We have already been blessed
As born-again believers bought with the blood of Jesus, the salvation we have is a total package loaded with blessings. When our apostle was introducing the theme, he said God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the spiritual realm. There is no doubt about that. In Matthew 10.27-29 when Peter was wondering what was in store for them as they had left all to follow Jesus, Jesus told them they were going to receive multiple fold of whatever they had left to follow him, in addition to eternal life.
God’s blessings come with conditions
But every promise of God is linked to a condition. There is always something the person who is to receive the blessing must do to receive it. Even with the salvation which Jesus has already purchased, we have a part to play to get it. We have to surrender to it. When the Lord swore by himself to bless Abraham, in Genesis 18.18, we are told that the condition for Abraham getting this was that he was going to teach his children and his household the ways of the Lord.
We can appropriate God’s blessings through tithing
One of the things we must do to appropriate the blessings of God is tithing.
Read Leviticus 27.30-33, Malachi 3.6-10, and Matthew 23.23.
I believe as members of this church we really don’t need to be told to tithe because we have it as part of our tenets. But for the avoidance of doubt I want us to go into a bit of background before we go to the main issue I want us to discuss. The first thing to note is that the tithe was instituted by God. The purpose for instituting it was for the priests to be taken care of, in addition to the workers in the house of the Lord as well as the needy. It was a command the people of Israel were following religiously until they stopped at one point or another in their history.
Tithing preceded the law
Though the tithe was established in the law, Abraham paid tithes even before that. When Abraham met Melchizedek, he gave him a tithe after Melchizedek had blessed him. This incident happened more than 400 years before the law was given. In Genesis 28.22 Jacob vowed to pay God a tithe of all he was going to get if God went with him on his journey.
The purpose of the tithe
The tithe was so crucial to the running of the church that in Nehemiah 13.10, because the people had stopped paying their tithes, the Levites and priests had left the temple to find other means to fend for themselves.
Jesus endorsed tithing in the New Testament
In the New Testament, Jesus endorsed tithing. He didn’t say it was outmoded or only for the people of old. Instead, he said the Pharisees were majoring on the minor things though they were proud of paying tithes. Mind you Jesus said unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees we won’t inherit the kingdom of God.
Paul endorsed tithing
In Romans Paul endorsed the tithe by pointing out that they were robbing the temple. He used the same word in the Greek as was used in Malachi when God addressed men robbing him.
Tithing is an act of worship that God sees
There is a whole lot of confusion and falsehood about whether tithing is applicable in our time. It is an act of worship unto the Lord. You are probably doing it out of understanding that God requires you to do it but I want to draw your attention to the fact that when you pay your tithe, God sees it as an act of worship and blesses you.
God blesses when we tithe faithfully
Before Malachi, the Israelites had probably not grasped the fact that through the payment of tithes God opened the windows of heaven to bless them. God said the people were robbing him. Stealing is better than robbery. The punishment for stealing is different from that for robbery. God didn’t say people were stealing his money. He said they were robbing him. By withholding their tithes from him they were robbing him. Tithe is a token of your appreciation and recognition that what you have did not come from you. It is a test of your faithfulness.
Bring the whole tithe
How can a man rob God? He said bring the whole tithe. It is very possible that some of us are paying part of our tithe but not all. It is quite possible that if you pay only a part of what is required, you may not see the blessings he is speaking about here. Once you have brought all the tithe, he says to test him in this. Our God is giving us a blank check. Once you pay your tithe, he says, “Test me in this.”
In 1 Corinthians 4.7 Paul asks, “What have we got that we did not receive?” if God has been so faithful to you, do you think you are helping God by paying your tithe? No. When you are faithful in your tithing, he has a blessing in store for you. When the floodgates are opened, water gushes out. That is the description God is giving to your blessing when you pay tithes. When you do this God is compelled because he says to test him in this. He will also protect you—he will protect your business. He says he will destroy the pests that try to destroy your crops; all the nations will call you blessed; and yours will be a delightful land.
Maybe you are paying your tithe but you are doing it grudgingly. Sometimes the more blessed you are the harder it is to pay because you feel the money is just too much. But God enjoins us to do so. Even though you are obliged to do it, when you do, God promises to bless you. Even if you don’t see blessings the way you want to see them, I am telling you of the protection of the Lord. There are people who are paying so much for healthcare. It is one of the ways the Lord protects us. There is so much blessing in tithing. I don’t struggle to pay because I know that even if God does not bless me after paying, giving God 10 out of 100 and me keeping 90 is a fair deal.
We must honor the Lord with our possessions
Read Proverbs 3.9-10.
We are not paid with animals or crops but with cash, hence, that is what we should tithe on. There’s always a blessing when you touch the heart of God. God said he would surely bless Abraham because of what he did. When you honor God willingly, not grudgingly, he determines to bless you. There are consequences for disobedience. In Isaiah he said if you are willing and obedient you will enjoy the good of the land. He is waiting for you to be faithful in this matter as well and he will come through for you. If you are faithful in this and he doesn’t appear to be coming through for you, check your life. There may be something else you are not doing right so check it for the Lord never lies.
Leviticus 27.30-33, Malachi 3.6-10, Matthew 23.23, Proverbs 3.9-10
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