Giving God’s Way

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The Biblical Basis of Tithing by David Campbell

Introduction: The Importance of Money in the Bible

Contrary to what many might think, the discussion of money is prevalently featured in the teachings of Jesus and throughout the Bible. Howard L. Dayton highlights that Jesus, in His earthly ministry, substantially addressed money management, evident from the sixteen out of thirty-eight parables focusing on this subject. This perspective is supported by the Bible offering more than 2,000 verses related to money and possessions, considerably more than it devotes to prayer or faith. Such emphasis indicates the profound relevance of how financial resources are managed in a believer’s life—a clear mirror of one’s heart and spiritual priorities as Jesus stated, “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).

Giving Arises from Vision

According to Scripture, particularly the teachings of Jesus, genuine Biblical giving stems from a vision rooted deeply in the understanding of the Kingdom of God. Jesus intricately linked financial wisdom with spiritual priorities, instructing His followers to primarily seek the kingdom and His righteousness (Matthew 6:33). This directional guidance was provided amid discussions about material wealth, portraying how inseparable our financial conduct is from our spiritual pursuits. Jesus lived this truth, offering a perfect model of prioritizing spiritual over material accumulation, thereby extending an invitation for us to mirror His ways.

Principles of Giving Drawn from Jesus’ Teachings

  1. Understanding God’s Purpose: A realisation of God’s purpose for our lives is fundamental. Without recognising His kingdom objectives, we remain unmotivated to give and hence, estranged from the provision God promises.
  2. God as the Ultimate Giver: All creation is an act of God’s generosity, a theme that is deeply embedded in God’s character. Reflecting this attribute means continually seeking ways to give rather than receive, creating a cycle of spiritual blessings that align with God’s nature as revealed through Jesus’ earthly life.
  3. Historical Precedence of Revival through Giving: Scriptural narratives from Moses to Josiah illustrate that periods of spiritual renewal often coincided with renewed commitment to giving or tithing. This historical pattern underscores giving as a catalyst for both spiritual and communal transformations.
  4. Holistic Submission to God Includes Finances: If one’s finances are misaligned from Godly submission, it is likely reflective of broader spiritual disobedience or lukewarmness, necessitating a heartfelt correction towards God’s principles.

God, the Giver

Arguably the pinnacle of God’s generosity was through Jesus Christ, who, despite His richness, embraced poverty so we might become spiritually wealthy (2 Corinthians 8:9). This supreme sacrifice delineates our role not as mere possessors of wealth but as stewards of God’s manifold gifts, accountable to God’s ordained management principles, echoing Jesus’ parables about the faithful stewardship.

The Concept and Persistence of Tithing

In contrast to popular opinion, tithing as a principle did not commence with Mosaic Law but with Abraham’s acknowledgment of God’s sovereignty through his encounter with Melchizedek (Genesis 14:20). This act of giving ten percent is perpetuated in New Testament teachings, where Jesus upholds tithing as an enduring practice (Matthew 23:23). Thus, tithing under the New Covenant is not abolished but continues as a testament to God’s unchanging nature and the believer’s continuous acknowledgment of His provision and lordship.

Conclusion: The Transformative Power of Tithing

The New Testament does not relax the expectations upon a believer’s financial giving but rather intensifies it, calling for a generosity that transcends the Law’s stipulations. When believers align their financial practices with Biblical truths, they invariably witness God’s blessings in both spiritual and material dimensions. The essence of tithing and financial stewardship ultimately lies in mirroring the generous heart of God, fostering a lifestyle of giving that reflects our identity in Christ.

As we embrace this divine and timeless principle, there’s no doubt we will witness the transformational power it brings to your life and those around you.

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