In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Genesis 14:17-20
Memorise This Verse: 2 Chronicles 31:5 ‘They brought a great amount, a tithe on everything’
Afterwards Talk About This: What sort of things should we be tithing on?
Something To Do Before Next Time: List all your sources of income and calculate your tithe.
Written Diploma Work: Write one side on all the things in the bible that people have tithed on.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Genesis 28:22
Since God is looking for us to tithe our income back to him the question rises as to exactly what we are to tithe on and how this is practically worked out in our lives. A very good rule to apply concerning tithing is that the tithe should be the first and the best – as we mature in our financial stewardship we will look for reasons and things to tithe on as opposed to seeing what we can get away with in our giving.
Abraham is the first reference we have in the bible regarding tithing and Genesis 14:20 shows that he tithed on everything ‘Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything’. Moreover, Genesis 28:22 shows Jacob vowing to do the same and tithe on all that he received from God, ‘And of all that you give me I will give you a tenth’.
This thought of tithing on everything can be seen in the 3 scriptures below and listed below are some of the things that the bible records that people have tithed on just look at how wide the variety is of things that have been tithed on
Leviticus 27:30 :- Everything from the land; Grain from the soil; Fruit from the trees.
2 Chronicles 31:5 :- Corn; New Wine; Oil; Honey; All that the fields produced.
Nehemiah 13:12 :- Corn, New wine and Oil.
The primary area of our tithing should be our income from our job – one of the most commonly asked questions is whether we should tithe on the gross income or the net income. As we apply the rule that tithing should be on the first and the best then it can be argued that we should pay our tithes on the gross amount – there are a couple of reasons for this. The first being that if we tithe on the gross we will receive gross blessings but if we only tithe on the net then we will only receive net blessings.
The second reason is defining what is meant by net income – is it income after tax, or what about health insurance, trade union membership and pensions? where do you draw the line?
Let it be said again – tithing should be on the first and the best and by tithing on our gross income we truly honour God and give back to him from the first and the best.
Surely, as you understand the dynamic of tithing you would not seek to cut corners and short change God with your giving but would seek to honour God with all of your income. Sadly, many people tithe on the gross income and stop there thinking that they have done all that they are called to do – however, is it not the case that we should tithe on all our income and not just the money from our jobs?
Below is a list of potential areas to tithe from as they all represent income into our lives perhaps you need to consider tithing on these.
- Christmas money
- Birthday money
- Profits from sale of property
- Profits from sale of shares
- Government benefits
- Monetary gifts
A further point about our tithing is that God is very definite and exact in the amount he requires us to give back to him – he doesn’t want 8% or 9% but has asked for 10%.
Consequently, we should be very careful ourselves that we return to God 10% of all our income and not a penny less – since God is specific in this matter so should we be also.
Have you been diligent to ensure that you have given God 10% of all your income or have you been giving ‘roughly’ 10%, but not actually knowing for sure if you have met the minimum requirement that God is expecting?. When writing to the Corinthians about the offering for the impoverished saints in Jerusalem, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16:2
‘Each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up’ clearly, the burden was on people to accurately and diligently work out what to give.
For example suppose that someone starts to give and in the unseen spiritual realm there is a large financial harvest awaiting them and the angels of God are waiting to release it to them and as soon as you give 10% of their gross income. However, due to the fact they have not accurately worked out their tithes, they could spend the next 3 years of their life giving 8 or 9% of your gross income and miss out on this harvest all that time.
Sadly, they could fall short of giving 10% by just a few pounds but that would be enough to delay the harvest that was due to them and that would be very sad indeed. So then, for the sake of receiving the many blessings of God, work out very accurately your income and make sure that you give your tithe back to God lest you miss out on a blessing for the sake of a few pounds. (It is a good idea to work out your tithe to the nearest pound and then round it up to the nearest £5 or £10 to make absolutely sure you have given the whole tithe back to God).
In Malachi 3:10 the Lord speaks a word of exhortation to Israel when he says, ‘Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse’ God is certainly not interested in partial or part time givers. It has been rightly said that if we sow spasmodically we shall reap spasmodically and therefore our tithing must be constant and consistent. For example if we tithe every week but forget to do so when we go on holiday or at Christmas, we have not brought the whole tithe back to God.
Again, if we tithe during the good times but don’t tithe during the bad times we have again not brought the whole tithe back to God. It is vital therefore that we are very diligent to ensure that our tithing is accurate and on all our income or else we will end up not honouring with our money.
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Cameroon
15,084,969 people, Christian majority, 25% Muslim
- Extensive corruption and the church is riddled with nominalism and disunity
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.