Tithing or Tipping?

Tithing or Tipping

Pastor Don Carpenter

Giving 101 / Malachi 3:8–12

Once upon a time, last week, I picked up my son after football and he was hungry. So he and I stop at Burger King to pick up a snack. Well I bought for my son two of his basic food groups, Chicken Nuggets and French Fries. After going through the drive through, tossing in the bag of food in front seat of the car, I then do what any good Dad would do, I reach over to the bag with the food to grab a couple of fries, just to taste. With my son’s lightning quick reaction, he reaches over and slaps my hand and says, “Don’t touch my French Fries.”

I’m thinking that my son is being just a little bit selfish and stingy. I know who bought the French Fries and I’m really the true owner of the fries. I know also that my son belongs to me. I could get angry and never buy him any more French Fries to teach him a lesson, or I could “cover him in more French Fries than he could ever hope to eat.” Both options are well within my power to do. So I’m thinking, “Why is my child so selfish, I have given him a whole package of French Fries; I just want one French Fry…

Isn’t that the way we tend to be with all our things and with all our money and all our possessions? God owns it all, but we begrudging will give up only a French Fry or two, just so He will continue to bless us.

The American way is to say “I pulled myself up by my own bootstraps,” and “I worked hard for all I have.” Do we realize it is God who gives, it is God who gives the opportunity and ability to work. It is God who ultimately owns all that we have and all that we are.

This morning we start a new series “Giving 101”. In this three week series we will explore what tithing is and why it still applies to believers today. Next we will discover the Biblical concept of faith promise giving. Finally we will look at the responsibility of alms giving.

Giving Americans donate $295 billion a year to charity, with just under a third of it ($97 bn.) to religious organizations. On average, Christians are giving about 2.5% of their income to churches.

(CBS News 3/5/08)

It is easy to wring our hands when considering the increase of gas and oil prices. It is easy to look at the numbers in the bulletin that fall short every month and hope that the board does something to make it all ok. This morning we are going to look at our personal responsibility to make sure that we are doing at least the minimum of what God requires.

I have a hypothetical question for the members of Evangelical Baptist Church. If your giving were made a matter of public record, I imagine you would be upset, as would I. But, the real question is why would you be upset? Some would be bothered because their generosity is best shown in private between them and God. Others would be upset because then their sin of not tithing would be publicly known. I have a news flash for everyone. God knows who is tithing and who is not tithing right now. He has promised to reward accordingly.

This morning we are going to review this subject. Did you know that if you give money in the plate when it comes by, that is not necessarily tithing? Did you know that if you give money to a ministry other than your local church that is not tithing? Did you know that if you make $ 400.00 in a week and put a five dollar bill in the plate, you are not tithing, but you are tipping? This morning, please listen to some truth that just may help you get great blessing upon you and your family. Let us learn the difference between tithing and tipping.

Why tithe? Because tithing is mentioned throughout the entire Bible

Tithe = maasar = tenth part

A. Abraham tithed

Genesis 14:20 KJV

And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all.

B. It is commanded in the Law

Leviticus 27:30–34 KJV

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 unto the LORD. 

And if a man will at all redeem ought of his tithes, he shall add thereto the fifth part thereof. 

And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the LORD. 

He shall not search whether it be good or bad, neither shall he change it: and if he change it at all, then both it and the change thereof shall be holy; it shall not be redeemed. 

These are the commandments, which the LORD commanded Moses for the children of Israel in mount Sinai.

C. It is a sign of honor

Proverbs 3:9–10 KJV

Honour the LORD with thy substance, And with the firstfruits of all thine increase: 

So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, And thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

D. It is a sign of revival

2 Chronicles 31:1-6,12

E. It is a sign of restoration

Nehemiah 10:37-38 

F. Jesus commanded tithing

Matthew 23:23 KJV

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.

Why tithe? Because of the severity of the sin of not tithing

A. Not tithing is robbing God

Malachi 3:8 KJV

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Notice God’s Word does not say you are “stealing”, but “robbing” The following are dictionary definitions of the two terms:

1. Steal = “to take or appropriate (another’s property, ideas, etc) without permissions, dishonestly, or unlawfully, especially in a secret or surreptitious manner”

2. Rob = “to take personal property, money, etc from unlawfully by using or threatening force and violence”

B. Not tithing brings a curse

Malachi 3:9 KJV

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, Even this whole nation.

1. Curse = “a pronouncement of judgment on those who break covenant” “The revelation of God’s justice in support of His claim to absolute obedience.” – Vine

2. Does not come without a reason – because if you do not tithe, it is like you have a gun to God’s head

Proverbs 26:2 KJV

As the bird by wandering, as the swallow by flying, So the curse causeless shall not come.

3. Disagreement with the church or pastor does not remove your responsibility to tithe.

4. Disagreement with the church or pastor does not protect you from the curse that comes from robbing God.

C. Sacrificial giving only is not tithing

1. Tithing is giving the tenth part – automatically

Leviticus 27:30-34 

2. It is a matter of obedience

Why tithe? Because of the extent of God’s blessings

Malachi 3:10–12 KJV

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be meat in mine house, And prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, If I will not open you the windows of heaven, And pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. 

And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, And he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; Neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. 

And all nations shall call you blessed: For ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

A. Meat in the house of God

1 Timothy 3:15 KJV

But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

B. Windows of Heaven opened – God dares you to prove Him!

C. Not enough room to receive the blessings

D. The devourer will be rebuked

The story is told of a family in church that run a family farm, and they don’t have health insurance. The wife began having heart problems, and had to be hospitalized as well as several trips to the emergency room. The medical bills totaled as much as their yearly income. However, they paid their tithe, and paid the bills one at a time as they came in. At the end of the year they were all paid. They discovered God had doubled their farm income from the previous year.

Tithing is a specific kind of giving. It is something that is a set number. 10% is not ours. It already belongs to God. To mess with that is a very serious offence. Thank God for His grace. Let us not take advantage by tipping when we should be tithing.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:27 PM July 13, 2022.