How much should we tithe?

Posted: March 7, 2015 in Numbers, thought to ponder
Tags: , ,

Could you name the three without looking at the bill?

“I barely have enough.”

This is one of the most overheard lines in a life of a Bible School student (or any student, for that matter). For someone who lives a life of faith, literally waiting for the Lord to provide for the expenses, and when the funds come, it is usually just enough.

For pastors, the vast majority are “living by faith”, which means dependent on the congregation for their income. Back in the 80’s and early 90’s, it is unheard of for a pastor to be doing bivocational jobs, or having a “day” job. Times are changing. We do have some pastors who are called to be tent-makers. I do, however, respect that there are pastors called for full-time (that’s a topic we could discuss for another post).

This post points to the question, “should pastors, or Bible school students, tithe?” However, the principle also applies to those who are not pastors and Bible school students.

(Read Numbers 18)

The Lord was giving instructions to the Israelites regarding the Levites. They are a tribe who wouldn’t own any land as their inheritance is the Lord (Deut. 10:9). The Israelites were told to give their tithes, which is a tenth of what the land produced (Deut. 14:22). This is where we take the idea of tithing ten percent (10%) of our income. From the tithes, the Levites will get a portion alloted for them but they were also given a specific instruction to set aside a portion for their tithes.

The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the Lord’s offering.” (Num. 18:25-26)

That was a specific command to the Levites. It applies to us, “Levites”, today. For the functions and duties of a Levite is similar to pastors and Bible school students. We, who served at the house of the Lord.

Wait a minute!“, you might say. “But that’s a passage in the Old Testament!

The Apostle Paul (That’s in the New Testament) told the Corinthian church the following:

#1 Give what is according to your heart (2 Cor. 9:8).

Remember that a tithe is an offering unto the Lord. Think of Cain and Abel. God accepted what Abel offered because he gave wholeheartedly. He gave in faith. For when he gave the first of his flock, it is like saying…”Lord, I’m not sure if I would be able to profit the next time but I trust that you are providing, hence I return what you gave in the first place.” Cain, on the other hand, gave but it wasn’t what God wanted because it was not the first fruits. It was the leftovers.

#2 Not reluctantly or under compulsion (2 Cor. 9:8)

Sometimes, we are forced to place something in the offering plate specially when the usher is moving slowly during the portion of tithes. But we are not to be forced. Tithing is a private matter. So it also defies the logic of a certain sect who would call up companies to collect tithes from their members.

#3 Give cheerfully (2 Cor. 9:8)

I would always end with the words, “Smile as you give“, simply because God loves a cheerful giver. Giving has to be done cheerfully. I wonder how many churches could have an upbeat tempo when giving is being done instead of a somber music.

So there you go. Both Old Testament and the New Testament points out that giving our tithes is something that God requires of us. But He wants us to give cheerfully and generously, not just ten percent, but rather, what is in our hearts to give.

  1. Alden says:

    aaaaaaaamen!!! 🙂
    thanks Pastor Gabo..

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