The following piece on Tithing was discussed at the recent Anglican Synod in Grahamestown.
The first commandment.
Thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy mind and with all thy soul.
Before we speak about tithing can we speak about God?
1. How important is he in our lives? Does he merit full obedience? Is he number one in our lives?
2. This is a decision we have to take at all times in our lives.
3. If the answer is “Yes” then we have to be his representatives to promote our God on our earth, our land and in ourselves. We only have us to tell the world what Jesus did for all our people and how he can ensure our salvation.
4. This has to become important to us.
We will support God Our Father through our ministry and through our tithes and giving. Render unto ……… God those things that are God’s.
Leviticus 27:30 states. “All the tithes of the land, whether the seeds of the land or the fruits of the land is the Lords. It is Holy to the Lord.” All we have belongs to the Lord.
Genesis 28:22 states. “All that thou shall give me, I will surely give the tenth to the Lord”
The desire to tithe will come very readily if we put God first in our lives. Why? We are returning to God what is rightfully his. If we keep it we cannot tell the world God is real and paramount in our lives. We are shortchanging him.
God’s ministry needs these funds very desperately and this is why all our financial obedience is vital.
Giving a tithe is acknowledgement that all we have is from Christ and our tithe is returning a small part of his favour for the purposes for which it is (as you all know) sorely needed for Gods ministry.
(Mal 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.
Let me give you some examples of how God rewards tithing.
St Patricks in Hogsback started in 2005 to tithe. The first annual tithe amounted to R 600.
Ten years later, with a congregation of not more than 50 persons at the most, and more than half of them not Anglicans, the annual tithe income was R 94 015. This is an increase of approximately 150 times our original tithing income. “Test me and see?”
Why did this happen?
Our chapel council decided to tithe on all our income and religiously paid our 10% to the needy. So in 2015, St Patricks paid out R 16 554 as our tithe. (Test me and see if …)
In addition St Patricks was able, together with our annual Diocesan assessment, able to give 40% of our income to the needy, on top of paying our priest. (Test me and see if I ……)
Tithing, according to Rev Billy Graham, makes us effective partners with God.
An extreme example! Richard Warmbrand tithed his meals to less privileged prisoners, while he was in prison!!!!
Some examples of those who tithed and God rewarded.
Mr. Cromwell of Quaker Oats tithed more than 60% of his income.
Mr. Colgate of Toothpaste fame did likewise.
Mr. Rockerfeller Jnr tithed his first 1.50 dollar income.
Mr. A. A. Hyde even started tithing when he was in debt and God favored his business fourfold. God is the first creditor.
Mr. W. R. Speight says, “Money can’t be put to a higher use than honoring God.”
There are numerous other examples of Christians who have been faithful and tithed and God has prospered them extraordinarily. (Test me and see …..)
Those who receive tithes are still obliged to tithe themselves. We must tithe our tithes received!
A Christian who tithes will be surprised at:
1. The amount of money he has for the Lords work.
2. The deepening of his spiritual life after paying his tithes.
3. The ease of meeting his obligations with the remaining 9/10ths.
4. Ease of increasing the 10%.
5. The ease of managing the 9/10th remaining.
6. The surprise for not adopting the plan sooner.
Our Diocese now has to resort to commercial fund raising to provide the necessary ministry to its people because of the lack of tithing among our congregations. This reflects poorly on our trust of, and faith in God. Jesus died for us for what?
What is the solution?
Each congregation (including the Diocese and the Cathedral) must consciously decide to tithe in faith, at the start, at least 10% of their gross income as the relevant council determines. (Test me and see if I will not reward you). In a short time the 10% will increase but the income will escalate because we are all faithful. We, as representatives of our parishioners, will get this message to our congregants because we put God first in our Churches - but we must start with ourselves.
Finally I pray for Holy Spirit guidance and active support for all our people in our Diocese. Then our finances will overflow and we can truly honor God magnificently. And won’t our Bishop, then, praise God and the Holy Spirit?
Watch the flood gates!!