Ten then, but now?
Reading: Malachi 3:1-12
"God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Cor 9:7b)
One of the commonest questions of Christians is, Is tithing compulsory? This is the question of a thankless heart. For all that God has bestowed on us, the tithe, that is the one tenth, is the minimum we can give Him to thank and honour Him.
Abraham tithed when there was no law of tithing (Gen 14:20). His was a voluntary act of thanksgiving. His grandson Jacob voluntarily promised God, "Of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You" (Gen 28:22).
This voluntary practice became a law of God to His people when the Nation of Israel was constituted. The Law given through Moses says, "All the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord" (Lev 27:30).
The Scribes and Pharisees of Jesus' day were tithing of even "mint and anise and cummin," but they left out justice and mercy and faith. So He taught them that the act of tithing must be done in the attitude of love (Mt 23:23).
We have the New Covenant following the death of Christ, and under this there is no legalistic teaching on tithing. Because the New Covenant is a "better" Covenant, better methods of giving are taught: Cheerful giving (2 Cor 9:7), Liberal giving (2 Cor 8:2), Sacrificial giving (2 Cor 8:3). Therefore for a Christian today tithing is a good place to "start," but he must grow in it. We must give and give and keep on giving until it affects us! That which costs us nothing is worth nothing (2 Sam 24:24).
A poor widow gave away all she had (Mk 12:41-44). Mary poured out all her savings (Mk 14:3-9). Jesus praised both of them profusely. Going from "tithe" to "total" is part of Christian growth (2 Cor 8:7). Those who don't even give a tenth of their income to God are called thieves and robbers (Mal 3:8).
have entered second half of this year today. If in your life and family
you don't have the habit of setting aside atleast ten percent of your
income for God, begin today. Don't start spending immediately after you
receive your salary. Kneel down before God, thank Him for His blessing,
set aside His portion, and after that go ahead with your payments and
purchase. This is a healthy habit.
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