Answer : ____________________
NOTE: Tithe is one-tenth of a person's income. In fact, the word "tithe" simply means "a tenth." Jacob's grandfather, Abraham, set an example many years earlier by giving a tithe to God's priest, Melchizedek.
NOTE: Technically, 100 percent of all we have belongs to God.
Psalms 24:1 The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
But God asks us to acknowledge that we believe it all belongs to Him by returning a tithe, or 10 percent of our increase.
NOTE: In the Old Testament, God directed that the tithe be used to support the Levites, who were His ministers. In 1 Corinthians 9:13, God says that just as the priests of old were paid from the tithe of the temple, so gospel ministers today should be paid from tithe given through the church.
NOTE: No! Both Abraham and Jacob gave a tenth of their income to God long before Moses' law was given. Because it pre-dated Sinai, we know that it was not part of the ceremonial law that ended at the cross. The law of tithing is God's plan for support of the ministry, and it remains in effect today.
NOTE: No. Jesus saw that the miserly Pharisees were counting out individual leaves and tiny seeds for tithe instead of taking it to the temple by the bushel. Therefore He rebuked them for being so exact in tithe while failing in judgment, mercy, and faith. He did not condemn them for tithing, but for ignoring the other great principles of Christianity. That is why Jesus said, "These ought ye to have done [speaking of tithing], and not to leave the other undone."
NOTE: God is saying: "If you are doubtful, try tithing as an experiment. Test Me, and see if I won't return to you a blessing too vast for you to receive." Hundreds of thousands of tithepayers will tell you that it is true. You cannot out-give God!
NOTE: The storehouse is the treasury of God's church. (The Bible margin equates "treasuries" with "storehouses".) In Malachi 3:10, God refers to the storehouse as "mine house," which means His church, or temple. Other texts that refer to the storehouse as the temple, or temple treasury, are 1 Chronicles 9:26 (see margin); 2 Chronicles 31:11, 12 (see margin); and Nehemiah 10:37, 38. So it is obvious that the storehouse is God's church treasury.
NOTE: We need to always remember that we are not returning our tithe to people, but to God. It belongs to Him. We need not worry about how the tithe is used if we give it to God. He is big enough to take care of His own money and to properly handle anyone who may be irresponsible in managing His funds.
NOTE: The Lord asks us to give freewill offerings as an expression of our love for Him and our thanksgiving for His blessings.
NOTE: The Bible does not set a specific amount. Each person decides how much to give for freewill offerings, as God impresses.
NOTE: God told Adam and Eve they could eat the fruit of all the trees of the garden except one--the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were not to eat of that tree or even touch it, else they would die. God did not put an electric fence around the tree. Rather, He kept it where they could reach out and take the fruit. And they did, because they did not trust God. Today, God gives us all the same test. He says, "You can keep all the money that comes to you, except one tenth. That money is Mine. Don't take it." However, He leaves it where we can reach out and take it, if we so desire. But when we do, we repeat the sin of Adam and Eve.
God did not need the fruit of the special tree. It was a test of their loyalty. Neither does He need our tithe. He owns everything! It is a test of our love, loyalty, and trust
NOTE: God says those who are knowingly unfaithful in tithes and offerings are robbers. It is bad enough when men steal from one another, but it is a terrifying thought that people would dare to steal from God! It is also hard to believe that people would stoop so low as to steal money that God has designated for spreading the gospel to the lost.
NOTE: Those who are not faithful in tithes and offerings are cursed, and unless they change, they will be shut out of God's kingdom as thieves.
NOTE: Covetousness is lethal because our hearts follow our investments. If my focus is on accumulating more and more money, my heart becomes covetous, grasping, and proud. But if my focus is on advancing God's work, my heart becomes caring, loving, liberal, and humble. Our hearts inevitably follow our treasure. We must never forget that it was Judas' greed and love for money that led him to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver (Matthew 26:14-16).
NOTE: Jesus probably feels much as a parent would whose child steals money from his wallet. Losing the money is not the big thing. Rather, it is the child's lack of integrity, love, and trust that is deeply disappointing. Surely none of us want to grieve the heart of our Saviour.
NOTE: Nine-tenths of my income with God's blessing will go much further than ten-tenths without it. Incidentally, when God opens the windows of heaven, His blessings are not always financial. They may include such things as good health, peace of mind, answered prayers, protection, a close-knit and loving family, physical strength, ability to make wise decisions, a closer walk with Jesus, success in soul-winning, an old car kept running, etc. If we truly love Jesus, giving sacrificially for His work will never be a burden. Rather, it is a blessing--a glorious privilege that we will perform with great joy and satisfaction.
NOTE: Jacob saw a ladder that bridged heaven with earth, which symbolized the Son of man. In Malachi 3:10, God says that if we bring all the tithes into the storehouse, He will open for us the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing we can barely receive! Jesus is that blessing.
NOTE: When Jesus has our hearts, He has everything else too.