"Will a man rob God? Yet, ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed Thee? In tithes and offerings..." Malachi 3:8
As Christians, we have a responsibility to serve, live and give responsibly. The church is able to carry out its work in the world largely because of responsible Christian stewards. The proper support of God's work takes specific and regular giving. Each member of the Mount Hebron Missionary Baptist Church is expected to give (by tithing) and live according to the best of our ability (stewardship).
What is tithing?
Tithing is a spiritual law given by God to humankind to assist people not only in finding abundance, fulfillment and gratitude in their lives but to assist in the support of God's work. The word Tithe in the Bible means "tenth". The scriptures of the Old Testament describe the tithing law as giving 10 percent of one's increase/income back to God, with God being represented on the physical level by the source of one's spiritual teaching -- often the church or a ministry. In the New Testament, Paul exhorted the Corinthian Church to set aside a certain portion of their earnings each week so that the needs of the Lord's servants and is work may be supplied (2 Corinthians 8:1-5).
When a person tithes, he opens himself to receive more. As humankind fulfills its part of the covenant by giving 10 percent to God, then God fulfills his part by continually blessing us. It is important to realize that tithing is not just our money -- but our time, our talents and our testimony. Tithing is theological -- if one does not develop the proper relationship between our resources and God, we will never develop the capacity to perform the deeper things of the Spirit or put ourselves in a position where we can be receptive to God's blessings.
In Malachi, it is asked, "Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me…..in tithes and offerings" (Malachi 3:8 NIV). The question is, can God be robbed? No, but his covenant can be broken, and that is robbing God of the covenant. Later on in the same chapter, it is said, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse... Test me in this…..and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it" (Malachi 3:10 NIV).
Our launching pad of faith is the understanding that everything belongs to God. We are the trustees not owners of the things in our possession. With this in mind, we can realize that we are only restoring a small portion of what already belongs to God back to Him.
One of the fundamental errors that we have as human beings is greed, which is manifested mostly in terms of money or monetary value. When we tithe, two levels are activated--a level here in this world and, at the same time, a mystical, invisible level. The mystical is a communication saying, "You are abundant and handle abundance well, so here's some more." The other level, in this world, is when we look at our abundance and contribute joyfully through tithing. We are actually cheerful about it. This action sets up a countenance that is a form of glory in the human being, and that glory attracts more abundance.
How do we tithe? The scriptures tell us to give back 10 percent of what we earn to the source of our spiritual teachings. It's done for the joy of giving. When you lovingly donate in this way because you understand to Whom you are giving and why you are giving, God's abundance starts to come to you in many ways.
If we fail to commit to tithing, our conversion experience is incomplete. Tithing is about trusting God. We can not hold back on the resources that belong to Him by means of our redemption. If we know that God has redeemed us, Finally, just remember, God gives us 100%, we can certainly afford to give 10%!
Principles of Stewardship
- 1. God owns everything; we are only stewards of His wealth. All of our earthly possessions already belong to God. When we give we are only giving what comes from God.
- 2. The people of God are God's management company. We need to use His possessions for His glory.
3. Stewardship is responsibility with accountability. Accountability involves avoiding debt, practicing honesty, spending wisely, working hard, saving consistently and training your children in the principles of good stewardship.
4. Spend money wisely - have the proper respect for money; understand the difference between needs, wants & desires; focus on fulfilling those things that matter the most.
5. Good stewardship demands a commitment to others. As Christians we must be fair and honest in all of our business dealings -- that includes paying bills and debts timely!
6. Stewardship has eternal consequences. In being a good steward, we are to surrender to God. As believer's in Christ, the Word tells us in I Corinthians 6:19-20, that our body is the temple of the Holy spirit. We are not our own, but His. We have been brought with the ransom He paid for with His life.
- 7. Good stewardship involves recognizing our talents and spiritual gifts and surrendering them to God for His use and glory. The Word teaches us in I Peter 4:10 that we are to use whatever gift we have received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms. This means utilizing our spiritual gifts. For God has imparted to each believer a special gift to be used bringing glory to God and serving others.
- 8. Good Stewardship also involves preaching the gospel to all creation. As Proverbs 3:5-6 states " we are to acknowledge God in all our ways and he will direct our path."