What the Bible Says...
Giving is more than just a simple principle; a willingness to be generous is what truly defines a person’s relationship with God. And generosity is not limited to our finances alone. When we live a lifestyle of generosity—giving the Lord our financial offerings, our time, our love, our resources, and our abilities—God uses them to reach a world in need. Not only that, but He blesses us in return…not necessarily financially, but in all aspects of life and in our relationship with Him."How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees.
In Matthew 23:23, Jesus describes the heart of giving we should have.
Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income,
but you ignore the important things of the law–justice, mercy, and faith.
You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things."
He isn’t discounting the importance of financial giving; rather, He’s pointing out the vital importance of giving out of a heart of love and generosity. We can’t truly be generous in one area of our lives while withholding from God in other areas. It doesn’t work.
As Christians our calling is to love God and love people. And as we give to accomplish this, God will multiply our efforts and do "abundantly more than all we ask or think…" (Ephesians 3:20). God wants to use you to further His Kingdom…simply ask: what would He have you give? Then be obedient to what you hear Him say.
How Does Grace Church Use the Tithe and Offering?
We believe that God has called not only individuals to be generous, but that as a corporate church body we are called to be over-the-top generous in the way we love and serve the world. Grace Church supports the mission of Christ by:
• Supporting missionaries around the world.
• Supporting local agencies and groups.
• Caring for the church community and others.
• Church staff.
• Church facilities.
• Other outreach and support.
The Principal of Giving and Tithing
The idea of tithing to God—literally, giving one tenth of something—occurs very early in the Scriptures. In Genesis we see Abram tithing (14:20). In Leviticus, tithes are commanded (27:30-32), as well as in Deuteronomy 14:22-28. According to the Law, then, God’s people were to keep the tithe. So the question is...does that apply to us today?
In the New Testament, we get insight into this question by understanding Christ’s offering His life on our behalf and doing away with the Levitical sacrificial system of the Old Testament. Read Hebrews 10:9-10 below.
"'…Behold I have come to do Your [God the Father’s] will.’ He [Jesus Christ] does away with the first in order to establish the second. And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."
So, as New Testament believers, are we commanded to tithe? The simple answer is…no. But the reality is, the Lord has raised the bar for us: we are held to a much higher standard than the children of Israel when it comes to giving.
Here are some passages to consider:
"The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."
-2 Corinthians 9:6-8
"And He sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And He called His disciples to Him and said to them, 'Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.'"-Mark 12:41-44
So, it’s not about how much you give…it’s about how generous you are with what He has given you to steward, to manage. Tithing is fairly easy-generosity is much more difficult to accomplish. It takes the Spirit’s work in our lives to make us into people who are generous with our time, our talents, and our resources. Jesus says it’s a heart thing…and when we have a heart for God and for His work, our attitude, lifestyle, and generosity prove it.