A Pastors Perspective, Tithing

Southaven,MS

By: Mike Upchurch

Why I believe in Tithing

Tithing has long been a tenet of the Christian Faith. Many Christians tithe believing that it is a command of God. Some tithe because their Pastor preaches about it. Some tithe believing it’s a way to financial blessing. Some don’t know why they tithe, they just know it’s part of being a Christian.
Let’s take a look at tithing from a scriptural standpoint. There certainly isn’t space or time to do the subject justice, but let’s hit the highlights.

The tithe was actually established over four hundred years before the Levitical Law was handed down by Moses. Abraham tithed of his spoils to Melchizedek, a Priest, from the defeat of the Kings who had captured Lot. Likewise Jacob, his grandson, promised a tithe to the Lord if He would provide for him….

“Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father’s house in safety, then the LORD will be my God. This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭28:20-22‬

So the precedent took place centuries before the Law was given out. When you tithe, rather than keeping the Law of Moses, you’re making it a matter of the heart as Father Abraham and his offspring did; an act purposed by men who loved the Lord, and who desired to honor Him and His priests by tithing a tenth of their provision, which they knew came from Him in the first place!

The tithe mentioned in the Law of Moses was actually a tenth of their crops, their oil, or their livestock, rather than their monetary income. And it was to feed and support the Priests who served in the Temple. In much the same way today, our tithes are supporting the Pastors and Leaders who serve the Lord! We’re not bringing grain or calves or sheep to church, (thank goodness) but usually a tenth of our monetary income. Again, I consider our tithes more a matter of the heart in accordance with Jacob’s vow. Very few of us are farmers, and we don’t have the means to tithe food we produce anyway. Tithing our money is a way to acknowledge the fact that God had provided all that we have, and without Him there would be no food, or health or even life for that matter.

You might say “Pastor Mike, I know heathens who don’t believe in God and they don’t tithe and they have plenty without God.” The truth is, God has brought about all the elements in ALL our lives that enable us to earn an income, whether people acknowledge that fact or not. The very fact that they are alive and have talents and abilities means God gifted them, so they do in fact owe Him, whether they agree with that premise or not, and choose not to honor Him with their money.

Now let’s consider present-day times and the dispensation of grace we as Christians are living in. Because we’re under grace, are we required to tithe? Required is a rather firm, inflexible word. I prefer to say we have the HONOR of tithing. Though the word tithe is only mentioned once by Jesus (Matthew 23:23, Luke 11:42) Paul never mentioned the word tithe, but he did have much to say about giving to the Lord.

“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭9:6-8‬

So he didn’t just limit your giving to the Lord at the firm amount of 10%, but rather you could give bountifully if you so desire. And if you did give, here was a promise….

“For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.”
‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭9:10-11‬ ‭NLT‬

That verse alone is reason enough for me! God will provide me with all I need, and if I’m generous, then I will have even more so that I can be even more generous. For the record, I give a tenth of my net income and support an organization with my tithe. I also support a Missionary monthly in a foreign Country, as well as supporting two local ministries as I’m able. I don’t say that to brag, just to underscore the fact that I fully believe in the principles of tithing, of supporting ministries who are building the Kingdom, and of honoring God with my first fruits, as I derive everything I have from Him!!

There is something else you should know concerning the tithe; the tithe is holy to the Lord and it is HIS!

“’Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the LORD’S; it is holy to the LORD.”
‭‭Leviticus‬ ‭27:30

That hasn’t changed. When you give something to the Lord, whether 10% or more, it is holy to Him. It has special meaning. When the offering plate is passed, don’t place a few bills in there as if you’re tipping God the way you would a waitress who served you. I pray you’re not trying to give Him a tip, saying “good job” with your money. When you tithe, whether you’re putting it in a plate, sending it online, or mailing a check, you’re bowing before Him with a gift to HIM, acknowledging that everything you have comes from Him! Vow to God to give Him all your budget will allow!

Your tithe and the amount of it is your business, but purpose to honor Him in your heart and in your financial accounts. Support His Pastors, and His work. Build His Kingdom! Tithe! You will see the goodness of the Lord in immeasurable ways!

And that’s the way I see it!

Pastor Mike