Matthew 6:20-21 “Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven… For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." What’s the most important thing to you? We can clearly see the way the world encourages us to store up treasures on earth and exalt materialism to the point that debt has become acceptable. We can probably even recognize that truth by looking at our own checkbooks. As Christ-followers, however, we are called to free ourselves from the bondage of debt so that our resources are available for His purposes.
Long before tithing was a practice of the Israelite people, Cain and Abel, the 2nd generation of the human race, brought an offering to the Lord. Abel brought the “firstborn of his flock,” while Cain brought “some of the fruits of the soil.” The Lord blessed Abel’s offering, but rejected Cain’s. God wants to be first in our lives. Deuteronomy 26:1-2 “When you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land and present them to the LORD your God.” (NIV)
The 1st Century church modeled for us what it means to give generously and joyfully so that more and more people could find their way back to God. 2 Corinthians 8:2-4 “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.” (NIV)