Life On and Off an Acreage

In-sights into moving from an Acreage back to Town, plus a few things I find of interest.

Two things that horses are scared about:

1. Things that move
2. Things that don't move

September 15, 2010

Tithing

As I was growing up in the church, I remember my parents talking about how they were against tithing. They did give, but without commitment. This stuck with me until a few years ago when I listened to a Board member in the Church describing his experiences with tithing. They were all positive! The more he gave, the more he was blessed.

Elaine and I, as new Christians, were impressed with this testimony and decided to give it a try. This was not an easy decision at the time. I was newly retired from industry, working as a handyman to sort of make ends meet while trying to improve the Acreage for horses. ( Hint: Don't buy your horses before you have cleared land, built fences, and obtained basic knowledge on horses) Sorry for the aside, but it did cost a lot of money.
It would have been easy to say "Fine, we'll continue on, and give 10% after taxes, food, lodging, horses etc." But where does that place God in the heirarchy? Dead last!

We decided that we would do it right, and tithe on all income from pension, earnings, investments etc. up front. Not an easy choice at the time.

Do Not Rob God

 Will a man rob God?
Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say,
‘In what way have we robbed You?’
In tithes and offerings.
 You are cursed with a curse,
For you have robbed Me,
Even this whole nation.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”
Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing
That there will not be room enough to receive it.
11 “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes,
So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the Lord of hosts;  Malachi 3:10-11

Surprisingly ( or maybe not so), we did not miss the 10% at all! We have had many blessings poured out on us after this practice was put into place:

1: Things were tight and I was praying for some work. A fellow who had never been to our place, found us and asked if I had any experience in metal roofing. That  one week job turned into 6 weeks.
2.We were discussing on how to get totally out of debt, a situation that both of us said was not possible! Well, by declaring that we would do this, within a year we had paid off the mortgage, our credit balance and the impossible was done. During this period we also increased the amount we were tithing!

Those are the big ones. There were a bunch more blessings on the acreage that allowed things to happen that were beyond our means at the time.

As far as I know, this is the only place in the Bible where God says "Try me". He has been proven true to His promise!

What about you? Do you tithe? How? And, how have your experiences been?








6 comments:

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Hello Brother Ian

I believe Christians should give according to how God has blessed them. And I don't necessarily mean money. 10% is a good start. Some are able to give 20%, 50%, 70% or more. It's not so much the % we give but our motives behind our giving. And it should be kept between you and the Lord.

2 Corinthians 9:7
So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

Gregg said...

OG is right. Tithing was for the Jews. By the way their tithe was between 23 and 33% because it included produce, animals, etc.

There is no command for believers under grace to tithe. But, we are privileged to give and giving is a form of worship.

Gary Arnold said...

Your parents were right.

OLD TESTAMENT - THE FIRST OF THE FRUITS SHOULD GO TO GOD
Proverbs 3:9 (KJV) “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:”

NEW TESTAMENT - THE WORKER SHOULD BE FIRST TO RECEIVE A SHARE OF THE FRUIT
2 Timothy 2:6 (KJV) “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”

When was the last time you heard a pastor say that you should spend the FIRST part of your income on yourself and your family?

1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV) “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

The New Testament makes it clear that we are to use the FIRST of our income to take care of ourselves and our family. We are talking about needs, here, not just anything we want. Then we should give generously from what is left.

The New Testament teaches generous, sacrificial giving, from the heart, according to our means. For some, $1 might be a sacrifice, while for others, even giving 50% of their income might not induce a sacrifice. In the Old Testament, ONLY the farmers tithed, and it was equal percentage (a tenth). The New Testament teaches the principle of equal sacrifice instead of equal percentage. Equal sacrifice is much harder to achieve, if not impossible, than giving ten percent.

The Bible CLEARLY SHOWS that the tithe ENDED at the cross in the Book of Hebrews. In the first nine verses of Hebrews 7 the words tenth or tithes appears SEVEN TIMES. The ONLY place in the Bible, after Calvary, that tithing appears is in Hebrews 7.

In Hebrews 7:5 we are told that Levi (the Levites) took the tithes under the law. In Hebrews 7:12 we are told that when the priesthood changes, the law will change. Hebrews 7:18 is telling us that Numbers 18 was disannulled. Numbers 18 established the Levitical priesthood, and part of that establishing included tithing. When the Levitical priesthood ended (at Calvary, or at least in the year 70AD when the temple was destroyed), all laws that established that priesthood were canceled. If Numbers 18 wasn't canceled, we would still be under the Levitical priesthood.

Those who argue they didn't have money or income then really need to study the scriptures. They had money and wages, even in Genesis. The farmers had income from barter exchanges, and they had markets to buy and sell as proven in Deuteronomy 14:24-26.

Those who argue Malachi 3:8, robbing God, need to start with verse 7. God is talking about His ordinances in Numbers 18 which we learned were disannulled according to Hebrews 7:18. Also, if you start with Malachi 1, you will see that God is speaking to the priests, not the people. The priests robbed God of the tithe (Nehemiah 13) and the priests robbed God of the offerings (Malachi 1).

Those who teach and collect the tithe are false teachers, either out of ignorance, or they are just plain dishonest. I, personally, know both types of pastors.

IanH said...

First of all, let me say that tithing works well for us, and it provides structure for our giving. This tithe goes to the church. We also budget for those issues that do come up from time to time such as, mission trip support, needy folks and organizations. It works for us, and we have been blessed mightily by doing so. Why change?

Both The Old Geezer and Ron make valid points. Ron is an authority big time on tithing, and has published books on the subject. See http://www.tithingtoday.com/. His credentials are impressive!

Tithing works for us. Why fix it if it isn't broken?
Thanks for the input! My education continues!



http://www.tithingtoday.com/

Gary Arnold said...

Gee, you gave the address to MY website. I also wrote a book showing exactly what the scriptures say about tithing.

Ruralrose said...

Hi Ian - finally got here. Love this post. As I new Christian I also tithed to the church, one year I even gave $1000 to the Robert Tilton Ministries. No longer affiliated with a church I give what and when he asks me to give. Sometimes it is money, sometimes it is food, sometimes it is time - sometimes it is leaving some fruit on the trees for the bears. I used to pray for what I wanted, and I almost always got it. It was a hollow victory and the tithe trade off left a sour taste. Now I only pray to do and have and be what He wants. When you would do or give anything for him, the word tithe looses all meaning. I do agree it is a good way to show people that God is real. Thanks for checking up on me, it touched my heart big time. Peace