Did you know that? You say, “Of course I know that!” So did I…so do I. Had you forgotten that until you read the subject line? I had up until yesterday morning during our offering time at church. Our Minister of Discipleship and Evangelism Bro Pete Belmain had to remind me of that. Not sure if anyone else needed to be reminded of that, but I needed it. Sad thing is, just less than an hour before I had filled out the tithe check. Bro Pete referred to the teaching of the tithe in Leviticus:
“And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord.” (Leviticus 27:30)
One complaint I hear from the lost about the church is all it is concerned about is getting our money. There are indeed some peddlers of Christ, actually there are many, who come on television and radio and promise us untold blessings and riches if we’ll just send a “gift” to their ministry. That is not a tithe; that is a swindle.
What is the purpose of the tithe? Moses taught the Israelites this also:
“Behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tithes in Israel as an inheritance in return for the work which they perform, the work of the tabernacle of meeting.” (Numbers 18:21)
My tithe is to support my local church. My tithe should be an act of sacrifice, holy unto the Lord. I faithfully tithe to my church, but it long ago stopped being an act of holiness. I confess that I don’t even remember if it ever was such an act. It was never done begrudgingly. I love the Lord and I want to obey Him and the Word tells us that we are to be cheerful givers:
“So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)
I am always thankful that I have a home church to give to gladly and to give to regularly, for that is expected of us too:
“On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.” (1 Corinthians 16:2)
I’ve searched my heart these past few hours to find out why it is our tithe has long ago lost its holiness. I find the reason in the scriptures. It is all in my approach to tithing. Before I approach preparing our tithe I must ensure that I am holy, that I am consecrated and set apart for God’s work. I understand this when I am “doing the Lord’s work” the problem is I forgot tithing is included in His work. It all comes down to preparation:
“For I am the Lord your God. You shall therefore consecrate yourselves, and you shall be holy; for I am holy. Neither shall you defile yourselves with any creeping thing that creeps on the earth. For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.” (Leviticus 11:44-45)
My Lord is holy, so everything I do must mirror His image if I am to be like Him. I am to be holy because the Lord is holy.
More on that tomorrow…
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Copyright © 2012 David Jeffers