In a late addition to this series, I was impressed to write about our obligation to give back to God. For a short time, I had convinced myself that giving was a free-will option. The amount placed upon your heart to donate to the ministry was perfectly acceptable. I have heard the arguments and reasoned through them all. The most significant dispute is that tithing is an Old Testament practice, but money and finance are hot topics throughout the scriptures. One of the reasons for so many lessons would be the controlling aspect of material goods versus dependency on God. We can utilize several references to manage our money and become good stewards of God’s provision.
The Bible does not fall short when mentioning blessings. God’s desired role in our life is of a Father, depending on Him for our every need and, sometimes, our wants. Matthew 7:9-11 states, “Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” Jesus wants us to prosper and accomplish great things, as any father that wishes “good gifts” for their child.
Our responsibility comes in avoiding pitfalls and responsibly managing finances to provide a living and be a blessing to the Kingdom of God and others. To use God’s provision wisely is to demonstrate the ability to handle an increase. In the parable of the talents, Jesus taught, “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness:” (Matthew 25:29-30b).
The most critical aspect of fiscal responsibility is tithing. Tithing is the first fruit and the minimum blessing that we can return to God. The most excellent way to show the Master you respect the abilities and opportunities He has provided to you is through faithful giving of your tithes. Since the time of Abraham, tithes have supported the ministry. While discussing Hebrews chapter 7, Jayson D. Bradley says, “With this discussion on Abraham’s tithe to Melchizedek, we’ve come full circle. Moses first tells us of this tithe in Genesis, and the author of Hebrews readdresses it as he compares Christ’s ministry to the priest Melchizedek.
The author of Hebrews argues that, although the tithe was supposed to be paid to the Levites, Abraham gave a tenth of his spoils to the priest Melchizedek. And that, through this act, the Levites also metaphorically tithed to Melchizedek. Not only did the priest take a tithe from Abraham, he blessed him. Hebrew’s author says, “It is beyond dispute that the inferior is blessed by the superior. (v. 7)” The whole chapter compares the priesthood of Christ to this mysterious Old Testament character. It’s only appropriate that the last place the tithe is mentioned it’s being used to point to Christ’s preeminence.” (https://pushpay.com/blog/20-bible-verses-about-tithing/ , January 4, 2021)
Even though we no longer find ourselves under the Law of Moses, Jesus never dismissed the value of the practice of tithing. “Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Hebrews 7:17) is a direct quote from Psalm 110:4. Jesus, representing the order of Melchisedec, and the Body of Christ requires (at least) the same tribute that Abraham afforded the priest, “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29) Ministry costs, whether it’s time or money, and ministry is the heartbeat of God. What an amazing Savior that He would provide for our needs and reward a faithful covenant relationship with eternal life!
With all our needs met, what are we to accomplish with any surplus? God spoke to Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3, “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” We can offer financial assistance to others and support church-sponsored works. Whenever you “Cast your bread upon the waters,” it shall not return unto you “void.” Malachi 3:10 challenges us to give, and God promises that if we do, He will pour out a blessing that we don’t have room to contain! This blessing is not for us to horde, but “to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God” (Micah 6:8).
This writing is nowhere near a comprehensive list of all of the Scriptures and principles of financial stewardship. I am attempting to simplify the process and shed a little light on the subject. I have fallen victim to my misconceptions and debt traps in the past and am currently working on walking in fiscal responsibility. The deeper you dive into the Word, the more evident stewardship surfaces as one of the basic principles for the Christian life, free from the bonds of selfishness and materialism. Today, I testify that giving is my priority, and God keeps returning His blessings in abundance.