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)
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”? 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.” 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, he says, “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.
- Make a list of all the things you want, and identify the things on it that you truly need.
- If you aren’t giving to God, start this week. See it as a step of faith, a concrete way to show God you believe in his promises.
Learn More About a Biblical Approach to Your Budget
Your finances are important to God. Saddleback Resources offers Managing Our Finances God’s Way, a 7-week, video-based study for small groups or individuals that will inspire you to live debt-free and/or manage finances in a way that enables you to respond to God’s calling on your life.
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times Best Seller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors. © Copyright 2011 Rick Warren.