Thanks for coming back to my blog. I know that the last few posts have seemed very sermon-ish. I promise that they won’t always be like this, but I’ve really been feeling strongly that many Christians have become superficial in their faith and especially in their worship. And because of that we are missing out big-time!
adjective su·per·fi·cial \ˌsü-pər-ˈfi-shəl\
1a (1) : of, relating to, or located near a surface (2) : lying on, not penetrating below, or affecting only the surface
2a : concerned only with the obvious or apparent : shallow b : seen on the surface : external c : presenting only an appearance without substance or significance
I apologize if that sounds harsh, but I think a lot of us do things that we know looks Christian-y to others, but then make a conscious choice not to worship in ways that others can’t see (i.e. below the surface).
We as Americans LOVE our money! We L-O-V-E it. And we find very creative and indulgent ways to waste our money. We love stuff! We gotta have stuff! We can’t get enough stuff!
But when it comes to following God’s command to tithe, we simply decide that someone else will fund the Kingdom.
I just read an article at HealthResearchFunding.org which had some interesting statistics. I want to share just a few. You can read the rest on your own if you’d like.
- Total Christian income in the United States is $5.2 trillion annually, nearly half of the world’s total Christian income.
- For Christian families making less than $20k per year, 8% of them gave at least 10% in tithing.
- For families making a minimum of $75k or more, the figure drops to just 1%.
- The average donation by adults who attend U.S. Protestant churches is about $17 a week.
- If Christians followed the Old Testament standard of giving across the board, then $139 billion would become available every year for additional ministry work.
- 37% of people who attend church every week and identify themselves as Evangelical don’t give any money to their church.
These are some enlightening statistics. I don’t know how accurate that they are, but they are similar to all of the other statistics that I’ve seen. You can read the article here.
The command to tithe was given in the Old Testament in many different scriptures. Some say that the command to tithe was ended with the new covenant. But in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 Jesus himself is recorded as instructing the religious leaders that they are to tithe, among other things.
One of the most commonly preached scriptures about tithing is Malachi 3:8-10:
“Begin by being honest. Do honest people rob God? But you rob me day after day.
“You ask, ‘How have we robbed you?’
“The tithe and the offering—that’s how! And now you’re under a curse—the whole lot of you—because you’re robbing me. Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams. For my part, I will defend you against marauders, protect your wheat fields and vegetable gardens against plunderers.” The Message of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
This one is pretty clear. The coolest part about this scripture is that God asks us to test Him in this area. Maybe we don’t give that statement the respect and excitement that it is worth.
We…. Are…. To…. TEST…. GOD!
The God of the universe! The God who created Adam and Eve! The God who spoke to Moses and Noah and Daniel! The God who offers us forgiveness that we can’t even imagine! The God who wants us to spend eternity with Him! The God who sent us Jesus, the Messiah!
TEST HIM! FOLLOW HIS COMMAND! SEE IF HE DOESN’T POUR BLESSINGS OUT ON YOU!
I love blessings. I think we all enjoy blessings. Blessings are awesome.
This tithing leading to blessings is kind of like working out leading to weight loss. We all love losing weight and getting into shape, but it’s the working out part that hurts. It’s painful. Sometimes we don’t trust it. We think to ourselves “this workout plan is making me sore, I hope it’s actually working.” This goes on until we actually start seeing the results of our efforts. Unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other.
So, if every single Christian in America would tithe, not only would we flood the church with $139 BILLION a year, but we would be blessed as a people and as individuals! That’s a win-win! I can’t imagine the amount of good that our churches could do with that money!!!
So why do so many of us trust that God can heal cancer and illness, God can help someone become employed, God can help a desperate couple become pregnant…. BUT we don’t trust Him with our money?