What if your turnaround depends on you tithing?

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him will not perish but will have everlasting life. John 3:16

Artist Harry Anderson. Harry painted this before the World Trade Center was built.

Abram knew God and His promises. He was able to experience both God’s presence and His deliverance. Abram knew that, without God, he had nothing. Giving back to God a tithe is a small act of appreciation in comparison to what He gives us every day.

There may be times where we don’t feel God as much as we might like. That doesn’t mean that He is not there. Remember, God never changes. We are the ones that turn away from Him. God promises to be with us when we turn back to Him. In Malachi 3:7, God reminds us, “Return to me, and I will return to you.” (NIV)

We serve a big God

One of the great things about God, though, is that when He comes through for us, He comes through big. Malachi 3:10 tells us that if we are faithful in giving our tithe, God will “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” (NIV)

In an economy like this, in a time of shortage and lack, can we even imagine not having enough room for our blessings? God is a God of abundance, and He wants to give to us.

What is our attitude in giving?

But our tithes and offerings should not be given in a desire for reciprocation. We can’t give to get. Our giving should reflect our humble appreciation for God’s wonderful mercy. Even in our sin, He still loves us. No matter how sinful we’ve been, He is always ready to forgive and take us back.

Tithes and offerings are to be given freely out of love. Amos 4:5 encourages us to “brag about your freewill offerings – boast about them, … for this is what you love to do.” (NIV)

How do we give?

Activities that we enjoy are usually front of mind. If tithing is not yet a front of mind activity, there are ways we can help ourselves to get there.

Paul reminded the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 16:2, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.” (NIV)

Tithing should come off of the top of our income. If it is first, we don’t have to worry about whether or not there will be enough money left over after bills.

God has provided us with our jobs, with our ability to perform a job. We should show our appreciation to Him first. Consider how many of our family members, friends, and colleagues have told us about losing their jobs in the last year or two. It could have been any of us. God has spared us, and that should not be taken lightly.

The tithe should also be a firstfruit. This means that we tithe off of the gross increase, not the net. Even if there are many deductions from our check before we get it, God actually provided us with the gross amount.

While many Christians have debated the subject, our pastor summed it up best. In deciding what kind of blessings you prefer, would you rather a gross blessing or a net blessing? How we give is how we should expect to receive. Jesus explained that to us in Luke 6:38 that “with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (NIV)

Malachi warns us about robbing God through our tithes and offerings. Let’s not take any chances stealing from God

We may not have been in line in the past with what God expects of us, but it is never too late to start. God is ready to take us back whenever we are ready. Let’s aim for excellence in all things.

In fact, in Malachi 3:10, God actually tells us to test Him with the tithe and see what He does for us in return. Let’s take Him up on the offer and keep expecting God to turn things around for us in our lives!

O. J. Bonnette & “The WIN International Ministries Team”