Many Christians struggle with the subject of tithing. In some churches giving is over-emphasized at the expense of the congregation. At the same time, many Christians refuse to submit to the biblical exhortations on tithing and offerings to the Lord. Tithing/giving is intended to be a joy and a blessing but that is sometimes not the case in the church today.
Tithing is an act of giving and giving is a channel of receiving, by God’s natural law of return. Giving is like a seed sown in faith in somebody’s life or in the Kingdom of God. Naturally, it germinates and a harvest of return is reaped in due time. (Luke 6:38) “Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again”. As an example, the widow of Zarephath sustained Prophet Elijah, herself and her only child by a divine multiplication of her last meal because she willingly gave out first to a hungry and needy heart. That was sacrificial. Because she met divine requirement, God blessed her. That is the underlying principle of giving as the scripture above stimulates.
In this regard, I have experiences how the ever-faithful God takes care of His church and His work through His own. Giving or sowing in the lives of others has resulted to multiplying effect of God’s blessings in the lives of many faithful. God has given in excess of our giving and beyond our understanding.
NATURE IS A GIVER
The Lord once made a remark to Nicodemus in their discourse, “If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things. Nature is a profound giver and it never lacked. Consider the sun in the solar system as example, it was created to give out light, heat and energy to both plants and animals, humanity inclusive. This is equally true of a nursing mother, as long as the new born baby draws from the mama’s breast, it flows in continuous supply. Since inception, on daily basis the sun has never run short of the supply of light. In giving, the source of supply continues to flow but when giving is withheld then supply stops.
A man who will not open up its treasury to give will run out of supply and eventually lose what he has. This is true of the parable of the servant given one talent by Christ to trade with but buried the gift without investment. It cost him the talent and his life. Even though too, the moon has no light of itself, she has positioned herself to reflect light from the sun at night and it’s been a tremendous blessing. This teaches a valuable lesson that although you do not have, it is not an excuse not to give. As we learn from the moon, she has no light of her own, but she still strived to ensure she is a channel of blessing by harnessing light from the sun to reflect to the earth. Every Christian believer is a moon. John was not the light, but he was the light bearer. (John 1:8) Jesus is the light of the world, the sun of righteousness.
The supply of natural air (oxygen) that we are blessed with by nature has never run in short supply inspite of all living inhaling without restrain. The same goes for the supply and outpouring of rain in due season by the heavens. The heaven has not lacked or failed in watering the earth except when interrupted by God in judgement. (I King 17:1) “And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my Word”.
Vegetation has continued to supply herbs, fruits and seeds unabated, the high rate of consumption by the living not withstanding. It follows that by nature’s principle, that in giving, it shall be given back to you more abundantly. Nature is a naturally an unselfish giver. That is the purpose of God for all creation. Man is not an exception.
Whoever does not give is working against this purpose and of course he pays the prize of lack and diminishing return. Selfishness is not a gift, it is a vice of the fallen human nature. When you reverse the law of nature and turn from being a giver to a receiver, then you place limitations to the flow of blessings due to you. A beggar by profession, who has no intention of investing in others as a giver, defies nature’s law of increase and returns. He perpetually remains in poverty and lack.
While givers never lack, receivers never get enough. A giving attitude and practice generates abundant supply. Output is the reason for input. The farmer who gives out its seed to mother earth in the sowing season is positioned to reap abundantly at harvest time. Give first then you will be giving back. The husband who fails to give the seed of life to the wife who is a type of the earth into which seeds are sown should not expect to receive any born child. To receive is only legally appropriate when you give values such as love, kindness, encouragement, strength, time, prayers, money, tithe and offering includingoneself by laying down your life for your friend (John 16: )
GOD IS THE ULTIMATE GIVER
Out of nothing, the earth which was void and without form and in total darkness, began God to form and shape by His creative power. To create is to give. He began by giving light in the firmament called the day, adding the sun, the moon and stars amongst the numerous others in subsequent creation. If God had no giving tendency there would have been no existence. Take a look at the Devil, he is the direct opposite of God, he is not a giver that is why whatever is given, he only come to destroy it, kill it and steal it. That is also why thieves, robbers, and beggars to name just some are nothing but receivers. They take from places they never sowed. Because the receiver is always in short supply coupled with the absence of contentment and godliness the tendency to get more leads to covetousness, greed, and the likes.
Everything we see in existence, the invisible things inclusive all came into being on the principle of giving. God is profound and an exemplary giver, so, if He demands a part of what He has given us even by obligation, should we contest it, debate it or question whether it is an old testament or new testament instruction as a condition to obey?
Because God is a giver, naturally He expects man to learn and practice the act of giving and eschew selfishness as it will block the flow of promised blessings to us. Most times it is easier to give out from what we have in abundance as long as we are not being asked to give out ourselves. Giving, when it comes from abundance, it’s usually not valued by God because it is what any and everybody can do. But when we are asked to give an only treasure or a valuable, therein lies the true test of giving. God proved Abraham on this when He asked him to give his only son Isaac as a sacrificial lamb. That was the ultimate test and giving. The woman of Zarephath was tested to give the last meal. The widow who gave her last mint for an offering was the only worshiper noted by the Lord Jess Christ and separated from the rest who gave out of their abundance. This is sacrificial giving. It is a vital lesson on the highest rung of giving.
God displayed this reality from the shadow exhibited by Abraham when He ultimately gave out Jesus Christ His only begotten. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, will not perish but have everlasting life”. (John 3:16). And ever since God gave out His Son, He had never lacked sons and daughters accepting Him as Lord and Savior who are willing to lay down their lives in death. The Gospel is dripping with the blood of martyrs who willingly and voluntarily are giving up their lives for the love of God. Because God sowed the seed first, the return is stupendous.