In Matthew 23:23, Jesus speaks about the issue of tithing in this way,
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."
Jesus tells us, "These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone." Yes, they should tithe, but the things He lists are the most important issues.
While we will touch on these issues in later devotionals, I want to point out the fact that Jesus does say we should tithe.
The Living Bible paraphrase of this verse is helpful, "For you tithe down to the last mint leaf in your garden, and ignore the important things—justice and mercy and faith. Yes, you should tithe, but you shouldn't leave the more important things undone."
You should tithe. The first ten percent of your income, or the first ten percent of the increase that God brings to you, is called a tithe. The Bible says in the last chapter of Leviticus that the tithe is holy, and it belongs to the Lord.
So you should tithe. That is very important. In fact, I believe it is the first step in getting God involved in your finances, and an important step in you getting control of your finances.
If you are not tithing, I want to encourage you to open your heart to God's Word in this area and consider the possibilities that He sets before you.
When times are tough, as they are these days, many say they can't afford to tithe. But, I say to you, when times are tough, you cannot afford to keep God out of your finances.
Malachai 3:10 says it best:
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.
Angie and I are enduring tough times right now and in response, we've challenged ourselves to give an additional offering above and beyond our tithe. And, you know what, God has honored that. Yesterday he threw open the floodgates and blessed me with a great new writing job. We tested Him on it and he threw open the floodgates.
God is good, all the time. All He asks in return is that we honor Him faithfully, with our love, our time, our talents and our treasures... He gave them to us in the first place, seems silly to not give some back.