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You Can't Afford Not to Tithe

By Pastor Rick Warren

From January 18, 2020

“‘Bring to the storehouse a full tenth of what you earn so there will be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the LORD All-Powerful. ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need’” (Malachi 3:10 NCV).

If you want God to bless your finances, put him first in your finances. This is called the spiritual discipline of tithing.

God is specific about this habit of giving the first part of your income back to him: “‘Bring to the storehouse a full tenth of what you earn so there will be food in my house. Test me in this,’ says the Lord All-Powerful. ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need’” (Malachi 3:10 NCV).

Obviously, God doesn’t need your money. So why does he even say anything about tithing? Because he wants what it represents: your life. God is testing your faith. He’s testing your priorities. He’s testing your gratitude.

When you give your tithe to God, it’s gratitude for the past (“God, I wouldn’t have anything if it weren’t for you”), it’s prioritization in the present (“God, I want you first in my life”), and it’s a statement of faith in the future (“God, I believe that you’re going to keep your promises”).

Tithing is a test of your trust. Do you trust God enough with your money to say those things to him? God tests us because he wants us to become like him. He is the greatest giver, and when we show that we are trustworthy with our finances, we become more like the Great Giver.

A well-known CEO told me once, “Rick, you need to tell people that the best time to start tithing is when they are in debt.” When I asked him why, he said, “Because that’s when you need God’s help the most.”

Tithing can seem especially difficult when you’re in debt. But if you want to get out of debt, you’re going to need God’s help. So honor him by putting him first through tithing.

You may think you can’t afford to tithe, but you can’t afford not to! If you want God’s blessing on your finances, you need to put him first in your finances.

Talk About It
  • Do you find it difficult to tithe? Why or why not?
  • How do you think God wants you to give beyond a 10-percent tithe?
  • What is one step you can take today to show God that you want to put him first in your finances? How will that step move you closer to being faithful in your tithe?

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