Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

How Do We Determine What to Give to God at Church?

Malachi 3:8

“Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me.” “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’” “In tithes and offerings.”

20140530-104833-38913743.jpgHow do we determine the amount we give in the weekly offering to God at our church?

The tithe was established in the Old Testament as the amount due God from His people.

Leviticus 27:30 – A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.

We’re told that to not bring the tithe to God is robbing God.

Malachi 3:8-11 – 8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ “In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse — the whole nation of you — because you are robbing me. 10 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 you will not have room enough for it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit,” says the Lord Almighty.

The promise of God is that He will bless those who tithe and even protect their work (their crops). This sense of God being with us as we honor Him with our tithe is throughout the Bible.

Genesis 28:20-22 – 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me and will watch over me on this journey I am taking and will give me food to eat and clothes to wear 21 so that I return safely to my father’s house, then the Lord will be my God 22 and this stone that I have set up as a pillar will be God’s house, and of all that you give me I will give you a tenth.” 

A tithe or tenth is mentioned in the New Testament also as the standard for giving. It is used as a given or righteous act when folks were challenged to do this but to have a pure heart as well (read Matthew 23:23Luke 11:42 & Luke 18:12).

Recently I have been reading Nehemiah and his journey. When he returned to Jerusalem he found that the people had neglected the bringing of the tithe to the place of worship.

Nehemiah 13:10-12 – 10 I also learned that the portions assigned to the Levites had not been given to them, and that all the Levites and singers responsible for the service had gone back to their own fields. 11 So I rebuked the officials and asked them, “Why is the house of God neglected?” Then I called them together and stationed them at their posts. 12 All Judah brought the tithes of grain, new wine and oil into the storerooms.

In the early Christian Church many were devote Jews and so a tithe would have been part of their religious practices. But they also practiced alms giving or giving beyond the tithe to the poor and needy.

Acts 4:34-35 – 34 There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.

So how do we figure out what we give to the God through the church in our offering? Are we a percentage giver? Do we give what we think best? Do you give what we think we can afford? Do we only give if we attend a particular Sunday/month (seems like some do this because as attendance goes down in the summer so does our giving)?  Do we give according to how well the preacher/pastor does on a given Sunday?  Do we give to the percentage we agree with what the church is doing?

Here’s a chart that will help us do the math. I have listed a yearly household income and what 5% and 10% of that income would be weekly.

Income – – – – 5% – – – – 10 %
$ 25,000 – – $24.04 – – $ 48.08
$ 50,000 – – $48.08 – – – $96.15
$ 75,000 – – $72.12 – – – $144.23
$100,000 – -$96.15 – – – $192.31
$125,000 – – $120.19 – – – $240.38
$150,000 – – $144.23 – – – $288.46
$200,000 – – $192.31 – – – $384.62

So – what is our annual household income and what do we give weekly? Are we honoring God with our gift or offering? Are we robbing God? Are we giving unto God’s work what God has asked of us? How about some thoughts and comments on this subject?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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September 18, 2014 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Leadership, Personal, Theology, Worship | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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