How Do We Give To God? - Giving, Part 2


Giving To The Church

The tithes in ancient Israel were how God provided for the financial support of the tribe of priests who served the nation as their full-time jobs. Tithes also provided for the maintenance of the temple. Some tithes also provided for charity support of widows and orphans who had no family members to provide for them.

Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the LORD of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the LORD of hosts. “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land.
— Malachi 3:8-12 (NASB)

Notice what God is saying here: when the Israelites withheld their tithes from the temple, they were holding out on God. In those days, the nation of Israel had a covenant agreement with God. Obedience to the agreement brought blessing, while disobedience resulted in a curse. But sometimes the curse took a while to show up, and the people would see their neighbors breaking the law and still prospering. Pretty soon, they felt like there wasn’t much benefit to obeying (verses 14-15 of the same chapter).

Today as believers in Jesus, we are free from the curse of the old covenant (see Galatians 3:13). But the principle of sowing and reaping is still in operation (see the first post in this series: What You Give Is What You'll Get). The person who gives generously receives a bountiful harvest.

Charity Isn't Just For Non-Profits

As we see above, God takes it personally when we cling to our resources instead of using them in ways that He has taught us. Let’s look a little closer.

The book of Proverbs gives us another insight: “He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, and He will pay back what he has given.” (Proverbs 19:17 NKJV

It’s not just giving to the church that God takes personally. It’s when we give to those in need. Our God is near to the broken-hearted, the hurting, the defenseless. Jesus even went so far as to say that when we act in compassion towards someone in need, it’s as if we’re doing it to Jesus himself (Matthew 25:34-45).

When we take care of their needs, God will take care of ours.

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.
— Luke 6:38 (NKJV)

TAKING IT TO HEART: Is there anywhere you have held back resources that God is nudging you to sow into His Kingdom, either to a church or directly to someone in need?

CHALLENGE: Ask God to show you where He wants you to sow some good seed. It might be money, time, a helping hand, or something else. As soon as you see what it is, don’t hesitate. Sow it, knowing that in doing so you are “more blessed”.

I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
— Acts 20:35 (NKJV)