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Tithing Part 3: Testing God

Tithing Part 3: Testing God

Testing God: He challenges us to test Him through tithing
“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.” (Malachi 3:10)

Below is a video interview for Christ Chapel Bible Church Christmas 2012 sharing our stewardship journey.

Lance and Kathryn Cashion-QuickTime H.264 from Christ Chapel Bible Church on Vimeo.

In Tithing Part 2, I explained the mechanics and process of tithing from my perspective. Remember our focus should be on God through faithful stewardship. Tithing is not ‘Tipping God’; it is an act of obedience and worship that reminds us of our place in God’s economy. I can find no other instance in Scripture where God encourages us to test him except in regard to the Tithe.

Listen to me very carefully. I can give you dozens of examples in my life where I tithed on our income, knowing in the back of my mind that I did not have enough money left over to pay our bills. The first time this happened, I nearly came to tears in a state of panic and fear. I thought to myself, “What did I just do? I don’t have enough money left to pay our mortgage, buy groceries, etc.” I felt like an acrobat working without a net. Do you know what I learned at that moment? I had no other choice but to depend on God’s promise of provision (see Luke 12:22-34) (more…)

Tithing Part 2: The Mechanics & Process of Tithing

Tithing

In last week’s post, we discussed my reasoning and logic behind tithing undergirded by scripture. I also pointed out the importance of viewing the act of tithing as giving of our ‘first fruits’ as opposed to our leftovers as some kind of ‘tip’ for God. All of this rests on a firm foundation of stewardship.

Let us continue on this journey together.

“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:24-25)

What should I tithe?
I tithe from my income. A portion of my income has taxes, social security, etc withheld. The rest is 1099 income. Personally, I keep it simple as possible. I just take a minimum 10% from the total I receive every pay period or when a commission is deposited. I don’t try to do a bunch of calculations regarding taxes and withholding. I don’t have time for that and I believe that it diminishes the spirit of the tithe. In any event, my total giving is reported to the IRS when I pay taxes anyway. God knows my heart and if I make a mistake, He is pleased with my obedience not my exact calculations. However, that does not give me license to be slopping in my calculations. God knows whether I’m just ‘checking a box’ or if I am acting out of joy, obedience and gratitude. (more…)

Tithing Part 1: Tipping God?

The subject of Tithing is one of the most frequent topics brought up by my Christian family, friends and clients. In fact, last week it was brought up on two occasions. So, I decided to write about it.

I will not discuss the doctrine, history or details of tithing here. I’ll leave the research to you. Suffice to say that I believe that as Christian stewards of God’s resources we are compelled by Scripture to give of our ‘first fruits’ to the Kingdom. This takes the form of 10% of our income (tithe means ‘tenth’). Therefore, I am going to explain my methodology and provide practical advice. Your version may look different than mine. However, this is just one man’s Biblical interpretation tithing. Let me remind you that the most important component of tithing is not centered on the ‘right’ amount of money. The tithe is heart-centered. How can I be joyful and obedient in this wonderful and mysterious endeavor?

Tipping God
When I first began tithing, I started with my leftovers (I did not know any better). After bills were paid and I bought all the stuff I ‘needed’, I would give some of my leftovers to God. If I had a really good week at work, I may give God a little more money that week. Come to find out, I had the heart of Cain. I was essentially telling God, “Thanks God for a great week at work! Here is a little extra for you…” I truly believed I was being generous. However, I was deceiving myself. Prideful, I was essentially throwing God a tip. (more…)