“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” (Lev 27:30)
The tithe is the first tenth part of your personal income, set apart as an offering to God, or for works of mercy. God invented the tithe. It is not man’s idea. Many pastors may abuse the doctrine of the tithe but that does not negate the fact that it is God’s commandment that His people should pay the tithe. Paying the tithe is a matter of obedience. Some Christians argue that tithing was God’s command given only in the Old Testament. They say that as believers in Christ we do not have to be legalistic and pay the tithe. They say that we should ‘be led by the Holy Spirit and pay more than ten percent of the income’. This sounds nice. But often, the same people who say that they ‘are led by the Spirit’ pay less than one percent.
As an ‘old’ Christian, as a mother in Christ and as a pastor, this is my counsel: It is better to be ‘legalistic’ at the beginning and learn to tithe faithfully. Like a little child, ‘a baby Christian’ needs laws to learn obedience. You need to learn spiritual discipline. You do it until obedience is easy and it becomes your holy habit, until you find joy in obeying the Word of God. After that, as you mature, you can ‘relax’ from the so called ‘legalistic approach’ and do ‘as the Spirit leads’. By then, your faith in God is mature, strong and steady. You have passed thru the fire of the Holy Spirit. Your motives for doing ministry are now purified. You are filled with the Holy Spirit. The foundation of your Christian life is laid on Christ Crucified and Resurrected. All the necessary lessons are now learned. You fear God all the days of your life. You obey God’s commands without grumbling. It takes much discipline pain and many tears until you enter the place of easy and joyful obedience to God’s commands. It is called God’s rest! At last, you find joy in tithing and in generosity towards God. You now experience the joy of your salvation. Your cross has now become your crown! Hallelujah! You are now a mature, tested, faithful and powerful Christian. From this point in time you can indeed do ‘as the Spirit leads…’ But until then, simply pay your tithe from your increase! God bless you! I wait for you to bring back a sure testimony that God has seen your sacrificial love for Him and that He has blessed you more than you imagine!