I recently created a 14-day devotional booklet for my church called “Supplying Every Need.” We’re using it to prepare for our upcoming Stewardship Commitment Sunday on November 8. I will be posting a devotional each day between now and then. Enjoy!
Scripture: Leviticus 27:30-33
In the Old Testament, God’s people were required to give a tenth of their income to God’s work and to the poor. For Christians, the tithe remains the biblical standard for giving to church.
I’ve heard some Christians object to the tithe: “Yes, but tithing is from the Old Testament—it’s from the Law. We’re not under the Law anymore. We don’t want to be legalistic—like the Pharisees.”
In a way that’s true. We Christians certainly don’t believe that by tithing we are contributing one iota to what Christ accomplished for us on the cross: we are saved completely by God’s grace alone. As I said in an earlier devotional, even 80 percent of Warren Buffett’s billions wouldn’t do anything to move him closer to heaven.
And I agree we don’t want to be legalistic about the tithe. But that goes in both directions: ten percent of our income may not be enough! God might want us to give more than ten percent!
I like John Wesley’s three rules about money:
- Make all you can. (We Americans like this rule!)
- Save all you can. (By this he didn’t mean “save it for a rainy day” or invest it so you can enjoy a comfortable retirement. He actually meant “save it by not wasting it”—being thrifty.)
- So that you can give all you can.
From Wesley’s perspective, then, the point of making money and handling it wisely is to give as much of it away as possible for the sake of God’s kingdom.
If you don’t want to tithe, then I invite you to follow Wesley’s three rules. But I suspect it will help you be even more generous!
Are you afraid tithing or being a more generous giver? Why? Tell God about your fears and ask him to help you overcome them.