Sowing Seed: The Tithe
Sowing Seed: The Tithe
Seeds produce trees which produce fruit which produce seeds…
Last week we talked about seeds of the gospel produce a harvest of souls / disciples.
Today we are talking about the seed of provision that comes from God: Time, Talents, & Resources.
Yes, we work for our paycheck, but where did the strength, skills, and ability come from? Some might still say that we earn all of those things. Ok, take a breath. Where did that come from? We exist and are able to live productive lives only because He is good.
Some of the material tonight has been gleaned by a book, “The Blessed Life” by one of my pastor / preacher heroes Pastor Robert Morris from Gateway Church in Dallas Texas.
God designed a test that you take every time you get paid.
The test is this, “Whom will you thank or worship (with your seed) when you get paid?”
The test is, “What are you going to do with the first 10%?”
This test was before the law, after the law, and in the New Testament.
There are principles under the Law that you should still be doing now. “Do not commit adultery” was in the Law, but that’s still a principle even if you are saved by grace.
Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob.
The Lord does not change. If He could change, He could get better, but He can’t because He’s perfect.
Malachi 3:7 Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them.
Ordinance: ordinary behavior
God was saying, “You keep going away from My principles of ordinary behavior of My children.”
Not stealing was under the Law, but it is a principle of ordinary behavior for believers.
Not lying was under the Law, but it is a principle of ordinary behavior for believers.
Tithing was under the Law, but it is a principle of ordinary behavior for believers.
Malachi 3:7-9 “Yet from the days of your fathers you have gone away from My ordinances and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord of hosts. “But you said, ‘In what way shall we return?’ “Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse…”
He didn’t say, I’m cursing you.” We live in a cursed world. What He was saying is that “you are putting yourself back under the cursed system because you were not doing what My people should be doing, therefore you are under a curse.”
Malachi 3:9 For you have robbed Me, even this whole nation.
This is the fourth time He uses the word robbed. There is a difference between theft and robbery. Theft is when you take something from the person when the person is not home. Robbery is when you take something from the person himself.
God is saying, “You have come into My house and have taken money out of My pockets. You’ve robbed Me.”
Malachi 3:10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house…
Where there is tithing, you get fed.
Malachi 3:10 And try Me now in this,”
Try: To proof or test for purity. God is saying, try Me and see if I am pure in this area.
Malachi 3:10-12 And try Me now in this,” … says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” says the Lord of hosts; “And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts.
- Tithing is a Test
Tithe means “tenth” - 10 Means Test:
Times tested in the wilderness: 10 (Numbers 14)
Times Jacob’s wages were changed: 10
Days Daniel was tested: 10
Virgins tested in Matthew 25: 10
Days of testing in Revelation chapter 2: 10
Tithing is a test for you and for God. It is a two-way test.
- Tithing is Biblical
The word tithe is in the Bible 41 times. Over half of those times it wasn’t in the Law.
500 years before the Law
Genesis 14:18-20 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” and he gave him a tithe of all.
420 years before the Law
Genesis 28:22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”
Leviticus 27:30 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.
Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
Hebrews 7:8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there He receives them, of whom it is witnessed that He lives.
I have heard two testimonies from tithers and non-tithers. Tithers say, “I am so blessed.” Non-tithers say, “I can’t afford to tithe.”
You will never be able to tithe until you tithe.
Tithing removes the curse, rebukes the devour, & restores the blessing.
- Tithing is Personal
The church is the bride of Christ.
When God is saying, “You’re robbing Me” is He saying that He can’t pay the bills? No. He is saying that if you rob Him by withholding the tithe, you are robbing yourself from the blessing that comes from doing what’s ordinary in the body of Christ.
When we tithe it is showing that we trust God with the seed that we get from Him.
Matthew 6:31-33 “Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the [unbelievers] seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 (paraphrased) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and I will meet all your needs.
Matthew 7:9-11 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
God wants your best. If He wanted to take something from you, He would. He requires the tithe not because He needs something from you, but because He wants something for you.
If you plant the seed of 10% of your income in the soil of the storehouse, where you get fed, the church, then you will reap a harvest of blessing: provision, protection, revelation, gifting, anointing, wisdom, etc. The blessing goes way beyond money, God said He would open the windows of heaven over you.