The Kingdom of God only advances when God’s people understand the importance of the tithe. When the tithe is neglected the church not only suffers, but progression and advancement are lost.
The word “tithe” simply means to give one-tenth (10%) of our income to God’s house. The tithe is what fuels the local church to spread the love of Christ and the message of Jesus on earth. One of the last things Jesus said before ascending into heaven was, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit." Many people are unaware of just how much money that word "GO" costs. While salvation is a free gift from God, the spreading of the gospel is not.
Every week hundreds of people come into Nexus Church to learn more about the love of Christ, and the reason they are able to receive this message is because of the obedience of tithing men and women within Nexus Church. When each individual does their part by tithing they are literally fueling the church to do Kingdom work! The tithe is the very fuel that keeps the lighthouse burning , and enables the church to “go.” If the tithe is neglected, the light will never burn as bright as God intended for it to be, and the church will never be as effective as it could have been. Tithing is part of a Kingdom system, not a man-made system. God created this system so the local church would have the needed resources to function the way God intended it to function. Despite what many people think, God doesn’t print money in heaven. If the church is lacking provision, God doesn’t simply drop cash from the heavenlies to meet their need.
God’s system for meeting the needs of the local church has always been accomplished through the obedience of His people. That’s why God instructs His children to “BRING” all the tithe into the storehouse. When we bring it, God can bring provision to the local Church.
Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my temple. If you do, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test.
God wants there to be plenty of food and resources for the local church and that only becomes possible when people are obedient and honor God with their tithe. Tithing not only puts food and resources in the storehouse but it also opens up our lives to receive the blessings of God. When we are obedient in honoring God with our tithe, God says we will have so much blessing that we won’t have enough room to take it in!This is why the devil seeks to silence the church on the subject of tithing more than anything else. If he can make the church timid about this subject he can stop the Gospel from spreading and hinder the blessings that people receive in their lives. When the Word of God is not at the forefront, deception will always follow. Deception is how the devil keeps people in bondage.
This bondage is what robs people from experiencing the “abundant life” Jesus came to bring them. Deception is always laced with justification. Most people never view themselves as deceived because they justify their actions and think that what they are doing is vindicated. This is why so many Christians neglect to honor God with their tithe. I don’t have enough money. The church really doesn’t need it. I need to take care of my own needs first. These are just some ways people justify not honoring God with their tithe. They mistakenly believe that God is fine with partial obedience. What we need to finally understand is that partial obedience is really disobedience.
Total obedience is all about the provision of God. It’s all about living a 360 degree lifestyle for the Kingdom. A person who is living 360 degrees for Christ doesn’t cling to the tithe, they bring the tithe. The only way you can live as a 360 degree worshiper is by realizing that everything you have belongs to God. God never created us to be owners of anything, He created us to be managers.
Deuteronomy 14:22-23 You must set aside a tithe of your crops, one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship, the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God.
If you want to live as a 360 degree disciple, you must first realize that God is the blessor. When you understand this you will be on the receiving end of the tangible and intangible favor of God.
There is a place that I love to take my kids to called “Power Play.” Power Play is basically a gigantic arcade. In order to play the games you have to purchase a card that comes with points on it. For every game you play you must swipe the card and points are deducted off your card. Most times I purchase only one card for all of us to share. Now the problem with having just one card is that only one person can hold it. This is a difficult challenge for me because I have three boys and they all want to be in charge of the card. Everything usually goes well until I want to play a game myself. In order to play a game I have to get the card from my boys and every once in a while they will look at me and say, “No, it’s my card!” I love my boys, but there are several things I must now explain to them about this card.
1. I am the one who bought the card for them.
2. I can just rip that card out of their little hands.
3. I have the ability to buy them more points.
You see, honoring God with our tithe is a lot like this Power Play point card. All of us have points on our card. We acquire these points by working in life. Every week our Heavenly Father comes to us and says, “Would you bring me 10% of the points on your card?” Many people react to God the same way my boys often react to me by saying, “No! They’re my points!” Like my boys, there are several things that people don’t understand when it comes to the blessings, and the points that they have on their card.
1. God is the one who gave you your points.
2. God has the power to take all your points if He wants.
3. God has the power to fill your card up with more than enough points.
Psalm 24:1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him.
Job 41:11 Who has given me anything that I need to pay back? Everything under heaven is mine.
Are you living a 360 degree life?
Do you worship God with everything or just some things?
True worshipers understand that there is more to worship than just coming to church.
As followers of Christ we are called to worship God 360 degrees. We rob ourselves from living a blessed life when we stop at 90 degrees or 180 degrees. When we invite people to church and volunteer in ministries, we are living as a 90 degree disciple. When we come to church and worship God in song, we are living as a 180 degree disciple.
When we open our hearts and receive God’s Word, we move into a 270 degree disciple. But when we end our worship with the tithe, we complete the circle and become a 360 degree disciple. A 360 degree disciple understands that tithing isn’t just something you do so you can check it off your to-do list. The tithe is a reflection of your heart. The tithe is worshiping God through thanksgiving. A 360 degree disciple doesn’t look at tithing as an obligation but rather a revelation of the provision of God. When we neglect to worship God with our tithe we are ignoring the blessor in our life.
Everything we have is from God and when we refuse to honor Him with our tithe we are turning a blind eye to our source of blessings. Tithing is an attitude that says, “God has blessed me with my finances and therefore I get to tithe as an expression of my love and gratefulness for what He has done in my life.” One of the greatest things about being a 360 degree worshiper is that we become connected to everything God promises in His covenant. You will never know what it’s like to live under an open heaven as long as you cling to what already belongs to God. Some people view the tithe as something that rightfully belongs to them and that is how they can justify clinging to it. The truth is, the tithe doesn’t belong to us and it never has. The tithe belongs to God and when we refuse to honor Him with it, we are literally taking what isn’t rightfully ours.
Malachi 3:8-9 Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day. You ask, ‘How have we robbed you?’ “The tithe and the offering—that’s how! And now you’re under a curse, the whole lot of you, because you’re robbing me.”
Tithing reflects a grateful heart that wants to give back to God a portion of what He has given us; in reality, what is already His. Tithing is our opportunity to show God that He is first in our lives.
360 degree disciples aren’t governed by the system of the world. Instead, they are governed by the Kingdom of God. Since they are governed by the Kingdom of God they experience supernatural provision in their life, a provision that the world system can never give. The Kingdom of God is built on multiplication, not division. God uses the tithe as an investment where everyone involved gets a return on the investment. Obviously the church and the Kingdom are blessed, and yet God’s nature is to also bless the giver.
If you want to see Kingdom multiplication at work just check out the following passage.
2 Chronicles 31:4-10 In addition, he asked the people who lived in Jerusalem to be responsible for providing for the priests and Levites so they, without distraction or concern, could give themselves totally to The Revelation of God. As soon as Hezekiah’s orders had gone out, the Israelites responded generously: first-fruits of the grain harvest, new wine, oil, honey—everything they grew. They didn’t hold back, turning over a tithe of everything. They also brought in a tithe of their cattle, sheep, and anything else they owned that had been dedicated to God. Everything was sorted and piled in mounds. They started doing this in the third month and didn’t finish until the seventh month. When Hezekiah and his leaders came and saw the extent of the mounds of gifts, they praised God and commended God’s people Israel. Hezekiah then consulted the priests and Levites on how to handle the abundance of offerings. Azariah, chief priest of the family of Zadok, answered, “From the moment of this huge outpouring of gifts to The Temple of God, there has been plenty to eat for everyone with food left over.
God has blessed his people—just look at the evidence!” These people were living in the 360 degree provision of God! A 360 degree disciple doesn’t just walk in provision, they also experience the overflow of God’s blessings. You will always be able to spot a 360 degree disciple by looking at the evidence of provision surrounding them.
Proverbs 3:9-10 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the best part of everything you produce. Then he will fill your barns with grain, and your vats will overflow with good wine.
Are you ready to take the necessary steps to become a 360 degree disciple? Are you willing to stop letting the devil deceive you with the reasons why you don’t need to tithe?
As a follower of Christ, we have to be willing to change the things in our lives that don’t line up with the Word of God. The reason God wants our lives to line up with His Word is because His Word will produce the best results in our life. This is why the devil wants you to live in deception and ignore what God says. He knows that if you don’t follow God’s Word, He will be able to rob you from the blessings of God. Living in the provision of God is available to all Christians, but it’s not automatic.
If you’ve spent any time in God’s Word you will see a consistent theme, “If you do this, I’ll give you that.” God can only move in someone’s life when faith is at the forefront because faith is the only thing to which God responds. Tithing is not only an act of obedience, but it’s an act of faith. When we tithe we are saying, “I trust God to take care of me.” The Church is the hope of the world. It’s the hope of the world because God has entrusted it with the message of salvation, which is the only thing that can change the lives and hearts of people. When we give our tithe to the local church, we are literally funding hope for countless people. Our giving makes it possible for the church to open up it’s doors and share God’s Good News of salvation.
God doesn’t want you to sit on the sidelines. He wants you to be actively involved in building the local church. This is what the tithe is all about! It gets us off the sidelines and puts us in the game. Just think of the difference we could make in our city if every single person at Nexus decided to start honoring God with their tithe. We could make such an enormous impact in the lives of the lost and broken that it would literally change our entire city. If you’ve never been a tither, I want to challenge you to take a step of faith today and begin to see the windows of heaven open up in your life!
Matthew 5:14-15 You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand.