So What’s Your Point?
“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” 1 Chronicles 16:29
“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
It’s remarkable how often I have heard people say in one way or another that God is not interested in money or wealth and more than that, it is an insult to Him to claim that giving is a means of gaining wealth or that giving to get is selfish, self seeking, an improper motive for giving, and even that it is ungodly.
Ok. Let’s clear the air first. The Word does say that the love of money is the root of all evil.
“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1Timothy 6:10
Loving money is destructive and tends toward the worship of stuff (Mammon). There is no life in that, only death.
Now let’s consider what the Word says about money (not the love of money) just money and wealth in general.
One of the main issues that get some believers knotted up is the matter of tithing. The arguments against tithing run the gamut from, “Tithing is Old Testament under the Law and we are not under Law but under grace,” to “The New Testament does not teach tithing.”
Suffice it to say for the time we have in this devotional that tithing is both Old and New Testament [see also: Genesis 14:20 Matthew 23:23) and it is not a matter of Law. It predates the Law. It is not a matter of being under grace in that we are not obliged to do it. It is a matter of obedience, of faith and of trust in God.
God’s plan for every believer is to be blessed and be blessed abundantly, even extravagantly. Consider these passages of Scripture. This is God, the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit speaking to us about the matters of tithing and giving.
God The Father, our Creator
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 3:10-12 KJV
God the Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Redeemer
“Give to every man that asketh of thee…Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” Luke 6:30-38 KJV
God the Holy Spirit speaking through the Apostle and the Prophet
“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 KJV
“Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.” Proverbs 19:17 ESV
The tithe is 10%. The first tenth of all your income and wealth belongs to God. Offerings are 5% or more (if you choose) of your income and wealth is to be given to the poor in the form of offerings.
Here is the key to all of this. As you read these Scripture there is one undeniable fact in each of them, the action (tithing, giving, blessing) and God’s promised response to the action (receiving and being blessed far beyond what you give) are both God’s idea and intended purpose.
Our Action: Bring the tithes into the storehouse…
God’s Promised Response: I will open the windows of Heaven and poor you out a blessing beyond your capacity to receive
Our Action: Give to everyone (and particularly to the poor)
God’s Promised Response: it shall be given to you good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over shall men give into your bosom (lap).
Our Action: Sow bountifully
God’s Promised Response: Reap bountifully
Our Action: Be generous to the poor
God’s Promised Response: The Lord will repay
The actions are our part. The promised response is God’s part. This requires no debate or deeper explanation. There is a clear, straightforward, one-to-one relationship expressed here. Though some might say, you shouldn’t give to get. You should just give with no expectation of receiving. Wait a minute!!! Where is that in the Scriptures?
What is in Scripture is this and this is the only passage that speaks to this attitude about giving.
“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.” Luke 6:35
The “hoping” here is not to be directed toward your enemy doing good to you just because you do good to them. But, there is a reward for you doing good to your enemies. That reward comes from God.
God is blessed, not insulted, when we give with an expectation of receiving. We should expect to receive, because God has promised that we would and we honor Him when we believe and trust His Word. We don’t need to adopt some false humility that dismisses any expectation of receiving and counts receiving to be of less value to God than giving.
Yes, He did say, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
But it is clear that both are blessed and one is simply more blessed than the other. Giving is more blessed because it initiates a process that goes on and on. Receiving is the end of the journey so to speak. Once you receive the gift the blessing is completed. The only way then to expand what you have received is to give again, which will result in more receiving and on it goes. But, if you receive and do not give, you are blessed but that is a far as it goes.
Here is the point. Give big, give extravagantly, give cheerfully, enjoy it, and honor God by expecting with confidence to receive and be blessed in return because you give.
What pleases God is that we honor the integrity and surety of His Word, all of it, the commandments and the promises.
Therefore, tithe, give and bless with confidence that God will fulfill His promises to bless and give to you and to everyone who does likewise in multiplied ways.
He enjoys giving to us. Then, we get to enjoy giving to Him.
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke 12:32
“Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.” Psalm 96:8