Why should we give?
Many unbelievers go to church and they hear a message on giving and get very turned off to the Gospel and God’s Word. They leave the church with this feeling that the minister is only giving the message as a fund raiser. Well, frankly speaking, this could very well be the case. Many ministers get nervous about budget shortfalls and sometimes pull out scriptures like Malachi and beat their church family over the head with the scripture.
What exactly is the tithe (otherwise known as our ‘firstfruits’)? What is the purpose of the tithe and what do they accomplish? By giving our first fruits to God we are honoring God and putting Him first place in our life as we are acknowledging who God is and what He does in our lives. Let’s explore what the purpose of the tithe is.
Malachi 3:10 says, “so that there may be food in My house”. The number one reason for the tithe is to feed the ministry of the local church. Food or ‘meat’ as the King James Version calls it is for feeding the ministers. In our day it goes further, the tithe feeds the ministers and their families, pays for the facility it maintenance and operation (rents, electricity, insurance, etc.). Note that the tithe is for his house. Tithing is not giving some money to the poor when someone feels like it. Although, there is nothing wrong with giving to the poor, that actually is the responsibility of the church members to do as a corporate church family. The church is more effective in ministering to the needs of its area than an individual can ever be (unless the individual is very rich and has staff that can minister to the needs of the church area).
Secondly, this is one area that God actually wants us to test Him. Hebrews says that without faith it is impossible to please God (11:6). Those who just believe are pleasing to God. So why does He want us to just believe Him, but with regards to giving we are to test Him? Our loving father makes it clear as He says to test Him so that He might “pour out for you a blessing until it overflows”. When we give our tithe we are demonstrating our faith (belief in things that we cannot see). When we take that step of faith, then God moves to bless us as we are pleasing Him. When we start giving it is easy to forget that God will pour out that blessing in response to our action “until it overflows”. Many give up before the ‘until’ and never experience God’s overflow. When we start giving we fire up the laws of sowing and reaping in our lives. Sowing and reaping is much like farming. If you plant corn, the corn will grow. Conversely speaking if you plant weeds then weeds will grow up. Sowing and reaping is a very simple and very powerful law when employed in our lives.
Active ‘tithers’ are walking in God’s will. When we are walking in God’s will we can experience the overflow. However, living in this world is not always easy. The enemy comes in and tries to kill, steal, and destroy (John 10:10) in our lives. When we are walking in God’s will and strong faith, we are walking in power…God’s power. It is like a hedge or force field around us. When satan attacked Job, he complained to God that God was protecting Job. God admitted he was as Job was doing things to please God. Then when fear entered Job’s life, satan was able to attack through that unbelief (Job 3:25). In the end, Job eradicated both doubt and unbelief with word and action and was blessed financially, spiritually, physically more than before.
Giving is God’s plan. He gave His Son, a part of Himself, to die on our behalf and make us right before God. He wants us to give to
1) Acknowledge Him in everything we have.
2) Support His ministry here on the earth through His Church.
3) Get the laws of sowing and reaping in our lives working so we can be a blessing to others.
So why should we give? We should give because God wants us to be cheerful givers just as He is.