The 3 Levels of Tithing: Level 1
Everyone who is in Christ has been bought by the blood of Christ. You are His. Everything you own has become His. You are only a steward over your money and possessions. Without this, eternity is a curse, and with it, a blessing. He grants you ever increasing love, joy, peace & blessing (this does not mean life is always easy as noted before when discussing testing).
Even though everything you own is His, He only gives strict commands on the first ten percent. As you follow Him, He will lead you to give more and more free-will offerings above this. When and how will be readily apparent at that time.
There is a progression that one goes through as a tither. At first we tithe out of duty because it is commanded of us. Next, we live it and begin to realize the supernatural blessing that God gives us as we are faithful. Finally, we love to tithe, and become more attuned to His heart as the One who blesses. We begin to live life step-by-step with God and an eye towards where we can next bless someone over and above our tithe with the surplus He has blessed us with. Let’s look at these.
Tithing out of duty shows faith. It proves that we trust God to take care of us even though we are certain in our worldly natural self that this will lead to financial disaster. One of the most interesting and difficult parables of the Bible points towards this issue.
“Now He was also saying to the disciples, “There was a rich man who had a manager, and this manager was reported to him as squandering his possessions. 2″And he called him and said to him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an accounting of your management, for you can no longer be manager.’ 3″The manager said to himself, ‘What shall I do, since my master is taking the management away from me? I am not strong enough to dig; I am ashamed to beg. 4’I know what I shall do, so that when I am removed from the management people will welcome me into their homes.’ 5″And he summoned each one of his master’s debtors, and he began saying to the first, ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6″And he said, ‘A hundred measures of oil.’ And he said to him, ‘Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.’ 7″Then he said to another, ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said, ‘A hundred measures of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Take your bill, and write eighty.’ 8″And his master praised the unrighteous manager because he had acted shrewdly; for the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light. 9″And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by means of the wealth of unrighteousness, so that when it fails, they will receive you into the eternal dwellings. 10″He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. 11″Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? 12″And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? 13″No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be devoted to one and despise the other You cannot serve God and wealth.” (Luke 6:1-13)
Jesus says many things in this parable, including rebuking the religious mindset of the Pharisees. But let’s focus on how the parable applies to tithing. There is a principle that God has created as part of the fabric of the world that He blesses those who tithe. Jesus is saying that many people of this world are more shrewd about the principles that He has made this world of than His own children are. Thus you hear many people who don’t know the Lord speak of the benefits they receive by giving.
In this parable, the manager was taking advantage of his master by giving away what was his master’s in order to gain benefit for himself. Most good-hearted people would say that this is wrong. But Jesus praised this behavior! And this is exactly what we are able to do by giving a tithe. We are giving from God’s portion, which He owns, but we merely steward, and because we give this away, we will be blessed for doing so!
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