Why Give?

Financial freedom comes through following the treasure principle. We trust God with our treasure by paying our tithe (10%) and giving our offerings (above the tithe) to the church where we receive ministry; in response, God promises to pour out a blessing in our lives that we cannot contain. Click here to read Pastor John’s message, Tithing: Obeying God.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Nothing is going right in my finances. Might there be a spiritual explanation for my money problems?
A. There is a blessing when we give as God commands and a curse when we don’t. God says, “You are under a curse…because you are robbing Me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house,” (Malachi 3:9-10a, NIV). 

Q. What blessings does God promise if I tithe?
A. He promises to “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your field will not cast their fruit,” Malachi 3:10b-11 (NIV). In this passage, God is not just promising blessing, but also that He will prevent our resources from being wasted.

Q. What did Jesus have to say about tithing?
A. In Matthew 23:23, Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for paying their tithes without practicing justice, faithfulness and mercy. Jesus said they needed to do both: Tithe and practice these virtues, so Jesus reinforced the importance of tithing in His preaching.

Q. I thought tithing is not required anymore since it is from the Law, and we live under grace.
A. Actually, tithing predates the Law. Abraham and Jacob both tithed long before the Law was ever given. See Genesis 14:18-20 and 28:22. Abraham and Jacob gave a tenth to show that God was their Source and that all their success was due to God’s blessing.

Q.  It still bothers me that tithing started in the Old Testament and not in the New.
A. Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Then, in Matthew 5:21-48, to demonstrate what He meant, six times Jesus says, “You have heard…but I tell you…” Every time Jesus referred to specific laws from the Old Testament, he raised the standard even higher than what it was in the Old Testament. For example, Jesus said not only should we not commit adultery, but we must keep our thought lives pure. Not only should we not kill, but we should not utter rash and angry words. In this age of grace, God requires more of us, not less. The Old Testament is what Jesus and His Apostles preached from; it is as much God’s Word as the New. 

Q. What other things does the New Testament say about giving?
A. In Matthew 6:4, Jesus taught that when we give to the needy (alms) it should be done secretly, so that the Father can reward us openly. Romans 12:8 indicates that some have a gift of “contributing to the needs of others.” 2 Corinthians 8:7 encourages us to excel in the grace of giving. 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says that if we plant generously, we will also reap generously, and that our giving should come from a cheerful heart. I Corinthians 9:9-14 and I Timothy 5:8 teach “that those who preach the Gospel should receive their living from the Gospel.”

Q. What if I don’t believe in tithing?
A. Whether we accept or reject God’s command does not change the truth that He requires it.

Q. Do I tithe on my gross income or my net income?
A. God asks us to give a tenth of all our blessings. Since our taxes pay for roads, insurance, defense, and other blessings, they are part of our “increase,” (Proverbs 3:9, NIV). We should pay a tenth of our gross income before taxes.

Q. How am I going to manage to tithe a full 10% on my gross income?
A. God asks you to test Him in this matter—to take a leap of faith that shows you believe in His promises. Why not try it for 90 days and see what happens?

Q. I heard a sermon once where the preacher said tithing is not all about money but also about your time and talent. Is that true?
A. The principle of tithing as it appears in Scripture is about giving a tenth of your income, so it is referring specifically to giving that percentage of your “increase.” See Leviticus 27:32, Deuteronomy 14:22, Proverbs 3:9. We cannot give of time and talent and consider that a replacement for giving God a tenth of our tangible income.

Q. What about this idea of tithing time and talent?
A. While this concept is not commanded in Scripture, some Christians like the idea of tithing their time daily to the Lord. By spending 10% of their waking hours in the Word, prayer, and giving of their talent through their local church, these believers feel they are making a significant, planned contribution to God’s Kingdom from every area of their lives. Based on 16 waking hours/day, one would give just over 11 hours a week to the Lord, or about 90 minutes/day.  Believers that find themselves out of a job often find this rewarding while they wait on the Lord to provide them with new income.

Q. Can I use my tithe to give to any cause I desire, such as my cousin who is out of work, or an evangelist on TV?
A. God says the tithe belongs in the “storehouse” so “there may be food in my house.”  This is God’s way of making sure your local church has the funds it needs to provide ministry to you and your family. So, the church where you get spiritually fed each week, and where you are in accountability with your brothers and sisters in Christ is your “storehouse.”  If you desire to give offerings, this must be after you’ve already given the 10% for the support of your local fellowship; otherwise, you will be robbing God.

Q. I heard one preacher say that God wants your life and not your money.
A. Yes, He does want your life. However, if God truly has you, He will also have your treasure; you will want to participate in seeing God’s Kingdom advance in your community and around the world through your faithful giving.  “Store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” (Matthew 6:20-21, NIV).  

Q. Since I am the one working hard every day to earn a wage, how does God have the right to demand I give him 10%?
A. “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms His covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today,” (Deuteronomy 8:18, NIV.)

Q. I can give 5% cheerfully, but not 10%. Does God still want me to give 10% even if I can’t do it cheerfully?
A. Why do we think we must choose between obedience and joy? It need not be one or the other. In fact, consistent obedience will bring joy, because then we are in a right relationship with God. Disobedience always brings dissatisfaction, guilt, and separation from God. Obedience deepens our relationship with God and calls upon His promises in faith.  


TESTIMONIES

“When I was younger I wouldn’t tithe because I questioned it. I wondered: If I don’t tithe will God love me less? I had some problems with my job, and I was owed a lot of money (back pay) by my employer. Hearing of my troubles, my mom and my pastor separately asked me if I were paying my tithes. I decided to give my tithes as a test. God blessed me with a new job and on top of that all the money that was owed to me by my former employer was paid in full.” — Shared by a sister from Ghana, living in the Netherlands.

"When we applied to become missionaries 19 years ago, God told us to get out of debt. We owed $8,000 USD on a small mobile home we had purchased 8 years earlier in order to serve as pastors in a small home missions church. Obeying God, we cut our spending and sold as many of our possessions as possible. We also found extra ways to earn money. Still it seemed impossible. All this time we were giving 15% of our income in tithes and missions offerings. We attended a special meeting, and God asked us to give an extra 5% of our income that month to the need that was presented. We wrote the check out immediately, trusting that God would somehow help us to make ends meet.

Exactly one week later, John’s boss at the bank (where he worked to support our ministry) called him in and gave him a promotion with a 3-grade salary increase. In just 6-months-time, we retired all the debt on our home before we began itinerating as missionaries. At that time we began traveling on a faith basis, but our missions account never went into a deficit. In 19 years of missions, God has always provided for every need, even though we give more than 10% of our income each month to God’s Kingdom. We enjoy the liberty of being debt-free, so we may serve God however He leads." — Pastors John & Joy Sisk.


MORE QUESTIONS?

Check out this sermon by Pastor John.