Billy Graham On Tithing
It comes as no surprise to me that Billy Graham has a succinct, yet powerful quote about tithing in his life that I believe to be 100% true as well:
We have found in our own homethat Gods blessing upon the nine-tenths, when we tithe, helps it to go farther than ten-tenths without His blessing. Rev. Billy Graham
Gods Promises For Tithing
God formally instituted tithing in the Old Covenant Law of Moses. The tithe was to be offered to the priests and was to be used to support the priests and the Levites. And as with most of the Law, Gods people werent very good at keeping up with the tithe.
Then, at the very end of the Old Testament, God speaks about the tithe through his last Old Covenant prophet Malachi and reveals two huge promises that are attached to the spiritual act of tithing. Listen to what he says.
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 heavenAnd pour out for you such blessingThat 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 Malachi 3:10-11
We Are Christians Through Faith Not By The Laws Of Moses
The death of Jesus Christ has set a new testament. In other words, there is no need for us to remain faithful to the law.
If you are still confused let me explain in simple terms.
Before the coming of Christ, the Jews were Gods only people because they were descendants of Abraham.
But there are other people living at that time. The non-jews were called gentiles and we not partakers of Gods promise to Abraham.
In other words, If you were to be an American, Australian, Canadian, or Nigerian before the coming of Jesus, there was no hope of eternal salvation .
But the moment Chris came and died, the grace of salvation became available to the whole world.
Meaning that You could simply believe that Christ is the savior of the world and live a sinless life, then you are partakers of the promise originally given to the jews.
So, you do not have to abide by the laws of Moses anymore. But by your conscience, you run away from evil because the laws of God is in your heart.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:
And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
Hebrews 8: 10-11
For this reason, there is no need for us to abide by the law. In verse 13, Paul said
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Deuteronomy 1: 11 Kjv
Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause his name to dwell there thither shall ye bring all that I command you your burnt offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the heave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the Lord:
Tithing In The Old Testament
There are numerous verses in the Old Testament about tithing. We can see that the Lord insists that we provide for the servants of God who He has placed in authority over is. We can also see that the Lord wants us to provide for the upkeep of our house of worship. The Lord takes our financial decisions seriously. We should seek to honor Him in how we handle the money He has entrusted into our care.
25) Leviticus 27:30-34 Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lords it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsmans staff, shall be holy to the Lord. One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy it shall not be redeemed.
26)Numbers 18:21 To the Levites I have given every tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service that they do, their service in the tent of meeting
27)Numbers 18:26 Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.
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Your Giving Reveals Whats Really Important To You
Jesus explained that earthly treasures will decay and fade away. Instead of using money for perishable possessions here on earth, it is better to invest in things that are eternal.
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Luke 12:3334
Christ Taught Us To Practice The Spirit Of The Law And Not The Letter Of The Law
We see this idea stated in the sermon on the mount:
Matthew 5:21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Matthew 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
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What Does The Bible Say About Tithing In Ten Steps
Closing Thoughts On Tithing In The New Testament
Many pastors and churches try to twist what the Bible says about tithing to suit what they are trying to accomplish. Its important that we know what the Bible teaches about tithing and more specifically what tithing in the New Testament looks like.
Its easy to say Christians should tithe. But that sells should what the Bible teaches. Jesus came and fulfilled the requirements of the law and gave us a new way to live. Because of what Jesus has done for us we should do the same for those around us. While the tithe is no longer required, generosity should be a marker of our lives. How can you be generous with what God has given you?
Thanks for reading this blog post! I hope that you enjoyed it and that it helped you better understand tithing in the New Testament. If you found this post helpful would you share it with a friend or on social media? That way more people can benefit from it as you have.
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What Does The Bible Say About Tithes And Offerings
There are numerous Bible verses about tithes and offerings. Abraham presented the first tithe when he gave the priest Melchizedek a tenth of all of his possessions. It wasnt until later that the practice of tithing became a requirement for the people of Israel.
Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand. Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. Genesis 14:1820
What Is The Tithe In The Bible
The tithe is a term that was common in the Old Testament. In essence the tithe was less of a gift as we think of it today and more of a tax for the Israelites. God commanded them to give back the first fruits of their income, crops, animals, etc this was how the nation of Israel was funded.
The first instance of a tithe is found in Genesis 14:18-20 in which Abraham, the father of Israel, offers a tithe. Later in the books of law where God lays out how his people should live much more instruction is given on how the tithe should work.
Leviticus 27:30-33 gives us a clear picture of what the tithe is: Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lords it is holy to the Lord. If a man wishes to redeem some of his tithe, he shall add a fifth to it. And every tithe of herds and flocks, every tenth animal of all that pass under the herdsmans staff, shall be holy to the Lord. One shall not differentiate between good or bad, neither shall he make a substitute for it and if he does substitute for it, then both it and the substitute shall be holy it shall not be redeemed.
Commonly today a tithe is considered to be 10%. And theres examples of that such as the first instance of a tithe that we looked at earlier in Genesis 14:20.
Its important to remember that tithing was first and foremost an act of worship commanded by God. But it was also how the nation of Israel was funded.
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The Laws Of Moses Were A Command
It is crucial we differentiate the Pre-law tithing from tithing during the law. In the days before the Mosiac laws were enacted, God did not command anyone to pay tithes.
This is because there were no laws on tithing.
However, after God saved the Israelites from Egypt, he gave them commandments they must obey. Theses commandments had dominion over the affair of the Israelites
In other words, the Israelites have no option. They must give to God what is required, or God will punish them.
God Promised To Bless Those That Kept His Commandments
Just like in the days of their father Abraham, God is always happy when his commandments are obeyed.
God blesses those that followed the laws and kept it faithfully.
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God
Deuteronomy 28: 1-2
You can read through Verse 3 through Verse 14 to see manifold blessings to the Israelites if they obey Gods commandments.
Therefore, it is not true to claim God blesses only those that pay tithes.
God required that they keep the whole of his laws. If they failed in one, they have failed in all.
For example, if you paid all your tithes and yet commit adultery, youve broken the laws of God. The curse of the law is on you.
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But She Gave Out Of Her Poverty
Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Its true that when wealthier people give, they tend to give more. But whats a couple of thousand dollars to someone who makes millions? Statistics tell us that people making $20,000 a year are eight times more likely to give than someone making $75,000.
Jesus shows us that hes paying attention, and it matters. God isnt impressed by those who give in a way thats never a sacrifice and requires no faith. On the contrary, hes looking for people who demonstrate their dedication in the way that they give.
What Moses Said About Tithing
In the second year of the Exodus, Moses informed the Israelites that they would be giving a tenth of their seed crops, fruit trees, and every tenth animal to the new Tabernacle. These instructions were Godâs commands and not just suggestions or best practices.
Itâs critical to recognize that tithing was central to Godâs law. Israelites didnât wait to feel inspired to tithe, they were expected to titheâand on top of that, they were encouraged to give freewill offerings.
What The Bible Says About Tithing
Lets examine 20 verses about giving and see if we cant get a birds eye view of the topic of tithing and generosity. Well look at some places that tithing shows up before the law, and then well look at how the topic changes after Moses comes onto the scene. Lastly, well look at the topic through the lens of the New Testament.
Do Not Put Your Hope In Wealth
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.
Take a moment and ask yourself what it looks like to put your hope in wealth. Does someone have to have a lot of money to put their hope in wealth? Of course not. A lot of people with meager means chase the promise of a windfall incomethe entire lottery system is built on this promise. We put our hope in wealth when were afraid to be generous.
Gods desire isnt for us to wear a hairshirt and deny ourselves any comfort. No. Paul tells us that God richly provides us everything for our enjoyment. But the hope is that we respond to his goodness by trusting him and living with open hearts and open hands.
And echoing Jesuss words, Paul assures us that as we live that way, we store up treasures in the coming age.
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My Personal Experience Tithing
Not long after I became a believer the company I worked for shut down their location in my city and I lost my job. While I was unemployed I ran across that passage in Malachi and decided it might be a good idea to start tithing.
Honestly I didnt really pay all that much attention to the blessings associated with tithing. But I did get that God was saying it was a good thing.
There was something in that passage that did jump out at me though. The NIV says in verse 10, Test me in this. That seemed fair to me.
I figured that God knew what my expenses were. He promises in His word that hell provide for everything I need because I was seeking His ways . Therefore I told God that Id start tithing with the expectation that He would provide what I needed plus 10% for the tithe. If it didnt work I figured Id given it a fair test and I could stop at any time.
But you know what? It did work! God is faithful to keep his promises. Go figure.
That was 20 years ago now and Ive always had enough and extra, so tithing has never been a challenge.
Now that Im beginning to understand the blessings that come with tithing Im starting to believe God for even more than just 10% extra to cover the tithe. Once again Im taking God at his word and putting Him to the test like he said in Malachi 3:10.
How about you? Are you willing to test Gods promises like He encourages you to do and start tithing to your local church? I promise you will be glad you did.
Should You Automate Tithing
Using some of the tools listed in the section above, you can make tithing automatic by automating it. While I am thrilled that technology is making it easier for us all to give, I personally like making a bit more of an event and use it as an opportunity to give in faith.
So even though we dont use checks anymore to tithe, we use the app on our phone and Linda and I do it together and pray over our giving each time we do.
It is just a simple way that we can still stay connected to our giving.
That said, for some people creating a set-it-and-forget-it approach to giving is the easiest way for them to stay consistent with it.
So if that is what you need to do, by all means, go for it. I would just encourage you to regularly remind yourself of what is happening automatically and pray over your giving.
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