But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Giving Unto The Lord
And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And He called unto Him His disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in ALL that she had, even ALL her living. Mark 12:41-44
Many believers are confused about how to support and how much to give to God's work and His servants.
Others think that tithing 10% is what God requires, while it is the "church" who makes its members believe this. What is the right thing to do, you may wonder.
Tithing is NOT a commandment for those who walk in Christ Jesus! Love is the commandment!
Tithing is of the Old Covenant and was a form of paying taxes. The Israelites paid a tenth of the harvest of grain, fruit of the land and of the herd and flock to the Levites (Leviticus 27:30-34). Each tenth animal which passed under the rod of the shepherd was to be a tithe. Currency as silver, gold or talents were not mentioned to be used as tithe. We may conclude that anyone who did not own land or livestock and who was not in animal husbandry or agriculture, was exempt from paying tithes. There were many Israelites who were servants, making clothing, pottery, boats, netting etc. who owned no land or herds. Besides these, there were the poor, who had nothing.
You may be surprised to learn about the annual tithe and the third year tithe and for what these tithes were to be used in Deuteronomy 14:22-29. If we have to pay tithe to our churches and pastors are they also following God's instructions for the use of it?
As far as I know there is no mention of giving tithe (10%), nor a command of such to the New Covenant believers. This is why we have been against it, because it only serves as a secure amount of money that the "church" counts upon to receive from its members. Church leaders should put their trust in God, rather than in the offering plate.
What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the Gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel. 1 Corinthians 9:18
Believers should not be enforced to pay tithes and put under bondage of that which the Lord has not commanded for the New Covenant believers. Believers should not give because of being controlled, or made to feel guilty.
Nevertheless, Paul writes for the congregation to put money aside and give it to him before he goes to Jerusalem, to help the poor. He did not request nor require the Old Covenant tithe, from the believers. The Old Testament examples were shadows of things to come (Col. 2:17).
In Matthew 23:23 Jesus was reprimanding the Pharisees and exposing their hypocracy of paying tithe but omitting the weightier matters of the Law. Please note, that their tithe was not in currency, but fruit of the land; mint, anise and cummin.
He supported that they should pay their tithe, but not to leave the other undone.
Here we learn that the Jews in Jesus' time were still living under the Law of Moses, the Old Covenant.
Jesus established the New Covenant by fulfilling the Old Covenant through His death and resurrection. The Law was nailed to the cross at Calvary. We don't need to sacrifice animals for the forgiveness of our sins, neither do we have to make any other sacrifice. The sacrifices under the Law of the Old Covenant have been replaced. Jesus has become our Sacrifice. Hallelujah!
For the Messiah (Christ) is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believeth. Romans 10:4
I am referring to the time of the Apostles and after. The time of Grace in which we are living. I believe we are free to give whatever the Lord puts in our heart, and according to how the Lord has blessed us. I would rather say that 10% is the minimum. The Law was for them that did not live through the Holy Spirit and could not fulfill God's requirement.
We, who have His Spirit within us, are guided by Him and not by demands of churches or other organizations. Our obligation is to God, NOT to man. Under the New Covenant God accepts donations given from the heart rather than mandatory tithes.
This does not mean that we should not help out and even sacrifice to God's work. I do not believe in just giving a donation (or 10%) to something that I don't know what it is for. For example, in the church offering. It may not go to essential projects, but to more stylish floor covering; updated pulpit; a sophisticated sound system; free gas, car, telephone, housing for the pastor and family.
Paul boasts that he was not relying on money from the congregations, because he worked as a tentmaker besides preaching and teaching God's word.
New Covenant sacrifice: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1,2.
We are not against giving to the Lord, but not the Church "required" Old Covenant tithe, which was not even in currency. I believe that figuring out the 10% of one's net or gross income is not pleasing unto the Lord. This way of giving is rather skimpy and one may be cheating on God if he can give more. Shouldn't we give our all to Jesus, and allowing Him to tell us what to give? All that we are and have is His' anyway.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. Acts 2:44-46
We should give as the Lord directs and to the furtherance of His Kingdom. Dolling up the church building, giving extras to them that have already, throwing a youth party, having an elaborate church dinner is not FURTHERING THE KINGDOM OF GOD. Looking after orphans and widows is what God's word commands. Is that what the Western World churches are doing? Are you listening?
But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:13,14
I pray that you may understand what God's expectations are in regards to sharing your blessings with others.