STEWARDSHIP FOCUS
 
TITHING              Charles Stanley

“Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return? Will a man rob God ? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say’ in what have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offering. You are cursed, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.”                                 Malachi 3:7-9
 
The principle of tithing is relevant for today. However, many make excuses for not returning that portion to God. They fret over the economy and job loss, fear of increased taxes, and generally anticipate the worst. They allow their circumstances to prevent them from giving and then they wonder why their situation isn’t any better. Isn’t that just like the unfaithful people in Malachi’s day?
 
When we give our tithe to God, we provide for His work, we prove His faithfulness and show Him honor in acknowledging Him as the source of all we possess and as One worthy of our worship. We bring Him the sacrifices of our praise and possessions. Tithing is another example of God’s fairness and equality toward all believers. He requested the same amount (10 percent) and the same portion (the first portion) (Prov. 3:9-10) to be given by all believers.
 
We are treated equally when we fail to tithe. First, we sin by robbing God of what is rightfully His. Second, we dishonor God when we offer Him only the leftovers (Mal. 1:6-8,13) and offend the holy name of Jehovah God (Mal. 1:12). Finally, we show our arrogance toward God (Mal. 3:15) in believing that it isn’t necessary to obey Him.
 
God’s promise await those who are obedient. He challenges us to give Him the privilege to prove Himself. He promised that we would be blessed in return (Prov. 3:9-10; Luke 6:38). He will protect our finances just as He protected the obedient people in the Old Testament from the insects that would devour their crops. Most important, our witness is recognized by others and can be used to attract others to him through His blessing to us.