Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, 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.
It is interesting that Jesus put money in the category of a master. In fact, Jesus said that a person can only serve one of two masters: God or money. He did not say God or the world; God or Lucifer. Jesus said that the opposing master is money. If you lean toward statistics, then consider that 16 of 38 parables deal with handling money or possessions. One of ten verses in the Gospels (288 in all) speak directly with the subject of money. In the entire Bible, about 500 verses speak of prayer; less than 500 deal with faith; but over 2,000 verses talk of money and possessions.
I understand the damage religious charlatans have made concerning giving, but we must not withhold tithing, offerings, or sacrifices because they misused the subject. Solomon wrote, Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: Abraham gave his tithes before the Law of Moses was written. All of Israel gave tithes and offerings, then made a sacrifice to the Lord. Jesus followed this teaching in Matthew 23:23 scolding the Pharisees because they gave their tithe, but did not obey other parts of the Lord. He said, “you should have done both.”
A tithe is based on your Firstfruits. The first 10% of your income belongs to the Lord. God said to bring our Firstfuit into the storehouse. The early church understood the “storehouse” to mean the place where spiritual food is offered. Offerings are above the tithe. Afterward came sacrifice. This is what happened in Acts 5 when people made pledges and brought their sacrifice to Peter. They knew that a sacrifice is something that we give that is not in our budget. A sacrifice is something that you give up without expectation of a return.
Tithing, offerings, and sacrifices, however, have fallen on hard times. Once again, the statistics say that most church-goers give about 2.3% of their income in total. The reasons vary, but in general they believe that if the church is doing well then they don’t feel obligated. Thus, they give according to the need, not according to the Bible’s command.
I offer this to you today because it is the Bible. I do not write because New Life is hurting for finances. I write because you and I cannot afford to miss Heaven over money. How foolish it is to neglect the scripture? We are obligated to the Word and we must follow! Therefore, I admonish you not to neglect giving tithes, offerings, and a sacrifice.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole