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Text Box: What on Earth would make me want to "Tithe" ?
Text Box:  
Thatís a fair question, and the answer to that question can only be "Nothing". There is "Nothing" on Earth that would make me want to Tithe. So, if tithing doesnít originate from here on Earth, then just where does it come from?
Websterís Dictionary defines "Tithe" as 1) a tenth part of oneís annual income, either in kind or money, contributed voluntarily for charity or due as a tax for the support of the clergy or church. 2) A tax or assessment of one tenth. 
Throughout my years of service to the church, as a whole, it has become evident to me that many Christians agree with Websterís definition of a tithe. It is apparent that many believe that a tithing falls into any one of the following categories; 1) A tax the Church imposes on itís membership in order to meet itís budget, or 2) A bill given to Christians for services rendered by the Pastor, or 3) A punishment for earning too much money, or 4) As a vote from the membership to show pleasure or displeasure for the a) Pastor, b) Sermon, c) Music or d) anything else we deem as an offense worthy of punishment. 
So then just what is the "truth" about the "tithe? In order to find the truth, we must turn to the only source of truth there is, the Bible, the Word of God itself. When we turn to the Bible, we realize that, first off, God doesnít need our money. We donít tithe so God can have the money He needs to do the Work He has planned on Earth. It was the prophet Haggai that wrote in chapter 2 and verse 8 "All the silver and all the gold belongs to God." (After all He formed it and put it in the ground before man dug it up.) Then in Psalms 50: 9-10 we read, "God said I have no need of the bull or goat from your pens, because all the animals of the forest are mine, and so are the cattle on 1,000 hills."
Well, if God doesnít need your and my money, then why are called upon to tithe? Again letís turn to the Bible for our answer. In Geneses 14: 18 we read of the first recorded act of tithing. It was when Abraham was returning from rescuing his nephew, Lot, that we see Abraham giving a tenth of all they recovered to Melchizedek, the Priest of God. Why was it then that Abraham gave this tithe to the Priest of God? Because he recognized that without God's help, nothing would have been recovered. Abraham was paying tribute to God out of a grateful heart. He knew that all he, Abraham, had came from God and he chose to honor God first.
Then in the book of Malachi 3:6 - 12 we read where God asked His people if they would rob Him. Their response was, how have we robbed you, and God replied "in tithes and offerings. God was telling them that they had brought a curse upon themselves because they had neglected to recognize that it was God who took care of their needs, not they themselves. Do we recognize who is the source of all we have? Or do we subscribe to the belief that weíre self made men?
Many have said that tithing is an Old Testament practice and that Christ never taught us to tithe in the New Testament. As Jesus said in the Scriptures "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." (Matt 5:17) As we study the Scriptures we can see how Christ living in us will move upon us to, in turn, fulfill the commandments of God in the Earth, where the Law said we were to give one tenth of all we had to God as a tribute for His provision.  The New Testament, through the Holy Spirit, teaches us to honor God with ALL that we have. It shows us that we are to have the mind set that all we have is to be used for His purposes. We are to be ready to give gratefully, from our hearts, knowing that when we do so, He will cause us to, in turn, prosper all the more, so that we can be used in even greater ways to finance His ministry in the Earth. It is His way of giving us a part in what He is doing in our midst. Let me share with you from the New Testament Scriptures what the Lord has said about giving, and I pray as you read them that the Holy Spirit will enlighten your hearts and you will be released into a deeper understanding of why it is that we give.
Jesus said in Luke 6:38 "Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. "NIV  In this passage, we see that when we give generously, of our resources, to the work of the Lord, we can expect that God will provide for our needs based on the generosity we used in giving. In other words if we give a token to God, we will receive a token from Him in return. But, if from a heart of love we respond generously to Him, we can be assured that He will lavishly pour out His care upon us.
In 2 Cor. 9:6-15 the Apostle Paul wrote "Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart; not grudgingly or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written,
"He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, 
His righteousness abides forever." 
 
Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food, will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness; you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. Because of the proof given by this ministry they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all, while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you. Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  NAS
 
We can see in these verses that we are to give cheerfully and with all joy unto the Lord. It says that, when we give this way, we are expressing our thanksgiving to God for who He is in our lives. So, in other words, when we give joyfully to the Lord we are showing an attitude of gratitude for "His indescribable gift" to us, His life. 
 
Sheila and I were led to make this step of faith sixteen years ago when the Lord called us to missions. When we left Cool, Texas, to work in Mexico, we left behind all of our safety nets, jobs, home, family, etc. We were thrust into the position of having to trust the Lord in everything. Especially in the area of our finances. Let me give you an example of Godís faithfulness when we obey his word to tithe.
 
While we were in language school in McAllen we attended a small store front Church in Mercedes. I remember clearly this one Sunday morning we only had $ 5.25 between us and not enough gas in the car for the return home from church. Of the $ 5.25 in my pocket, $ 5.00 was our tithe. I wrestled with myself all the way to Church over putting the $ 5.00 into the gas tank or paying our tithe. Just before they took up the offering I made the decision to give our tithe and wait to see how the Lord was going to get us back to school after Church. I want you to know we told no one of our situation. No one knew we only had a quarter left in our pockets.
 
I can tell you that God is faithful. During the closing prayer Sheila felt a hand go into the pocket of her jacket, she was wearing. She was thinking that it was our daughter, Alicia, looking for her handkerchief, so she thought nothing of it. After the service, we said our good byes and headed for the car, still not knowing how we were going to make it home. Once in the car, Sheila reached into her pocket for her handkerchief and pulled out $60.00. God showed Himself to be true to His word. If we honor Him with the first fruits of all He has provided, He will take care of us. 
 
Tithing is not a burden, a tax or a bill its the reflection of our love for Him. Please prayerfully obey Him and make your giving a reflection of your "Attitude of Gratitude" to Him.
 
God Bless you,
                          Tom Shidler
                                                 Eph. 4:11-13   "Lets get em ready"