Giving With Purpose
Our Sunday Bible study recently wrapped up a four week series on tithing. A topic that is not necessarily the most popular topic discussed in Christian circles, but yet a very important topic that must be discussed and better understood. It is important in that tithing funds the ministries and operations of a church, but it is even more important in that it is a way we show appreciation for what God has blessed us with as individuals and families. It is a spiritual discipline that allows us to remember who we are within creation and ultimately who our Creator is. ‑is discipline also allows us to develop a deeper relationship with God by trusting in Him by giving back to Him.
In our study, we spent the majority of our time in the Old Testament going over the law of tithing that was given to the people of Israel through Moses, from God. One of the reasons that there were such regulations and laws given to the people of Israel was to help them to be set apart as God’s chosen people. In Deuteronomy 14:2, we read that the people of Israel, “have been set apart as holy to the LORD your God, and he has chosen you from all the nations of the earth to be his own special treasure.” They were surrounded by people groups and nations who did not worship God, but instead worshipped many gods and were far from God in their beliefs and way of life. To be different the people of Israel were called to live differently and one way to do this was by how they sacrificed and gave to God. This was translated or allowed for through the tithe, the giving of the first fruits.
Those of us who profess Christ as our Savior are called to be set apart as well. Though we are not under the strict law of the Old Testament, we are still called to practice the spiritual discipline of giving to God and we are to give joyfully and to rejoice in our giving. We rejoice because God provides. We rejoice because God is good and trustworthy. We rejoice because we believe that God is our creator and through His Son Jesus has delivered us from eternal death.
Let me expand this a bit further. The spiritual discipline of giving goes beyond the tithe. We are to be joyful in all we do that honors God and in all we do, we are to honor God. See how that works? There are no silos. There is no silo for Sunday and then a silo for the rest of the week. In all who God made us to be and in all He allows us to do, we are to remember God and what He has done for us but also continues to do for us. We give joyfully of our time, our abilities, and our first fruits because of what God has already given us. The idea of giving to God joyfully is odd in our current culture, but then again so are we as we have been set apart from the rest of the world and the norms of the world.