Tithing is often considered just giving money. Many believe tithing is taking 10 percent of an income after taxes. However, tithing is giving before taxes. The passage in Proverbs 3:9-1 supports this belief. "Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first fruits of all your increase so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine."
How to tithe
Tithing is one way to worship God—to honor Him as your provider and remind yourself that all of your resources belong to Him and are provided through His grace. As you give away that first 10% of your income, you set your course to honor God in the way you handle the rest of your finances.
When to Give
Consider your pay schedule, and establish a pattern of giving when your resources increase. This habit allows you to regularly remind yourself of God’s faithfulness and to express gratitude to Him by giving to meet the needs of others.
How to Give - Your motives for giving are important to God. “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” (II Corinthians 9:7–8). Give with the expectation that God will faithfully supply whatever you need so that you can abound in good works!
The practice of tithing provides a regular reminder of your dependence on God. In good times, tithing helps you remember that God is the source of all blessings, and it allows you to demonstrate your gratitude for His care. In hard times, tithing motivates you to remember God’s faithfulness, and it enables you to demonstrate trust in God to provide for all of your needs.
In Deuteronomy 14:22–23, God instructed the Israelites: “Thou shalt truly tithe all the increase of thy seed . . . . of thy corn, of thy wine, and of thine oil, and the firstlings of thy herds and of thy flocks; that thou mayest learn to fear the Lord thy God always.” Whatever your current situation, tithing is a key to learning to live in the fear of God.
As Christians, we are challenged to set our hearts on what truly matters, not on the frivolous things of the earth. (See Colossians 3:1–2.) Jesus challenged His disciples, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not beak through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:19–21).
Giving a tithe and giving beyond the tithe are ways that you can honor God and reach out to meet the needs of others. “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10).