Hebrews 7:4 (NKJV)
Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils.
I have been a committed Christian since 1994. After reading the bible several times (cover to cover) during those early years, I decided one day to carry out a comprehensive study into the issue of “Tithes and Offerings”, so that I could decide for myself whether it was necessary to make such payments. I can honestly and truthfully say to you that I concluded that we must pay tithes, and also make financial payments known as Offerings:
Every single month, I take 10% of my gross income for that month, and send it as a cheque to a church. This I have done for more than 20 years___without fail: it is called a “Tithe”.
In addition, every single Sunday I make an Offering to the church (even if I do not attend a service). I consider making an Offering in a Sunday morning service (or any service that I attend) part and parcel of the process of “worshipping God”. This is because I understand fully its spiritual significance to God.
I also make other financial Offerings throughout the year; these include:
-The First Fruit Offering: I make an annual Offering, which used to be called in the Old Testament, The First Fruit Offering; this is usually based on income such as Bonus, or if I get a raise or make a sudden profit on things like shares.
-Thanksgiving Offering: if I get a big miracle following something I have been praying about, I acknowledge it by making a special offering known as the Thanksgiving Offering. It could be a breakthrough on a major project, or recovery from illness for myself or a family member.
– Partnership Offerings: I make financial contributions whenever I can (sometimes very small amounts, and at times large amounts) in support of initiatives such a Missionary works, bible distribution etc., I like to be relevant to the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because it is the first thing He will ask me about!
I never wait to be asked to make a Partnership Offering; I actively look for opportunities where I can use my resources to propagate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to show forth His mercy and kindness (we are His hands) by using the resources He has given me.
-Gifts to Ministers of the Gospel: I make financial gifts to Pastors, and their families, particularly those who have helped me in my journey of faith.
I always feel embarrassed if I see a Pastor and his family or anyone who has dedicated their lives to ministry, struggling financially. Equally I feel embarrassed if I hear someone criticizing the life style of Pastors and their families. I so value the work they do that I would not mind if they all lived in mansions, and travelled by private jets!
-Helping the poor and vulnerable: As soon as I understood what the bible was saying about giving to the poor and vulnerable (including widows), I set up programs. My wife and I began when we could only give a few dollars per week, until today it is in millions.
Whether it is helping orphans, or small holder farmers, Ebola and HIV victims; my motivation is always Christ!
Many years ago someone asked me why I do it, and this is what I said:
“_I do not give because I have; I have because I give.”
“_I give because it is one of the best ways to express that you have faith. I trust God that I will not go bankrupt simply because I gave for the things He clearly calls on me to do.”
It requires faith to be able to give:
I tell a story of a young Christian (whether in the spirit or in the flesh) I cannot tell. One day Satan challenged him to prove that he had faith. He thought about it for a moment, and then said, “I tithe my money!” And with that Satan disappeared, never to return. God does not need your money; the church of Jesus Christ will not disappear because you and I never tithed in our life times; tithing and offering is really all about you and I; it’s an opportunity to demonstrate our faith, if only to ourselves!
Always remember that our spiritual enemy (Satan and his cohorts) is very actively trying to persuade you not to give:
He will tell you that, “these Pastors are money grabbers, who are conning people so that they can get their money!”
The enemy is always trying to cast doubt in your mind, so that you become suspicious of giving money to a church. Don’t fall for that trick; find a good church, and give as much as you can.
Don’t be a “cafeteria Christian”; someone who picks and chooses what they like and don’t like in the bible. People who do that eventually become their own god. There is a bible word for someone who has created their own god, and it is called “idolatry”.
During my more than 20 years as a committed Christian, I have been a member of many churches. Sometimes I have had to leave a church because I moved town or country, sometimes it was because there was something going on that led me to leave; whatever the reason, I have always, always made sure that I was a “tither” (like father Abraham).
I give based on what the bible says, and not because someone appealed to me to give my money.
Have I never been let down? Yes, I have many times, but it will never change what the bible says about the importance of giving. When I’m let down, I just simply correct my position, and carry on giving, even more money!
“Giving is me”!
Not giving Tithes and Offerings will not affect your salvation; in other words you will still go to Heaven. It does however affect your positioning in terms of the things God trusts you with in this life, and the one to come.
Don’t give because I told you to give. Do as I did: read the bible carefully, and become fully persuaded through your own studies, and meditations. This way you will stand firm on your own understanding. For each of the areas of giving I have outlined above, I know exactly where to go in the bible to support my position. You should be able to do the same.
Remember my favorite scripture on giving?
2 Corinthians 9:8 (Amplified version).
Have a blessed day.
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