Tithing is the practice of giving one-tenth of one’s increase to the Lord (to be used for His work).
And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything. - Genesis 14:20 (NIV)
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. - Leviticus 27:30 (NIV)
At the end of every three years, bring all the tithes of that year’s produce and store it in your towns, so that the Levites (who have no allotment or inheritance of their own) and the foreigners, the fatherless and the widows who live in your towns may come and eat and be satisfied, and so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. - Deuteronomy 14:28-29 (NIV)
Offerings are voluntary gifts given to the Lord’s servants or for special purposes.
Tell the Israelites to bring me an offering. You are to receive the offering for me from everyone whose heart prompts them to give. These are the offerings you are to receive from them: gold, silver and bronze; blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen; goat hair; ram skins dyed red and another type of durable leather[a]; acacia wood; olive oil for the light; spices for the anointing oil and for the fragrant incense; and onyx stones and other gems to be mounted on the ephod and breastpiece. - Exodus 25:2-7 (NIV)
Consecrate those parts of the ordination ram that belong to Aaron and his sons: the breast that was waved and the thigh that was presented. This is always to be the perpetual share from the Israelites for Aaron and his sons. It is the contribution the Israelites are to make to the Lord from their fellowship offerings. - Exodus 29:27-28 (NIV)
Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down. - Leviticus 9:22- (NIV)
All the sacred contributions the Israelites bring to a priest will belong to him. - Number 5:9
Tithes and offerings support those who work as ministers to the Lord.
Who serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink the milk? Do I say this merely on human authority? Doesn’t the Law say the same thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain.” Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely he says this for us, doesn’t he? Yes, this was written for us, because whoever plows and threshes should be able to do so in the hope of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it too much if we reap a material harvest from you? - 1 Corinthians 9:7-11 (NIV)
This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever. Just think how great he was: Even the patriarch Abraham gave him a tenth of the plunder! Now the law requires the descendants of Levi who become priests to collect a tenth from the people—that is, from their fellow Israelites—even though they also are descended from Abraham. This man, however, did not trace his descent from Levi, yet he collected a tenth from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. And without doubt the lesser is blessed by the greater. In the one case, the tenth is collected by people who die; but in the other case, by him who is declared to be living. One might even say that Levi, who collects the tenth, paid the tenth through Abraham, because when Melchizedek met Abraham, Levi was still in the body of his ancestor.
If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood—and indeed the law given to the people established that priesthood—why was there still need for another priest to come, one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron? For when the priesthood is changed, the law must be changed also. He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”
The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’” - Hebrews 7:1-21
We believe that Christians should seek the Lord on how much to give to His work, but not give less than ten percent.
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. - 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV)
Believers should give proportionately and regularly.
Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. - 1 Corinthians 16:1-2 (NIV)
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. - 2 Corinthians 9:6 (NIV)
At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, 15 as it is written: “The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.” - 2 Corinthians 8:14-15 (NIV)
They help us overcome selfish tendencies and desires to steal from others.
And do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. - Ephesians 4:27-28 (NIV)
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. - 1 Timothy 6:6-10 NIV)
Although God is not obligated to give money in return for our giving, there is a valid principle of sowing and reaping.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” - Luke 6:38 (NIV)
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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. 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. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” - 2 Corinthians 9:6-9 (NIV)
How can I learn more?
Below are some resources on tithing, offerings, stewardship, and other Biblical perspectives on money:
Tithes: A Kingdom Principle (Part One)
Pastor Pete Mullins
Run Time: 45 Min 59 Sec
Offerings: A Kingdom Principle (Part Two)
Pastor Pete Mullins
Run Time: 45 Min 59 Sec
Stewardship - Dual Citizenship
Run Time: 35 Min 44 Sec