I preached about money a few weeks ago and I answered the question: “What’s the difference between a tithe, a gift and an offering?” My answer in a nutshell is that a gift and an offering are the same thing, and a tithe means 10% of something.
Through my research I discovered that in the Old Testament, the Israelites gave a tithe to 3 different places, so they routinely gave 20% or 30% of their income to different places to keep things running.
In the New Testament, in all the passages where the church gives, there is no mention of tithing. Tithing isn’t New Testament giving. Tithing can be giving for the wrong reason (see Luke 11:42 or Matthew 23:23). New Testament giving is giving as a response with a loving, willing heart. Acts 2 and 2 Corinthians 8 paint pictures of people giving selflessly and willingly to the work of God.
By giving back to God, the people in the Old Testament were saying, “we want this temple. We want to worship Yahweh. We want to support the Levites in their temple duties. It is a sacrifice for us to do so, but it is worth it.”
When we give back to God today, whether a tithe of 10% or when we give 15% or 5% or 1%, we are saying the same thing. We are saying that we know God is working in our lives. We know that God is working through the ministries of this church. We want to support First Presbyterian Church and what God is doing through us. It is a sacrifice for us to do so, but it is worth it.
Let’s work together to bring glory and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ as we dream about what could be as we faithfully serve Him here in Fort Dodge. May we all give generously from loving, willing hearts.
See you in worship!