DAY 31 CHALLENGE

Money can be an extremely divisive topic, because how you spend your money shows where your heart is. I know this because Jesus said it:

Matthew 6:21

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

According to Jesus, giving is a response to what is happening in your heart. I love the story found in Exodus 35:4-36:7. Moses told the Israelites that the Lord wanted them to build a tabernacle and each of them should decide in their own hearts what to give. The people gave so much that Moses had to tell the people to stop giving! There are two verses that really stand out to me in this passage.

Exodus 35:29

29 All the Israelites who wanted to help brought gifts to the Lord. They gave these gifts freely, because they wanted to. These gifts were used to make everything the Lord had commanded Moses and the people to make.

Exodus 36:5 “The people have brought too much. We have more than we need to finish the work the Lord told us to do.”

It’s easy for us to see where their hearts were! The passage tells us they “gave freely because they wanted to.” And because they gave freely and cheerfully, they had more than enough to do the work God had called them to do. 

You may be familiar with the term TITHE. Tithe in Hebrew means “tenth.” The practice of tithing goes all the way back to Abraham. From the beginning, God’s people have returned the first 10% to Him as an offering to show that we fully trust Him to provide for us.   

Leviticus 27:30

 “A tenth of all crops belongs to the Lord. This means the crops from fields and the fruit from trees—a tenth belongs to the Lord.

In this passage, we see Moses giving the instruction to tithe as law. Why? He explained the first 10% of what they produced or earned was “holy,” or set apart, and belonged to God. Tithing acknowledged that it was God who PROVIDED the harvest. It served as a reminder to Israelites that God was the source of everything they had and giving back a tithe to God demonstrated their thankfulness for His provision. The tithes from the people were brought to the tabernacle (storehouse) and provided for the Levitical priesthood, festivals, and needy. 

In the New Testament, the local church became a representation of the Old Testament storehouse. Today, tithes not only help to care for church buildings and those who work there, they support the expansion of His kingdom by spreading the gospel and ministering to the community for His name’s sake.  Jesus only spoke about tithing one time in the four Gospels, and He made a very interesting point. 

Matthew 23:23

““Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have NEGLECTED the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, WITHOUT neglecting the former.”

Jesus was saying, “don’t give me your tithes without practicing love and devotion to God and others. And don’t say you love me without showing gratitude with the first fruits.” Dr. Charles Stanley puts it this way “The tithe is given to God from our increase and for our increase. It is our acknowledgement that all we have and all we are able to achieve comes directly from the hand of God.”

Remember, we don’t give to God, we return to God what is already His. And when we give freely and cheerfully, we receive His blessings in our lives. 

2 Corinthians 9:7

You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully”

DAY 31 CHALLENGE

Return to God what is already His. If you are not already tithing, honor God by tithing to your local church. In the Book of Malachi, God tells his followers to “Test Him.” This is the only time in all of the Bible that God says this. Test Him with your tithe; and see how God will pour out His blessings on you. It doesn’t always mean material blessing in this world, but when we give to God, we are always blessed!  


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