The Full Tithe

Journal Entry // January 2, 2022

Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.

Malachi 3:10 ESV

I honestly struggle with this passage every year I get to this point in my Bible Reading Plan. I think my struggle falls into two different categories of thinking. First, if this is meant to apply solely to financial monetary resources, then how do I bring the full tithe when the money God allows to come in will not fully cover my financial obligations. Second, the purpose and intention behind my giving is vital to giving the whole tithe as it’s not just about giving the proper percentage of money and then I’m done.

I think this passage dovetails well with yesterday’s passage in that the full tithe must include an unpolluted sacrifice. My giving to the Lord must be two things: it must be given with a pure heart with righteous intentions and it must be from my time, talents, and treasure. All for the building up of God’s house. Bottom line… I am to bring all of my life as an offering to the Lord with a cheerful, grateful, humble heart.

Has God blessed me financially? Then give my money away to the needy, the laborers, and the church. Has God gifted me in teaching? Then give of my time and talent to lead and teach in the church and disciple those maturing in the faith. I need to move outside of myself and give freely of the resources that God has provided. It’s not about the type of resource. It’s about pouring out my life as an offering to the Lord.

My giving and tithing should not be about meeting some predetermined number so I can then be done with an obligation and now spend the rest of it as I please on myself. Do I give 10% of everything? Amen. So did the Pharisees. Yet Jesus chastised them for neglecting justice and mercy and faithfulness. Jesus’ answer is that it all should be done together with a humble heart.

The key is to not hold back. Give where the Lord is leading you to give and give your all in everything. Financially, I am in a tough spot and not able to give money as I desire. So I am seeking to give what I am able to give financially, but to also give more intentionally of my time and talents. I have seen the Lord honor my gifts this past year and continue to show me faithfulness and new opportunities of service. And when he puts me in a more firm financial position, I will eagerly give of that as well.

This is the key for me – give what I can as I am able. Be generous with the blessings God has brought into my life and share them with those around me for the glory of God. Give and give and give. I’m not worrying about a predetermined number I should reach to prove my faithfulness. No, I am going to simply worry about loving Jesus and him alone. For when I do this with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, I better understand that I want to give it all to him! I will express my love for him through generous sacrificial giving of my time, talents, and resources.

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