Friday, January 9, 2009

First Fruits

Today's final winner for the Resolution contest is Lacy of Del City. She writes, "My resolution is to tithe from EVERY check I get this year. Last year I was a weak tither, but this year I'm going to start off strong. I'll be getting a better paying job and moving off to college, but I am determined to not let anything stop me. God deserves my best, and that is what I'm going to give Him."

The word "tithe" is derived from the Hebrew word ma'aser and it literally means a tenth. Ten percent of everything belongs to the Lord. In Malachi 3:10-11, God says, "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse that there may be food in my house." The 'storehouse' is the Old Testament picture of the New Testament church. So as New Testament believers, we worship the Lord with the tithe; or the ten percent.

God doesn't need our money. He owns everything. But we give first because it takes faith to give first and God wants us to trust Him. He tells us in Proverbs 3:9-10 to "honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops and then your barns will be filled with overflowing". We give first and the blessings of God follow.

Tithing was created for our benefit. It is to teach us how to keep God first in our lives and how to be unselfish people. God is trying to teach us how to prosper over time. Read the Bible and take from it what you will, and if you tithe, do it out of love for God, not guilt. Let me encourage you to keep tithing. More information about financial matters, budgets, and tithing can be found at www.daveramsey.com.
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