The Bible tells us that one of the greatest acts of obedience a Christian can practice is tithing. By practicing good tithing habits, scripture tells us we are showing God our desire to put him first place in our lives. Christians are directed to not only give ten percent of their income, but to give their first and their best. Therefore, Christians are called not only to tithe upon receiving your paycheck, but to always put God above your bills and other responsibilities.
“You must set aside a tithe of your crops—one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God. Give it to the Levites, who will receive no allotment of land among you, as well as to the foreigners living among you, the orphans, and the widows in your towns, so they can eat and be satisfied. Then the Lord your God will bless you in all your work." (Deuteronomy 14:22-23, 29)
While the Bible lays out the foundation for why the tithe is an important part of obedience, a struggling economy or other interests can tempt us with fear or greed to skip the tithe. However, we are only called to give according to what we have with the right attitude. "Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have." (2 Corinthians 8:12)
"Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 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.” And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.” For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you." (2 Corinthians 9:6-10)
When the church tithes, regardless of economic climate or uncertainty, you can be assured that God will return to you in full measure grace, favor, mercy and blessings you cannot contain. Remember what Paul said, “Right now you have plenty and can help those are in need. Later, they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it,” (2 Corinthians 8:15).
In addition, tithing is the only area in which God directly tells us to challenge Him. "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease. Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. “Then all nations will call you blessed, for your land will be such a delight,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. (Malachi 3:10-12)
So invest in Christ’s church by tithing and be a cheerful giver!