Putting First Things First…Understanding Tithes and Offerings

What are Tithes and Offerings?

Tithes are a tenth of what God has blessed or increased us with.  The increase can be in the form of earnings or gifts, but the tenth does not belong to us—it belongs to God.  Since the tithes are not ours, we really cannot give them but can only bring them to God since they already belong to Him.  Offerings are what we give above the tithes.  When we give an offering, we are giving from what is our portion.  Some denominations may not call it the tithe or offering, but the principal is still the same.  We are required to bring God’s portion to Him and sacrifice some of our portion in order to be truly blessed.

When do I pay Tithes and Offerings?

We should tithe on our gross income and from all of our increase.  The tithe is before federal income tax, social security tax, allotments, and anything else that comes out of your paycheck.  The offering is based on what God has laid upon our hearts to give.  We should not feel pressured to give but have a desire to give to God.  Don’t give because man has called a $500 prayer line.  Give because God has placed it upon your heart to give.  We know that God will bless our faithfulness, but we should not give only looking for something in return.  God may bless us with health, strength as well as financially.  He has many areas to bless us, so do not be closed-minded to believe that God only blesses us in financial ways.  Have you ever felt pressured to give?  Have you ever been angry when you give?  If you are not giving cheerfully, you might as well not give it, because God will not receive the offering if you are not presenting it in the proper manner.

Why are Tithes and Offerings important?

Tithes and offerings are important because they are commanded by God.  Since he has given us so many blessings, we should give to Him because we love Him.  Keeping money that belongs to God is stealing.  In some congregations, the percentage of tithers is decreasing while the membership is increasing.  There are too many people living partially redeemed lives.  Tithes bless our household, and we all receive the same blessings for tithing.  God shows no favoritism because someone’s monetary tithes may be more.  Tithes are tithes whether you make $1,000 or $100,000.  Offering is a monetary consecration and is an act of faith by giving God over and above your tithe.  Our giving should be done in secret.  There is no need to publicly announce what we give unless that is all you desire from God.  I’d prefer to give in secret and let God reward me openly.  An important fact to know is that the offering is what causes our money to multiply.  This is an important reason why we must give it cheerfully.  Angry, stingy givers often miss out on their financial blessings because they fail to fully understand the art of true giving.

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