Several people had some some great, practical questions after this weekend’s message, “I’m In, You Can Count on Me: I GIVE“. Here are some of those questions and some answers from God’s Word:
1. If I get paid every 2 weeks, once a month, or by commission, how should I give?
Proverbs 3:9 says to to give as soon as God gives us increase, so when we get paid, whatever we get paid – big or small, we immediately set aside 10% to give back to God.
2. What if I do not make any income?
God’s plan for giving is proportionate. 10% of nothing is nothing; however, many believers still try to find something to give to the Lord when they come to worship (like the widow’s mite in Luke 21:1-4). Also, don’t forget that it’s not just about “salary” but “increase”. Any way that God provides for us and blesses us (ex: gifts, unemployment benefits, etc.), we should give the Lord 10% of that increase He gives us as a way of recognizing and honoring Him for it.
3. Can I give part of my tithe to other things periodically?
Malachi 3:10 seems to clearly indicate giving the whole tithe to the storehouse (your local church). God knows what ministry He wants your church family to do. If you are not giving all of your tithe, some of that ministry is not happening.
4. Then how would I support other ministries/causes/needs that I see?
If everyone gives to the storehouse (church), there should be plenty to meet those needs. That seems to be God’s plan for there being plenty of “food” to do His work and the world to be blessed by God’s people (Mal. 3:10, 12) However, all of us have things that might be close to our hearts that we personally want to support. Giving to those things would be above the tithes and other offerings your church has committed to do together. Remember, it’s all God’s. Don’t necessarily be limited to just 10%.
5. How can I become more disciplined in my giving (i.e., not spend it before the weekend when I give it during worship)?
You can set up automatic giving electronically (see #7 below), or after you get paid, immediately write your first check(s) to the Lord (as in the example Pastor Robbie gave in the message.). That way, the money is taken out, and you never miss it and are not tempted to use it before you give it.
6. If I get paid sporadically, should I spread that giving out over the month or just give it when I get it?
Ultimately, you can set it up any way that works best for you, but I Cor. 16:2 seems to indicate that we should evaluate the increase God has given us at the first of every week. Whenever God blesses you with more, you can set aside that tithe and give it that week. If you don’t get paid for 3 weeks, there would be no tithe. If you get paid the 4th week, there would be a tithe to give (though it might be a significant amount since it would be based on a month’s worth of income). Again, though, it’s really based on when God blesses you, you give that week.
7. Can I have my tithes/offerings taken out automatically?
Yes. You can arrange with your bank to do an automatic bank draft when you get paid, and they will send a check to the church for you. You also could make use of the secure, online giving service on our church website.
8. What if I receive a large income from an inheritance, bonus, or a commission I make at work? Could that tithe be spent on other special efforts that I or the church might choose? As shared above, any special ministries you would personally pray about being involved in would be above your tithes and offerings to your local church. However, sometimes, when someone is giving a large tithe from a special increase they have received, there might be conversations between them and the church’s leaders about using that for some special, unique purpose. Otherwise, we would trust that, God knew that you would make that income and it is needed for the ministry of your church family. Other people received theirs more regularly/weekly, but yours just came at a specific, concentrated time. Still, it was needed for His Body’s ministry, and the Lord knew it and provided it for you to give.
9. Is tithing to the storehouse spoken of anywhere besides Malachi 3?
Shorter answer… Yes, the principle is found all throughout God’s Word but is most directly spelled out in Malachi 3. Why would we need more, though? One clear word from God is enough for us to obey. If God says bring our tithes to the storehouse, in the Old Testament, that would have clearly been the temple. In the New Testament, that is clearly the church family.
Longer answer… Interestingly, the word for “storehouse” in Malachi 3:10 can also be translated “treasury”. The same word is used in I Corinthians 16:2. We are to “put our offerings in the treasury” each week. The same “treasury” emphasis is found in
Luke 21:1-4. There does seem to be something special/a higher standard demonstrated in the N.T., though. In the Gospels, Jesus affirms that we ought to tithe (Matt. 23:23, Luke 11:42), but throughout the N.T., God seems to call us more towards “grace giving”. Grace & love gives more than the law requires. As many N.T. passages indicate, the New Covenant does not do away with the principles that God gave us in the Old Testament. If anything, it takes them further and fulfills them to the max. A good illustration: The law might require that we give our children the minimum – bread and water. However, because we love them, we give them much more to eat than that. Love gives more than law requires. Tithing is the principle God set up for our giving, but really it is all His. When we love Him and others, if anything, we will want to give more, not less.
These are all great questions. God bless each one for seeking to honor the Lord with your finances! Let us know if you have any other questions. They might be questions others have that we could post here for them to learn from as well.
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