Who alone is the rightful owner of this world and everything in it?
"The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein". Psalm 24:1
What else does God claim?
"For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills". Psalm 50:10
"The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts". Haggai 2:8
Who gives us the ability to obtain wealth?
"But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is He that giveth thee power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day". Deuteronomy 8:18
What great danger do we face as we prosper in material goods?
"Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God... lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses... and when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied... then thine heart be lifted up and thou forget the Lord thy God... and thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of mine hand hath gotten me this wealth". Deuteronomy 8:11-17
"The love of money is the root of all evil". 1.Timothy 6:10
As God prospers us, what important question should be foremost in our thoughts?
"What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits toward me?" Psalm 116:12
God makes man a steward or manager of His goods in the earth. What part of these possessions does God claim are holy to Him?
"And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's: it is holy unto the Lord". Leviticus 27:30
Note: Here is an interesting point. God claims as His, one-seventh of our time and one-tenth of our possessions. Tithe means tenth. God does not need any of our wealth. He is the one who has everything. However, He shares His wealth with us that we may give back to Him, thus keeping open the springs of unselfishness, appreciation, and gratitude toward Him. If we were to keep everything for ourselves, greed would take over with all its tragic consequences.
The "tithing" system has been observed by God's people from the earliest times.
Of Abraham, the scripture says:
"And he gave him tithes of all." Genesis 14:20
And Jacob vowed to God:
"Of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee". Genesis 28:22
How does God appropriate the tithe?
"I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation". Numbers 18:21
Note: The Levites were the priests or full-time ministers of those days.
Is tithe paying a valid New Testament principle as well?
"Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel". 1.Corinthians 9:13, 14
What special blessing does God promise to those that faithfully pay tithe?
"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts". Malachi 3:10,11
What warning is given regarding those who keep the tithe for their own use?
"Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation". Malachi 3:8,9
Note: A tenth of all our increase belongs to God. It is His holy tithe, to be used in the work of the ministry and to spread the gospel of Christ. Those who return a faithful tithe to God are not giving offerings. What we give above the tithe is an offering, or gift to God.
Think it through:
Some reason, "I cannot afford to give God tithes and offerings; I can scarcely pay my bills now". But specific Bible promises are made to those who trust God and put Him first!
a. "So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you o little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you". Matthew 6:28-33 (New King James Version)
b. "Honor the Lord with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine". Proverbs 3:9,10
c. "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again". Luke 6:38
d. "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread". Psalm 37:25
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