Sermons on Tithes: The Importance of Giving Back
Sermons on Tithes article aims to educate both Christians and non-Christian readers about the importance of giving back what is due to the Lord. Aside from this, the article also aims to provide preaching ideas to ministers, Bible study leaders, pastors, or even ordinary believers of Christ. It aims to provide knowledge to anyone who reads about what the Bible is saying regarding tithing and giving back what is due to the Lord.
Throughout the Bible, there is only one particular passage where God challenged man to test Him. Surprisingly enough, it’s not about how he can produce extraordinary and miraculous events to save His people. Rather, this challenge of God for man to test Him is found in the book of Malachi.
10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. – Malachi 3:10
In the book of Malachi, God challenged man to test Him and see for ourselves how He will open the floodgates of heaven and give us so much blessing that our storehouse won’t be enough if and only if, we give back our whole tithe to Him. But the test and the reward of the test require a proper understanding of the context and meaning of this specific passage.
And to help you understand the context of Malachi 3:10, we will be discussing how the Bible defined what tithe is, the difference between tithes and offering, and why tithing is important.
Sermons on Tithes: The Biblical Definition of Tithing
The word “Tithe” comes from the Old English word “Teogotha” which means “Tenth”. And from this, Tithe has been commonly defined as a contribution that equals to one-tenth of your income or possessions that are usually given to a church or a religious institution.
With that definition, now let’s get to know Tithing as it is written in the Bible. To do that, let’s take a look at its history found in the Bible.
We can trace tithing way back in Abraham’s time. In Genesis 14:19-20, “And he blessed him and said, ‘Blessed be Abram by God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand!’ And Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”
This was the time when Abraham had successfully rescued Lot and defeated the armies of the four kings. And in gratitude to God’s blessing, Abram gave a tenth of his possessions to Melchizedek. So, in this account, we can interpret that the word Tithing is defined as the giving of the tenth portion of God’s blessing to man. Why? Because Abram did not give the tithe before his victory to invoke God’s favor, but he did it after the victory. He gave the tithe as a response to God’s blessing.
Moving forward in Moses’ time. Here the tithe was now introduced as a law. In Leviticus 27:30-34, it says, “30 ‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord… 32 Every tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the Lord… 34 These are the commands the Lord gave Moses at Mount Sinai for the Israelites.”
The tithe is not just the sum we give to the Lord when we experience victories, but it is the sum we return to God knowing that it is already His. And in doing so, we acknowledge that He is the ultimate source of everything that we possess and will possess. In fact, being able to earn what we earn now is actually victory in itself, right?
Why is Tithing Important
Once we fully understand the importance of tithing, we will then appreciate the act of doing it. Likewise, it is best to understand the importance of tithing so that, as Christians, we will be able to appreciate more what we do and in turn cheerfully do it. Here are some of the reasons why tithing is important.
- Tithing allows God to work in our Financial life. (Proverbs 3:9-10)
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth,
with the firstfruits of all your crops;
10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing,
and your vats will brim over with new wine.
When we obey God’s commands on tithing, it opens the windows of heaven to pour out so much blessing upon the tither. As this verse has declared, we will be filled to overflowing! This happens because obedience acts as a license for God to intervene in our lives and make miracles on our behalf.
It is like having a VIP pass wherein you can enjoy so much more than the others without it. God will cast favor upon you, actually not just in your financial life, but also the other aspects of it.
- Tithing gets rid of man’s selfishness. (Mark 12:42-44)
42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. 43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
By nature, and all the more because of sin, man is selfish. And to get rid of this selfishness, God made a way for us to change through giving. In this text, Jesus shows the perfect example of obedience over selfishness. He brought His disciples into the synagogue and asked them who had given more, the rich man or the poor widow. And to their surprise, Jesus told them that it was the widow.
This account in the Bible shows us that it is not the amount of money that matters, but the amount of selflessness you invested just to obey God’s commands. God wants us to be rid of selfishness because it reflects His character. He wants us to be more and more like Him. And as Christians, followers of Christ, that is our ultimate goal –to reflect Christ-likeness so that others will see His light in us and would be drawn to follow Him as well.
- Tithing brings God’s protection to man. (Malachi 3:8-9)
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me.
When man fell, not only did we become sinners, but the ground had become cursed as well. Before the fall of man, Adam and Eve didn’t have to toil and labor so much just to feed themselves because the ground was blessed. But now, this is no longer the case.
Thank God we have a loving and gracious God, he does not want man to be cursed anymore. He wants to bless us and protect us from the effects of the curse and the attacks of the enemy. As I’ve mentioned before, when we give our tithes, God has the license to intervene and this includes the license to protect man.
When we bring tithes unto God, we will be able to experience God’s protection amidst a pandemic. We have the chance to experience protection from pestilence, robbery, trespassing, and all other ways that the enemy can steal. We will experience God’s miraculous protection in ways we cannot imagine.
The Difference Between Tithes and Offering
Tithes and offerings are often treated as the same type of giving and sometimes, they are even interchanged. But in reality, each follower of Christ should know that there is a big difference between tithes and offerings. And to help you with that, here are some of the differences between tithes and offerings.
- The tithe is ten percent of all your income while the offering is beyond the tithe.
In every blessing or income that we receive, God only requires us to give back ten percent to Him. And that ten percent is our tithes. So, after we receive our salary or any other income, we should always separate first our tithes for the Lord. It’s the first thing we must do before we budget our money — before we pay debts, make a mortgage payment, buy groceries, or fill our car with gas.
Now, after we give our ten percent and we decided to give more, that is what we call “offering”. Offering is beyond what is required, beyond our tithes. It is something that we do out of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ and for the ministry or church that He put us in. Offering should not be an obligation but an expression of love for Christ.
- The tithe is obedience to God’s command while the offering is a reflection of our hearts.
In Leviticus 27:30, 30 “‘A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord.” every ten percent of all our income belongs to the Lord. This is non-negotiable and should be done in obedience to God’s Word. Meanwhile, the Bible did not command us to give offerings but it highly encourages us to do so.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” This means that though God did not obligate us to give offerings to Him, He loves those who decided in their hearts to give cheerfully.
- The tithe is not ours but God’s while the offering is from us for God.
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. “But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’ “In tithes…” Malachi 3:8
In this particular verse, God is still us that He owns the tithes and we should not count it as ours. Or else, we will be considered as robbing Him. This is why it is important to separate first all our tithes before we do any budgeting. Because our tithes are owned by God even if they are in our hands.
Offerings, however, are our way of expressing that God and His kingdom are in our hearts. Matthew 6:21 says “21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”.
Tithes and offerings might be different but they also have one thing in common. Both Tithes and Offerings help us build our trust and dependence to God that He is our one and only provide –– our Jehovah Jireh. With this understanding, we will be able to properly express our giving of our tithes and offerings to God and to the ministry where He put us in.
Sermons on Tithes: Preaching Ideas on Giving
1.The Foundations of Generous Giving (2 Corinthians 8:1-11)
8 And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2 In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy, and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3 For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4 they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5 And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. 6 So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. 7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in the love, we have kindled in you[a]—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake, he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
In this particular text, Apostle Paul is showing to the Corinthians the extravagant giving of the Macedonian churches and he encourages them to do the same. He wants them to understand the foundations of giving. This message is not only applicable to the early churches but, actually to the present-day churches as well.
Paul wants to bring us back to the reason why we give to others and that is because of love. Just as Christ sacrificed himself for us out of love, we likewise can be generous because Christ has first shown generosity unto us.
He also wants to remind us that, as Christians, we do not only excel in faith, in speech, or in knowledge, but also in the aspect of giving. This is because God doesn’t only want us to draw closer to Him, but He wants us to be closer to our fellow believers as well. And through giving, we can show utmost sincerity and Christ-like love.
2.The Benefits of Giving (2 Corinthians 9:6-10)
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”[a]
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.
In this passage, we can see that giving is an act of obedience and should be done by every follower of Christ as being said in verse 7 “Each of you should give…”. This simply means that none of us is exempted in giving but all of us should give what is due to the Lord.
Aside from this, the passage tells us that we should give in an acceptable manner –– not reluctantly or under compulsion, but giving cheerfully. This also means that giving should be done deliberately and not accidentally. Because giving should be our decision, not an act forced to be done.
When we do all of these properly, surely God will bless us. It is because giving is God’s method of blessing us as seen in verse 6 and verse 10. With this, we can understand that giving is never a loss. Giving is always gain and it is the most effective way for prosperity.