Malachi 3:8-12; Proverbs 3:9-10; Leviticus 27:30-33; Mark 12:41-44; Matthew 6:19-24
WHAT IS IT?
When the topic of money and church comes up, many people get defensive. Maybe you had trouble even bringing yourself to start a Bible plan about money. After all, isn't God all about loving people and giving to others? Why should we have to give our money to God?
If these are thoughts you've had before, don't be embarrassed. If you're going to go all-in for Jesus and your money is included in that, you should have questions. And you should have answers. That's why we're writing this plan! So to start, we'd like to take the opportunity to explain exactly what the Bible asks of Jesus-followers when it comes to finances. As we read the following verses, we'll see that "Give" isn't even necessarily the right term.
Instead, we ought to use the word 'tithe.' The reason this word is more appropriate is because the word 'tithe' literally means 'a tenth.' And Jesus reinforces the reasoning behind this principle: No matter how much money you make, we are all called to sacrifice the same ratio, not the same amount. Someone with less money is not expected to give the same amount as someone with lots of money - Jesus is not after a dollar amount.
As we'll talk about in tomorrow's devotional, Jesus is after our hearts.
But for now, we wanted to start by explaining and reading just exactly what the Bible (and Jesus) said about tithing. So take a few minutes for yourself and see what it says!
Deuteronomy 26:1-11; Deuteronomy 16:17; Psalms 50:7-15
WHAT IS IT?
Hopefully reading those verses yesterday began to give you an idea of how God views money. As far as tithing goes, it began as a command and exercise for God's people to remember just exactly where their provision came from. Whether of their flock or of their garden, the first ten percent of whatever they gained was to be given back to God; and not only ten percent, but the best ten percent.
There's something about giving your first back to God that reminds you that He actually is the reason you have any of it to begin with.
And there is nothing that will move faster and get a tighter grip around our heart than our money. As we'll see in the coming passages, this tithing and returning back to God is actually less of an obligation and more of a gift - it helps us to keep our hearts from relying on something so fickle. It provides us with a tangible way of saying, "God, I trust you and I know that you can do far more with this ten percent than I could do with the ninety percent!"
Why do we tithe? Because it helps us to remember who our real Provider is!Adapted From: Next Steps Give - You Version