What the tithe?
[mk_dropcaps style="fancy-style"]T[/mk_dropcaps]here is no more fitting kick off to talking about money and our emotional connection to it than tithing. Not knowing your background and understanding of what the tithe is let me clarify first. Know there is far more than what I will address on tithing in this brief post so if you are left with more questions than answers, I encourage you to dive into scripture on your own for revelation on this topic. I start here not just because the tithe refers to the first 10% of our income (increase), but because without this the rest of the topics this month will lack the ease that comes with this as your foundation. If you can master the test of the tithe you will have the favor of heaven and our very God rest on you and your finances. Now to clarify, what is the tithe? Scripture refers to it as the first fruits or first 10% of all you produce. In today's language that means 10% of all your income. Where do you give it? Into the house of God. If you are not planted in a church then this is not as clear. Consider finding a home church to tithe into as a part of the process of becoming anchored. Where we are fed spiritually is where we should sow our seed of the tithe. When do you give it? Every time you get income, and as the very first thing you do with your money. I am not religious when I say this, but this actually is quite important as Proverbs 3:9-10 says:
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.[/mk_blockquote]
If you wait to tithe, chances are you will not have the full tithe, and while tithe does mean tenth, here it is quite plain that this should be given first. The process of tithing as my first act with my income is really a form of worship and I see it as a way to honor God with what He has blessed me with. In the way only God can do with this obedience of the tithe God blesses all the remaining finances. And I can tell you while things have not always been abounding financially, I have always had my needs met under the blessing this brings. In Malachi 3:9-11 God promises favor and protection with the tithe:
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]"Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,”says the Lord of hosts,“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts; “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,”Says the Lord of hosts.[/mk_blockquote]
IF that is not incentive enough let me put it this way: you can either be in complete control of your own money having 100% but outside of the blessing of God. Or you can have 90% and know you have heaven behind you to pour out even more blessing. One has an unstoppable power behind it with the power of God, while the other is limited to your insight, wisdom, and current resources. It seems pretty plain to me which one to choose, but there is still more to this than just the discipline of giving 10% of your tithe. God is not after our money. After all, EVERYTHING is already his anyway. The reason we tithe is to keep our hearts invested in the house of God.
[mk_blockquote style="line-style" font_family="none" text_size="16" align="center"]For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21[/mk_blockquote]
God is after our heart. We spend money on what we value. Tithing then is a fail safe way to keep God at the center of your heart and life. If you never have done it, there is no better time than now to do it. God even invites you to test him in the power of the blessing of the tithe. It is not my reputation, but His that is on the line. Test it. Watch what He does when you are obedient to this not just once, but as a pattern of your life.