Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine. Proverbs 3:9-10 (HCSB)
"We give back to God as a demonstration of our priorities and as a demonstration of our faith in his promises. "
The purpose of tithing is to teach us to always put God first in our lives. God doesn't need our money. He wants what it represents: our gratitude, our priorities and our faith.
Now look at these verses in Proverbs 3. Do you see where it says, 'Honor the Lord by giving him the leftovers of all your income'. Now, you can see, that's NOT what it says at all.
It says, "Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest ...". We give to God first, before anyone else, right off the top of our income.
And here is the promise, "Then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine". Many of you know that Kay and I have always lived this way, we give the first 10% to God. If we're going to be in debt, we will be in debt to other people, but we are not going to be in debt to God.
You and I are called to give back to God in gratitude, but also as a demonstration of our priorities. And, it is a demonstration of our faith in his promises.
In Malachi 3:10, God says, "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse ...". That means the place where you worship. Then God says, "Put me to the test!" In a sense, 'Test me and see how I will bless you for your obedience'.
God says he will provide all that you need. He doesn't say he'll provide all that we greed, but all that we need.