March 22, 2023
Being Generous to the Church
The Apostle Paul - “Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
he Bible teaches that we should be generous in tithing to our church. A tithe is the first 10% of our income. It is to be given through the church so the church can (1) provide for the needs of hurting people (2) disciple children, teens, and adult members and attendees and (3) support missions and ministry both locally and around the world. However, even more than what is done with the money that is given, we learn from the Bible that “The purpose of tithing is to teach you to always put God first in your lives.” (Deuteronomy 14:23 LB)
This leads us to two questions. First, how are Christians today doing with their tithing? According to Randy Alcorn, “The average modern-day Christian gives only 2.5% of their income…” To be honest, he wrote that percentage a few years before the Covid-19 pandemic began. Most likely, that percentage is much lower today. Second, how does God feel about His people neglecting to tithe faithfully to Him? We find a glimpse of that answer in Malachi where the Lord says, “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob Me… in tithes and offerings. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this… and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (Malachi 3:8-10 NIV)
When we fail to tithe we are robbing God in at least three ways. First, when we fail to tithe, we are robbing the Lord of being “first” in our lives. This is like us praying, “Lord, thanks for saving me and for all of Your blessings in my life. I know You want to be first, but I’ve reserved that spot for myself.” I don’t want to say those words to Jesus and I’m sure you don’t either. Second, when we fail to tithe, we are robbing our church of the opportunity to minister to hurting people and advance God’s ministry around the world. This is like us looking into the faces of the hurting and lost around the world and saying, “Look, I know my church is reaching out to you and even feeding some of you, but I don’t want to participate. Hope everything turns out ok.” I don’t want to say that to the lost and hurting of the world and I hope you don’t either. Finally, when we fail to tithe, we are robbing ourselves of God’s supernatural provision and protection. That’s like us looking into the mirror and saying to ourselves, “You aren’t worth God’s provision and protection because you’re either too selfish to be generous or you simply don’t want to prioritize the Lord.” I know none of us wants to say that to ourselves. It looks like the best option for us to take is to not rob God of our tithes and offerings in the first place.
FOLLOW UP ACTIVITY
In your journal or on a piece of paper, write out a prayer to the Lord, asking Him to help you put Him first in your life by tithing faithfully. Then, pray it out loud three times, asking the Lord to make it real in your life. If you’re leading your family through this devotion, guide each one of them to complete the individual assignment above.
PRAYER FOR TODAY
Lord, thank You for Your blessings in my life. Help me to always be faithful to You in my tithes and offerings. In Jesus name, Amen.