How does the Church of God support itself? Do the people donate baked goods and spaghetti dinners to sell every month? Is there a periodic rummage sale? The answer to your question, friend, is simply no. Our congregation is self-sufficient in the fact that we follow the doctrine of tithing taught in God’s Word. The word tithe means a tenth part of something paid as voluntary contribution. It is that first part set aside for the Lord, ten percent of the gross income. Tithes and additional offerings are used to offset the church’s financial obligations and to further the cause of the gospel of Christ.
The doctrine of tithing not only blesses the individual for giving but blesses others by meeting their needs. When the offering plate is passed in the congregation and members willingly give, it enables the Church to give as well. The money is given to help locally with our outreach program and also to missions around the world.
In the book of Genesis, we read that Adam and Eve’s sons gave offerings to the Lord. Cain was a farmer and gave fruit; Abel was a shepherd and gave from his flock. However, only Abel’s offering was accepted because he gave “of the firstlings of his flock” or the choicest lamb. We can suppose that Cain was careless in his offering, bringing spotted or withered fruit. Yes, it was an offering but it was not worthy to give back to God. God will only accept our very best. “Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase.” (Proverbs 3:9)
One may think, “There’s no way I can afford to give, I’m already living tight financially.” Bills may be large, but if an individual will give to God first, they will personally experience their needs being met. So many in our congregation will testify to the blessings they have found by giving of their tithes when it seemed they could not afford it. The Lord not only helped them with their monetary needs, but blessed them with so many other intangible benefits – such as peace that passes understanding, unspeakable joy and abiding hope.
There is a promise or reward for obeying this doctrine. “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.” (Malachi 3:10)
When the Lord sends blessings, He does it in a large way! The result is like David says in Psalms 23, “… my cup runneth over.” Consider how faithful the Almighty Creator is to mere mortals every day, His faithfulness is great and His mercy is everlasting. The tithe that we give hardly scratches the surface of all that we owe to the Lord! That is why we cheerfully give back to Him. We’ve proved God is true to his word. Tithe, and He in turn will bless abundantly in both temporal and spiritual ways.
by J Shick