Our offerings are an act of worship. The offering during the worship service provides believers the opportunity to respond in gratitude to the grace, love, and mercy of God and to put their faith and trust in the Lord into action. The offering to God each Sunday is an act of worship just like confessing the Creed, singing the hymns, hearing the sermon, and engaging in prayer. The following Bible verses will provide encouragement for your members to give and will help them grow in their understanding of biblical stewardship.
It is suggested that you intersperse Old Testament and New Testament verses throughout the year. The following list provides a large number of giving verses, but it is not an exhaustive list. Hopefully, you will over time add more verses to this list.
Here is a suggestion for use in the bulletin folder:
THE OFFERING VERSE:
“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).
THE GATHERING OF OUR TITHES AND OFFERINGS.
The following giving and stewardship Bible verses are provided in the English Standard Version (ESV) translation.
Genesis 4:4 – “And Abel brought the best, the choicest parts of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering.”
Genesis 8:20 – “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.”
Exodus 23:19 – For the three annual festivals, Moses tells the people, “The best of the first fruits of your ground you shall bring into the house of the Lord your God.”
Exodus 35:4-5 – “Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, ‘This is the thing that the Lord has commanded. Take from among you a contribution to the Lord. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord’s contribution …’”
Exodus 25:1 – “The Lord said to Moses, “‘Speak to the people of Israel, that they take for Me a contribution. From every man whose heart moves Him you shall receive the contribution for Me.’”
Exodus 35:21 – “And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for its service, and for the holy garments.”
Leviticus 27:30 – “Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.”
Deuteronomy 14:22-23 – “You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the Lord your God, in the place that He will choose, to make His name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always.”
Deuteronomy 16:16b, 17 – “They shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that He has given you.”
1 Chronicles 29:11 – “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and You are exalted as head above all.”
1 Chronicles 29:14 – King David said, “But who am I and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you.”
Psalm 4:5 – “Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD.”
Psalm 54:6 – “With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to You; I will give thanks to Your name, O LORD, for it is good.”
Psalm 56:12 – “I must perform my vows to You, O God; I will render thank offerings to You.”
Psalm 61:8 – “So will I ever sing praises to Your name, as I perform my vows day after day.”
Psalm 96:7-8 –“Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Ascribe to the LORD the glory due His name; bring an offering, and come into His courts!”
Psalm 100:4 – “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!”
Psalm 110:3 – “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of Your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours.”
Psalm 116:12-14 – “What shall I render to the LORD for all His benefits to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all His people.”
Proverbs 3:9 – “Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce.”
Proverbs 11:24 – “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.”
Proverbs 11:25 – “Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”
Proverbs 28:27 – “Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.”
Malachi 3:10 – “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
Matthew 5:16 – “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father Who is in heaven.”
Matthew 5:23-24 – “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.”
Matthew 6:19-20 – “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
Matthew 6:21 – “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Matthew 6:25 – “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?”
Matthew 23:23 – “Woe to you Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law, justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done without neglecting the others.”
Matthew 25:40 – “And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me.’”
Mark 8:35-36 – “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?”
Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Luke 7:36-38 – “One of the Pharisees asked to eat with him and He went into the Pharisee’s house and took His place at the table. And behold, a woman of the city, who was a sinner, when she learned that He was reclining at table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask f ointment, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head and kissed His feet and anointed them with the ointment.”
Luke 12:15 – “And He said to them, ‘Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.’”
Luke 12:48b – “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more.”
Luke 16:11 – “If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth (money), who will entrust to you the true riches?”
Luke 19:1-8 – “And there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich … and Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.’”
Luke 21:1-4 – “Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”
John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Acts 4:32-35 – “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”
Acts 20:35b – “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Romans 12:13 – “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.”
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 – “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit with you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
1 Corinthians 16:2 – “On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.”
2 Corinthians 8:3-5 – “For gave according to their means. As I can testify and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us.”
2 Corinthians 8:7 – “But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.”
2 Corinthians 8:12-13 – “For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that they may be fairness.”
2 Corinthians 9:6 – “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
2 Corinthians 9:-7 – “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
2 Corinthians 9:8 – “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
2 Corinthians 9:11 – “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:12 – “For the ministry of this service (giving) is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.”
2 Corinthians 9:15 – “Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!”
Galatians 6:9-10 – “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
Ephesians 5:1-2 – “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
Philippians 4:18 – “I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”
1 Timothy 6:10-11 – “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.”
1 Timothy 6:17-18 – “As for the rich in this present age, charge them no to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold that which is truly life.”
Hebrews 6:10 – “For God is not unjust as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His name in serving the saints, as you still do.”
Hebrews 13:15-16 – “Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
James 1:25 – “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
1 Peter 4:10 – “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.”
1 John 3:17 – “But if anyone has the world’s good and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart again him, how does God’s love abide in him.”
Download Images for Use:
There is no argument when it comes to giving to God. It all belongs to Him – ALL OF IT – period. (Psalm 24:1) When King David and all his people had given so willingly, generously and sacrificially to build God’s temple, He said to God, “Who am I, and what is my people that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you” (1 Chronicles 29:14). David knew what most people today still don’t get: we never give God anything of ours. Everything we have came from Him.
Mark Batterson, in his excellent book, ALL IN, writes: “I cannot prove this quantitatively, but I know it’s true: the more you give away, the more you will enjoy what you have. If you give God the tithe, you’ll enjoy the 90 percent you keep 10 percent more. You’ll also discover that God can do more with 90 percent than you can do with 100 percent … Most of us spend most of our lives accumulating the wrong things. We’ve bought into the consumerist lie that more is more. But in God’s upside-down economy, our logic is backward. You ultimately lose whatever you keep and you ultimately keep whatever you lose for the cause of Christ.”
Jack Graham, who pastors the great Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, said, “The purpose of tithing is to teach us to put God first in our lives. God doesn’t need our money. Instead, He wants what our money represents: our priorities, passions, purposes. Make a commitment to tithe and dedicate yourself to it. And more than anything … trust God and let Him prove His promises.”
Tithing is giving back to God 10% of whatever He blesses us with financially. God said, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. ‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘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 3:10/NIV1984)
Dr. Charles Stanley explains the storehouse generally meant “His tabernacle or temple in the Old Testament, and the church in the New Testament. We are to give our tithes wherever we regularly worship the Lord – not only to care for the church building and those who work there but to support the expansion of His kingdom by spreading the gospel and ministering to the community for His name’s sake.”
Tithing is not the finish line in giving. It’s the starting line. Every Christian ought to at least be a faithful tither of everything God gives them. It’s hard to “run the race” that has been set before you (Hebrews 12:1) if you haven’t begun to trust God with your finances. Why is it so easy for us to trust God to save us? But, when it comes to trusting Him with our money (more accurately, the money He has given us), we struggle? Especially when He’s told us to bring the whole tithe and “test Him” to see if He won’t “open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing” that we won’t have room enough for it.
You may have heard arguments against tithing. Here are 6 arguments FOR tithing:
(1) The LOGICAL argument.
Consider the logic. In Matthew 5:27, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Jesus raised the standard to a higher level than before.
In Matthew 5:21, Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment.” Once again, Jesus raised the standard to a higher level than before.
Over and over again, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “You have heard it said, but I say to you,” and He raised everything to a higher level than before. So what makes people think, when it comes to tithing, Jesus would now say, “I understand about the tithe, giving 10% back to God in the Old Testament. But here’s how it works now: you just decide whatever you want to give and whatever you want to give is fine with Me.”
Some will quote 2 Corinthians 9:7 where Paul said, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver,” as their response. However, the context is an over and above, “love offering” for the poor saints in Jerusalem. In the case of love offerings above and beyond the tithe, each one should decide in his own heart, and we should give cheerfully and generously as we are able.
(2) The CUSTODIAL argument.
Whose money is this anyway? The fact is we brought nothing into this world and won’t be taking anything out of this world (Job 1:21). We’re just privileged custodians, and we’re supposed to be faithful stewards (1 Corinthians 4:2) of whatever blessings God gives us for a few years here on earth. He gives them, and He can take them away (Haggai 1:5-11). Because He’s God and everything belongs to Him and everything we have comes from Him, we’re to honor Him with the “first fruits of all our produce (income)” (Proverbs 3:9-10).
Even when we are faithful tithers (giving 10% of our income back to God), we need to keep in mind the 90% left over is STILL HIS. We’re just managers. Stewards. Custodians.
(3) The BIBLICAL argument.
Tithing is a Bible doctrine not just an Old Testament teaching (Malachi 3:8-12; Leviticus 27:30; Deuteronomy 12:11; Proverbs 3:9-10). It’s in the New Testament, which comes as a surprise to many. Especially to those who don’t tithe and have used that erroneous claim as an excuse not to do so. We have two reliable eyewitness accounts in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 where Jesus affirmed and encouraged the practice of tithing. In Luke 18:12, Jesus used the example of tithing in telling a parable to illustrate the folly of self-righteousness. If tithing were only for the Old Testament Israelites and had no bearing whatsoever on, or importance to, anyone living during New Testament times or beyond, why would Jesus use it in an illustration when He’s communicating biblical truths?
Tithing is also mentioned in Hebrews 7:1-10 no less than seven times. It recounts how Abraham gave tithes (or a tenth) to Melchizedek the king/priest. The point of the passage is that Jesus is better than Melchizedek and His priesthood is far superior to that of Melchizedek’s.
By the way, Abraham did this long before the law was ever established. So did Jacob. In Genesis 28; after Jacob had an incredible dream about how God was going to bless him and use him, he set up a memorial stone and made a commitment “of all that you give me I will give a full tenth to you” (Genesis 28:22).
(4) The CHRISTOLOGICAL argument.
What did Jesus say about tithing?
Matthew 23:23, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”
Luke 11:42, “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others.”
If tithing were irrelevant or unnecessary, wouldn’t Jesus have said, “Why are you still tithing? You don’t have to do that anymore.” Instead, when referencing tithing, He said, “These you ought to have to done.”
Tithing is also clearly implied in what Jesus said in Matthew 22:21, “Therefore render (or give) to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” How would they know what was Caesar’s? Simple. Caesar told them. Just like Uncle Sam does today, and it is always a percentage of our income.
(5) The TEMPORAL argument.
Think about this … We give at least 15%, more likely 18-20% to “temporary servants” for “temporary meals” in a “temporary world.” So why would we give less than that to The Eternal God of the universe Who has given us eternal life and blessings, which, if we were honest, would take us an eternity just to list them all?
(6) The FINAL argument.
In the final analysis, what are you going to be glad you did once you step out into eternity? Some people excuse the fact they don’t tithe by saying they tithe in other ways. The Bible says, “A tithe of everything belongs to the Lord and is holy to the Lord” (Leviticus 27:30). We should tithe our time and our talents, etc. But we must also tithe our treasure (Proverbs 3:9-10; Malachi 3:8-12; Matthew 22:21).
Do you want to stand before God and explain why you looked for every opportunity and rationalization you could find to get out of giving what was rightfully His?
Do you want to have to answer why you gave yourself the best and gave Him leftovers? If there was anything left over. Even though Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Or do you want to hear God say, “Well done, good and faithful servant”?
Luke 21:1-4 tells us one day Jesus was watching what people gave as they put their gifts in the “offering box.” He noticed several rich people putting their gifts in and Luke says, “He saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”
Jesus’ point was: out of her pittance came abundance. Out of their abundance came pittance. We can’t say our heart is right until our treasure is right.
… and it all begins with the tithe.
Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21).
© 2014. Barry L. Cameron
How does our willingness to pay tithes and offerings show gratitude to our Heavenly Father for all His blessings to us?
We have been given commandments to help us prepare in every way to live in the presence of our Heavenly Father. He has given us a way to thank Him for our blessings. Willingly paying tithes and offerings is one way we thank Him. As we pay these offerings, we show that we love Him and will obey His counsel.
In what ways does the payment of tithes and offerings help us thank our Heavenly Father?
Obeying the Law of Tithing
What is an honest tithe?
For teachers: Use questions at the beginning of a section to start a discussion and send class members or family members to the text to find more information. Use questions at the end of a section to help class members or family members ponder and discuss the meaning of what they have read and apply it in their lives.
Anciently, Abraham and Jacob obeyed the commandment to pay a tithe of one-tenth of their increase (see Hebrews 7:1–10; Genesis 14:19–20; 28:20–22).
In modern times the Prophet Joseph Smith prayed, “O Lord, show unto thy servants how much thou requirest of the properties of thy people for a tithing” (D&C 119, section introduction). The Lord answered: “This shall be the beginning of the tithing of my people. And after that, those who have thus been tithed shall pay one-tenth of all their interest annually; and this shall be a standing law unto them forever” (D&C 119:3–4). The First Presidency has explained that “one-tenth of all their interest annually” refers to our income (see First Presidency letter, Mar. 19, 1970).
When we pay tithing we show our faithfulness to the Lord. We also teach our children the value of this law. They will want to follow our example and pay tithing on any money they receive.
In what ways is tithing a principle of faith more than a principle of finances?
What can parents do to teach their children to pay tithing and understand its importance?
We Should Give Willingly
Why is our attitude important as we pay tithing?
It is important to give willingly. “When one pays his tithing without enjoyment he is robbed of a part of the blessing. He must learn to give cheerfully, willingly and joyfully, and his gift will be blessed” (Stephen L Richards, The Law of Tithing , 8).
The Apostle Paul taught that how we give is as important as what we give. He said, “Let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
What does it mean to you to be a “cheerful giver”?
Tithing and Other Offerings
In what ways does the Church use tithing funds and other offerings?
As members of the Church, we give tithing and other offerings to the Lord.
Tithing is used by the Church for many purposes. Some of these are to:
Build, maintain, and operate temples, meetinghouses, and other buildings.
Provide operating funds for stakes, wards, and other units of the Church. (These units use the funds to carry out the ecclesiastical programs of the Church, which include teaching the gospel and conducting social activities.)
Help the missionary program.
Educate young people in Church schools, seminaries, and institutes.
Print and distribute lesson materials.
Help in family history and temple work.
Fast Offerings. Church members fast each month by going without food and drink for two consecutive meals. They contribute at least the amount of money they would have spent for the meals. They may give as generously as they are able. This offering is called the fast offering. Bishops use these fast offerings to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical care for the needy. (See chapter 25 in this book.)
As part of the fast day, members attend a meeting called the fast and testimony meeting, where they share with each other their testimonies of Christ and His gospel.
Other Donations. Church members may donate to other efforts of the Church, such as missionary work, the Perpetual Education Fund, temple construction, and humanitarian aid.
Service. Members also offer their time, skills, and goods to help others. This service allows the Church to help needy members and nonmembers around the world at community, national, and international levels, especially when disasters occur.
We Are Blessed When We Give Tithes and Offerings
The Lord promises to bless us as we faithfully pay our tithes and offerings. He said, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith … 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).
Latter-day revelation tells of another blessing for those who tithe: “Verily it is a day of sacrifice, and a day for the tithing of my people; for he that is tithed shall not be burned at his coming” (D&C 64:23).
The blessings we have been promised are both material and spiritual. If we give willingly, Heavenly Father will help us provide for our daily needs of food, clothes, and shelter. Speaking to Latter-day Saints in the Philippines, President Gordon B. Hinckley said that if people “will accept the gospel and live it, pay their tithes and offerings, even though those be meager, the Lord will keep His ancient promise in their behalf, and they will have rice in their bowls and clothing on their backs and shelter over their heads. I do not see any other solution. They need a power greater than any earthly power to lift them and help them” (“Inspirational Thoughts,” Ensign, Aug. 1997, 7). The Lord will also help us grow “in a knowledge of God, and in a testimony, and in the power to live the gospel and to inspire our families to do the same” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Heber J. Grant , 124).
Those who pay their tithes and offerings are greatly blessed. They have a good feeling that they are helping to build the kingdom of God on earth.
What are some blessings you, your family members, or your friends have received through the payment of tithing and other offerings?
D&C 119:1–4 (the law of tithing)
Genesis 14:18–20; Alma 13:13–16 (Abraham paid tithes)
Tithe & Offering Scriptures
While visiting in a neighborhood near our church, I met a man who responded to my introduction by saying, “Oh, you are the preacher who makes everyone pay ten percent to the church.”
“No, you are not talking about me,” I replied. “There is no way that I can make people pay ten percent of their wages to the church if they do not wish. I do not have that authority. The people who pay ten percent, or a tithe, of their income do so because they want to.”
Why do people tithe to the church? The reasons are many. As I considered my own motivation, I discovered at least 10 reasons to tithe and why I give ten percent of my income to the church. A study of these reasons will help us to understand the great blessing of tithing and the biblical responsibility to tithe.
1. To Honor the Creator.
“Render… unto God the things that are God’s” (Matthew 22:21).
Acquisitiveness is one of the basic drives of mankind. Children grasp their toys and cry, “Mine!” Someone has noted three attitudes in the parable of the good Samaritan. The priest and the Levite had the attitude, “What’s mine is mine and I’m going to keep it!” The thieves had the attitude “What’s yours is mine, and I’m going to get it!” The Samaritan had the attitude, ‘What’s mine is yours, and you can have it.” There is another attitude that should permeate our thinking, even above the commendable attitude of the Samaritan. That is, “Everything we have belongs to God, and we are stewards of His goods’”
God owns the entire world and its substance. “The earth is the LORD”S, and the fulness thereof” (Psalm 24:1). “Behold, all souls are mine” (Ezekiel 18:4). “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine” (Haggai2:8). It is God who gives people the power to obtain wealth (Psalm 75:6-7; Ecclesiastes 5:19). We are not to glory in what God has given us, but to glory in Him (Jeremiah 9:23-24).
Why should I be grudge God ten percent when everything actually belongs to Him? If it were not for Him, there would be no land, no seed, no strength, no income, and no life. How generous He is to tell us, “”he tithe… is the LORD’S”! (Leviticus 27:30).
2. To Acknowledge My Heritage.
“And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29).
Abraham was the first tithe payer of record(Genesis 14:20). Abraham’s grandson, Jacob, paid tithes (Genesis 28:22). Scripture says that Levi, Abraham’s descendant and the father of the tribe from which the priesthood came, paid tithes in Abraham (Hebrews 7:9). My heritage of paying a tithe precedes the law of Moses. As a child of Abraham and an heir of the promise of Abraham. I acknowledge my family relationship by paying tithes.
Jesus said to the Jews, “If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham” (John 8:39). It would be strange to claim to be a child of Abraham and yet to neglect one of Abraham’s most fundamental and noteworthy acts. I pay my tithes as a spiritual descendant of Abraham, the father of the faithful.
3. To Fulfill the Covenant.
“For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious” (II Corinthians 3:11).
In every comparison of the law of Moses and the new covenant that came by Jesus Christ, the new covenant stands supreme. The characteristic word in the Book of Hebrews is better, and everything is better about the new covenant. If the law demanded tithes, then how much more should we who are under the “perfect law of liberty” give our tithes willingly. (See James 1:25). If the law is written in the fleshly tables of our hearts and we follow God’s commands not from outward rules but because of our new nature, then how quickly and how easily we should give the tenth that belongs to the Lord” (See II Corinthians 3:3-6).
Some people say, “Oh, we do not pay tithes, because tithing was under the law.” If that is a sufficient reason for not paying tithes, then we could also mistreat our parents, for the law said, Honour thy father and thy mother” (Exodus 20:12). In actuality, we honor our father and mother and we give our tithes because the principles of the law are written in our hearts by the Spirit of God. We give willingly and liberally because the Spirit motivates us to give what God has said is His.
4. To Show My Love.
“Many waters cannot quench love” (Song of Solomon 8:7).
Love is the strongest motivation in the world. I have seen bumper stickers that say, “If you love Jesus, honk you horn!” Anyone can honk his horn. But David said, “Neither will I offer…unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing” (II Samuel 24:24). Someone should print a sticker that says, “If you love Jesus, pay your tithes!”
For someone who genuinely loves the Lord, the tithe is only the beginning of his giving. He gives not only his tithe, but also offerings (plural), not grudgingly and not of necessity, but cheerfully with love.
5. To Fulfill an Obligation.
“Ye pay tithe…:these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23).
Jesus did not criticize the Pharisees for paying tithes. He commended them. He said it was something they “ought” to have done. The word ought expresses an obligation or duty. It is one of the strongest words in the English language. To pay tithes is something every Christian ought to do.
The word ought has three meanings: (a) obligation or duty; as in, “He ought to pay his debts”, (b) desirability; as in, “You ought to eat more slowly”, (c) expectancy or probability; as in, “I ought to be through by Monday.” Each one of these meanings puts an obligation upon the Christian. It is desirable for him to pay his tithes, he is expected to pay his tithes, and he has a duty to pay his tithes.
6. To Escape Condemnation.
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me… in tithes and offerings” (Malachi 3:8).
How sad it is that people who are honest in business and who pay their debts to the bank, the store, and the government will not pay God what belongs to Him! Sometimes people quibble about whether they are “paying” or “giving” tithes, but both terms seem appropriate. The tithe is the Lord’s and He expects us to pay it to Him; at the same time, He does not receive it until we give it to Him. He does not give us the authority to use His tithes for other purposes, but we have the power to spend it as long as it is in our hands. Nevertheless, a person is condemned if he spends God’s money.
7. To Spread the Gospel.
“So hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel” (I Corinthians 9:14).
God has ordained for people to be saved by the preaching of the gospel (I Corinthians 1:21). “How shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14).
Tithing is God’s way of supporting the ministry. In the Old Testament, the Levites and the priest were God’s minister to the nation of Israel, and they were supported by tithes. In the New Testament, God has called people to minister the gospel. These ministers can be more effective if they do not have to provide for their livelihood by working on a secular job but can devote themselves full time to the work of God. They need time to give themselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word.
It is not wrong for a man to labor with his hands, nor should a minister feel too good to engage in honest labor. Yet God’s plan is for those who preach the gospel to live of the gospel. When God inspired Moses to write that the people should not put a muzzle on the box that labored, God was not as concerned with the ox as He was with the principle that a laborer should receive his livelihood from his work. The application of this principle is that the minister of the gospel should earn his living from his ministry. (See I Corinthians 9:9-14).
Some ministers have endured financial hardships and deprivation in order to proclaim the gospel in needy areas. If the tithing income insures that the minister can live in a good house, drive a good car, and buy sufficient clothes for his family, why should I begrudge providing these things to a man who would preach the gospel even if he had to work on a secular job to do it? It is a disgrace to a church if the pastor has to take a secular job to supply his family’s needs when there should be sufficient tithing income available to allow him to do God’s work on a full-time basis. My tithing ca help to spread the gospel.
8. To Avoid a Curse.
“Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me” (Malachi 3:9).
Someone has said, “You can’t outgive God, and you can’t outsqueeze Him either.”
Some people put their money into “a big with holes” (Haggai 1:6). They do not give God His tithe, bit they eventually spend the money for automobile repairs, medical bills, and a thousand other things that they might have avoided if they had been faithful to God in their giving.
God said that the whole nation of Israel was cursed because they had not given God His due. God asked Israel to dedicate the gold of Jericho to Him, but Achan took a wedge of gold and hid it in a tent. It became a curse to him and his whole family.
I do not want God to curse my blessings. I want to give Him His tithe.
9. To Enjoy God’s Blessing.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse… 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). (See also Luke 6:38).
God blesses the people who pay tithes. They do not always have the most money or the best clothes, but they are blessed.
However, I am wary of those who promise, “If you give God a dollar, He will give you back four.” The expectation of a return should not be our motivation for giving. And His richest blessings are not necessarily monetary.
But I do want God to notice me and remember me. He noticed that the window put money into the treasury at the Temple. He noticed what Cornelius was giving. He noticed what Israel was not giving. He knows what we give and He notices when we give.
God has asked us to prove Him and see if He will not give us His blessings. I have trusted Him, tested Him, and tried Him, and I have concluded that it is better to give God what belongs to Him.
10. To Be Consistent.
“Be thou an example of the believers” (I Timothy 4:12).
For most of my ministry. I have lived on tithing income. How could I receive tithes and not pay tithes? I could not do so and be consistent. The Levites, who received tithes, also paid tithes on what they received (Nehemiah 10:38). Preachers who receive tithes should be most faithful to pay them.
Paying tithes will not save a person-everyone must be born again to be saved. But paying tithes will reap a blessing. Genuine Christian not only pay tithes, but they willingly pay tithes.
Tithe & Offering Scriptures