Patsy Sorrels, columnist
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Let’s talk tithing … a subject most pastors dread teaching and most Christians dread doing. Can’t say that I blame them. The word tithing has the smell of money all over it, and ‘them there is fightin’ words.’
Why do we tithe? Is is because our parents tithed? Is it because it’s tradition? Or maybe, it’s because the preacher said so. What is your reason for tithing? Do you tithe?
I gave my first tithe as a child in my Sunday school class. My mom would give me a nickel and say “Here Patti, this is for your Sunday school when they take up the offering.” I didn’t know it was a tithe. It was just what we did in Sunday school and big people’s church. I know it wasn’t 10 percent, more like 2 percent.
I remember that little white plastic church and the teacher asking me to take it around so the kids could put their offering in the slit on top, by the steeple. I was so thrilled that she would choose me for such an important job. I felt very important. I didn’t understand it then, but somehow I knew that giving to God was very special, and I knew I always wanted to do it.
More times than not, I hear people say “I can’t afford to tithe,” or “all the church wants is my money,” or they just don’t want to talk about it at all. It’s a taboo subject. Well, to those of you who choose not to tithe or don’t want to discuss it, allow me to relieve some pressure. YOU DON’T HAVE TO! It’s your choice.
One of the reasons Jesus died on the cross that day, was to give us the right to choose. Glory to God! I choose to tithe … I choose to be blessed. Just bear in mind, all our choices have consequences or benefits, depending on the decisions me make. I love Job. 22:27-30. Read it. God is no respecter of persons. What He does for one, He’ll do for another.
I combed through some of my books and the Scriptures to find out more about tithing and why we are commanded to do it. Yes, it is a commandment, not a request, and there are definitely benefits. Maybe a little more understanding of the subject can help enlighten us and make us more of a cheerful giver. God loves a cheerful giver, ya know (2 Corinthians 9:7).
We all know Malachi 3:10 “Bring all the tithes, the whole tenth of your income, into the storehouse (church), that there may be food in My house, and prove Me now by it, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” WOW! did you get that? Obedience begets blessings. Obedience is simply doing what the Word of God says to do. Faith without works is dead. “The blessing of the Lord — it maketh rich, and adds no sorrow (Proverbs 10:22).”
The Word is full of this stuff guys. Just makes me want to do whatever God says do. I have proved Him over and over and every time. He has opened the windows of Heaven and poured out blessings too numerous to hold. I am so very blessed. My children are blessed. My grandchildren are blessed. Shoot, even the dogs are blessed. The Word works saints, if you work it!
Tithing is holy unto the Lord. “And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lords: it is holy unto the Lord (Leviticus 27:30).”
Tithing is proof that you recognize the worthiness and authority of God over your life. It is evidence of your love for God and that He lives in you. It’s proof that you have conquered greed and mastered fear. It’s proof that you believe the Word of God and His instructions. It documents your faith in God.
Beloveds, God documents a memory of you in His mind when you give. “And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in her tithe of two mites. And He said, Of a truth I say unto you that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all (Luke 21:2-13).”
Jesus noticed her two mites and documented that in His memory. God sees your faith when you act upon His Word ... and He remembers. The tithe is an act of faith and a seed of obedience. When you tithe consistently, you create a consistent harvest. When you honor the Lord with your tithing, the benefits far outweigh any costs or risks involved. You cannot out-give God. It just ain’t possible.
God gave His First, my friends, He gave His only begotten Son. We were ‘bought with a price.’ That price is Jesus. He paid for us with His redeeming blood (1 Corinthians 6:20). Jesus showed us that our giving is something we do first, as a seed. When we tithe and give offering, we are obedient and giving God something to grow. “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19).”
Are you sure you can’t afford to tithe? Put God to the test. See if He will not honor His Word.
Give first … give your best … and give God something to grow.
(Oh, one last thing, I don’t mean to step on any toes, but ... Scripture also teaches that when we keep something that belongs to someone else, we are a thief (Malachi 3:8). Don’t get mad at me, it’s the Word.
Keep the Faith and worship somewhere today.
Sorrels is News & Eagle editorial assistant and can be reached at email@example.com or at (580) 548-8140.