Sermons on Tithes: The Importance of Giving Back
Generosity is deeply rooted in the human experience. As people, we find joy in giving, sharing, and ensuring the well-being of others. In Christianity, this principle of generosity finds profound expression in the act of tithing. Sermons on giving, especially those touching on tithes and offerings, hold a unique place in the ministry, teaching believers the essence of giving back to the Lord. This article aims to shed light on tithing from a biblical perspective and serve as a valuable resource for those preparing sermons on tithes and offering.
The Unparalleled Challenge in Malachi 3:10
In the sacred pages of the Bible, God’s challenge to test Him uniquely emerges in the context of giving. The Book of Malachi 3:10 emphasizes the principle of tithing, urging believers to bring their tithes into the storehouse. God’s promise is grand; He will open the heavens and pour abundant blessings. However, we must dive deeper into the biblical understanding of tithes and offerings to comprehend this.
Diving Deep: Understanding Tithes from the Bible
The term “Tithe” has its origins in the Old English word “Teogotha,” translating to “Tenth”. This has been conventionally understood as a tenth of one’s income or possessions, typically given to religious institutions or the church. But one must trace its history in the Bible for a comprehensive understanding.
The act of tithing is evident during Abraham’s era. Genesis 14:19-20 showcases Abraham’s gratitude to God after a significant victory. As a token of his gratitude, Abraham gives away a tenth of his spoils to Melchizedek, the priest of the Most High God. This act of tithing post-victory denotes it as a response to God’s blessings rather than a precursor seeking favor.
Fast forward to the times of Moses, when tithing evolved from a mere act of gratitude to a divine ordinance. Leviticus 27:30-34 highlights the law of tithing, stating that a tithe from everything—grain, fruit, or even livestock—belongs to the Lord. Such sermons on tithes instilled the belief that everything we possess, in essence, belongs to the Lord. Recognizing this fact and giving back a portion is an acknowledgment of His grandeur and a testament to His blessings.
Unraveling the Importance of Tithing
Tithing isn’t just an age-old tradition; it’s a principle rooted in gratitude, acknowledgment, and worship. Here are some foundational reasons derived from sermons on tithes that explain its importance:
- Acknowledgment of God’s Sovereignty: Tithing vividly acknowledges God’s supremacy. It’s a recognition that all blessings flow from Him. Every time believers set aside a portion for God, they reaffirm their faith and trust in His providence.
- Strengthening Community Bonds: Sermons on tithes and offering often emphasize the role of tithes in sustaining church activities and outreach programs. By contributing, believers play an integral part in ensuring the church can meet various needs within the community.
- Cultivating a Generous Spirit: Tithing regularly nurtures a spirit of generosity. It reminds Christians of their blessings and encourages a heart eager to give.
- Inviting Divine Blessings: Drawing from Malachi 3:10, believers position themselves to receive blessings from God by giving tithes. Tithing is a faith step, believing in God’s promises to reward generously.
- Reinforcing Financial Stewardship: Sermons on giving often highlight the importance of managing resources wisely. Tithing instills discipline and ensures that believers prioritize God in their finances.
- 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.
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, not just in your financial life but also in 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.”
Man is selfish by nature and all the more because of sin. And to eliminate 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 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 be drawn to follow Him.
- 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 also become cursed. Before the fall of man, Adam and Eve didn’t have to toil and labor so much 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 enemy’s attacks. As I’ve mentioned before, when we give our tithes, God has the license to intervene, including the license to protect man.
When we bring tithes unto God, we can experience God’s protection amidst a pandemic. We can experience protection from pestilence, robbery, trespassing, and all other ways the enemy can steal. We will experience God’s miraculous protection in ways we cannot imagine.
Tithes Vs. Offerings: Understanding the Distinction
While tithes and offerings are often mentioned together in sermons on tithes, they aren’t the same. Tithes are the tenth part of one’s income given to the church. On the other hand, offerings are over and above the tithe and given out of free will. It’s a personal decision and varies from one individual to another. To further help you with that, here are some 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 we receive, God only requires us to give back ten percent to Him. And that ten percent is our tithes. So, after receiving our salary or any other income, we should always separate our tithes for the Lord first. It’s the first thing we must do before we budget our money — pay debts, make a mortgage payment, buy groceries, or fill our car with gas.
Now, after we give our ten percent and we decide to give more, that is what we call “offering.” An offering is beyond what is required, beyond our tithes. We do it out of our love for the Lord Jesus Christ and 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 reflects 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 does not command us to give offerings but highly encourages us.
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 verse, God still tells us that He owns the tithes, and we should not count them as ours. Or else we will be considered as robbing Him. This is why it is important to separate 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 differ, but they have one thing in common. Both Tithes and Offerings help us build our trust and dependence on God that He is our only provider– Jehovah Jireh. With this understanding, we can properly express our giving of our tithes and offerings to God and the ministry where He put us.
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 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 shows 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 why we give to others, and that is because of love. Just as Christ sacrificed himself for us out of love, we can be generous because Christ first showed us generosity.
He also wants to remind us that, as Christians, we do not only excel in faith, speech, or knowledge but also 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 said in verse 7: “Each of you should give…”. This means that none of us is exempted from 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 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 the most effective way for prosperity.
Tithing is not merely a religious obligation. It’s a reflection of one’s heart, an expression of gratitude, and a testimony of faith. As believers dive into the depths of sermons on tithes and offering, the hope is for each one to grasp the essence of giving back, understanding that in the act of giving, they are indeed receiving—receiving blessings, grace, and divine favor in abundance.