Is Tithing Law or Grace?

 

Malachi 3:10 – “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.”

 
Is Tithing Law or Grace?
This question has been debated by pastors as well as laymen through the years. As a child, I greatly appreciated the great teaching I received on the importance of generosity and giving. I was raised in a large family of eight in Forest Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. We were members of the Messiah Baptist Church of Broadview. In addition to receiving sound Biblical teaching by a faithful pastor and teachers, I had the example of my parents who practiced Biblical tithing and grace giving through our local church.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
I read an excellent article on this subject by Pastor John Ortberg…“One of the things Jesus never actually said was, By the way, now that I’ve introduced grace into the equation, no one needs to worry about tithing anymore.” A frequent question among Christians is, “Isn’t tithing an Old Testament concept? Aren’t we under grace now?

Ortberg continues, “This question more or less assumes that it was only post-Pentecost that the church discovered that God is the owner and that people are stewards. It implies that legalistic old Israel thought all they had to do was check the “I tithed” box and then got to spend the rest however they wanted ( ignoring Biblical statements like, “ The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof ”). What if tithing isn’t opposed to grace, but is actually a vehicle of it? Is tithing in fact God’s great tool to create generous people? Tithing is likened to “training wheels when it comes to giving. It’s intended to help get you started, but not recommended for the Tour de France. When do you know when to take the training wheels off? The answer: When they are slowing you down.”

When do you know it’s time to stop tithing?

The answer: When you give much more than 10 percent. In Malachi 3 the prophet warns the Jewish people that failure to tithe is actually robbing God, but if they proved or tested God, he would open the windows of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.


Storm Proof

 
Storms of life don’t play favorites. Christians experience storms too. The question is: How do you deal with the storms of life? Do you remain calm and maintain courage and confidence? Or do you panic, become afraid and overcome with anxiety? In Acts 27, the Apostle Paul encounters a powerful storm on his journey to Rome. It provides great insight on storm proofing our lives. “But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon. And when the ship was caught, and could not bear up into the wind, we let her drive.” -Acts 27:14,15
 
When we are caught in a storm or crises, we tend to:
 
-Lose our compass and forget where we are headed, let go of our goals and become driven by the crises. (Vs. 15)
-Become impulsive and begin to discard the things that are important to us. (V. 18-19)
-Give in to despair and hopelessness. (V. 20) When we are battered by a storm or crises, what should we do? Drop your Anchors!

 

ANCHOR #1: THE PRESENCE OF GOD. (V. 23)
We may not see God, but God sees us.
“For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve.”
-Acts 27:24

ANCHOR #2: THE PURPOSE OF GOD. (V. 24)
Storms come & go, but God will fulfill your purpose in life.

ANCHOR #3: THE PROMISE OF GOD. (V. 25)
Storms can distract us, but God is always there & He always keeps His promises.

ANCHOR #4: OUR PRAYERS TO GOD. (V. 35)
Talk to God- tell Him your fears- trust Him with all your heart.



The Gospel Seed

 

I have spent quality time in our flower garden recently, completely overhauling it and replanting hedges and flowers. Much time was spent digging up and preparing the soil, applying the right plant mix, planting and then applying the mulch. I find great joy in the finished product, and the realization that if I properly prepare the soil, plant correctly, and water then the plants will flourish and grow. The results are up to the Lord. This reminds me of the parable of the Sower in Luke 8:4-15.

 

There are four types of ground represented:

1. Wayside

2. Rocky

3. Thorny

4. Good.

 

The seed is the Word of God. The success in the growth of the seed has nothing to do with the seed itself, but everything to do with where it lands. If the seed lands on the wayside, or the rocks, or thorny ground, it will not have the root system to produce a healthy crop, or fruit. But if it lands on good, prepared ground, it will grow to perfection. Our job is to sow the seed upon prepared ground… through the power of the Spirit, a broken heart for the lost, and sharing the Gospel with love and clarity, I can trust God for fruit that will grow to perfection. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

 
 
 
 



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