Last week I began a series of posts on the subject of giving. It is surprising how quick some Christians throw up excuses for not giving, especially for not tithing. One excuse I occasionally hear is that the Church really doesn’t need everyone to tithe. ” God may lead some people to tithe (usually those richer than ourselves), but it is really not necessary for all of us. Churches are doing fine without more money. And a lot of churches are probably not spending it properly anyway.” Those making such excuses are missing the purpose of giving. It is not that God needs our money. It is not for His benefit that we give. The benefit goes to us! Giving, especially tithing, teaches us trust in God. It teaches us that God is really the owner of all that we have, and that we are His stewards. It helps to loosen the grip that our money and possessions have on us. The intangible benefits are difficult to describe to those who have not embraced a life of giving. But even if the Church doesn’t need more money, and even if we assume that not all of it is being spent as we would like to see it spent, we should still give back to the Lord. And, as the Scriptures tell us so clearly, God promises to take care of all our needs and to bless us abundantly as a result.
But let’s talk about how tithing does help the Church. I recently read an article in Relevant Magazine that asked this question: What would happen if all believers were to tithe? This is not a totally unrealistic possibility if we really believe all that His Word says about His blessing being upon those who are faithful in giving. According to the study reported in this article, it is estimated that if all believers tithed, then there would be an additional $165 billion each year for churches to use and distribute for the sake of the Kingdom. The results would be amazing!
According to this study……
>$25 billion could relieve global hunger, starvation, and death from preventable diseases in five years.
>$12 billion could eliminate illiteracy in five years.
>$15 billion could solve the world’s water and sanitation issues, specifically at places where 1 billion people live on less than $1 a day.
>$1 billion could fully fund all overseas mission work.
>$100 to $110 billion would still be left over for additional ministry expansion!
These figures do not include the offerings beyond the tithe (because many tithers begin to give more after seeing how God showers grace on them). These figures do not calculate how God’s blessing would cause many to prosper, and therefore, have more to give. And these figures also don’t include all the new Christians coming into the Kingdom as a result of the Church doing what it is supposed to be doing!
It has always been God’s plan that His people would be the ones who would bless the world. Sadly, we have left this responsibility to the governments and humanitarian organizations of the world. Usually this has not been successful. In some cases, it has been disastrous. Corruption and selfishness usually contaminate the best of intentions of governments and secular organizations. What if the Church were to begin being faithful in the area of giving? God, who promises to multiply what we give, would be glorified around the world!
Where does it start? It starts with ordinary people, most of whom don’t have a lot to give, beginning to step out in faith. They believe God’s Word is true for all of us….all of the time!