Essential 100—Read: Malachi 1:1-4:6
“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit. Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty. ~Malachi 3:8-12
In God’s Word are irrefutable financial laws that transcend time, cultures and economic conditions. One of those laws is the law of the tithe, describe in Leviticus 27:30 & 32,
“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…The entire tithe of the herd and flock—every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod—will be holy to the LORD.”
How you embrace and obey that law reveals a great deal about you. In fact, your response to God’s call to tithe to him your income is the acid test of your faith. It is actually a test from God… arguably the first and biggest test he gives you. The test determines the most important thing of all in life: Who will have first place. You see, that’s what money does: It reveals what we worship. Money determines godship. And the biggest and most stubborn issue in our lives, I guarantee, is godship: Who’s going to be in charge; who’s going to be worshipped; who’s going to get priority.
That’s why the Bible talks so much about money. You’ll find about 500 verses on prayer, about 500 on faith…but over 2,000 on money and material possessions. That’s why 16 out of Jesus’ 38 parables spoke of money. That’s why he spoke more about money than even heaven and hell. He knew that he’d have to battle mammon for godship in your life. And if that one didn’t get settled, nothing else would work right. Not only is tithing the acid test of your faith, it becomes the foundation of your faithful stewardship. The practice of tithing settles the issue of godship and strengthens your obedience. Then, as you get both your attitude toward and practice of handling money aligned with God’s command, your giving will be organic. It will come from your heart. You will become a joyful, generous giver—and that is someone upon whom God can release his blessings. That is when your stewardship of God’s money will become the gateway to the blessed life.
God is calling you to test him out in this area of giving; to see if he won’t hold up his end of the deal and bless you with his abundance. That is God’s promise, by the way. Malachi 3:6, “I the LORD do not change.” Malachi 3:10 follows, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
God has made some pretty amazing promises to you about his desire to bring you into the blessed life. But his promises require the alignment of your thinking and behaving to his Word. If you will ruthlessly commit to following his commands in this area, you will find that, indeed, it pays to tithe!
“One verse in every six in the first three Gospels relates either directly or indirectly to money. Sixteen of our Lord’s forty-four parables deal with the use or misuse of money. A loving, joyful, liberal giving to the Lord’s work is an acid test of a spiritual heart, pleasing to God.” ~William Allen