Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Daily Devotion: Tithing, Part 1

Bible Reading:  John 14:1-15

Key Verse: Verse 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

Key Words: If ye love me

The commandments of God teach us to be givers: Luke 6:38, I Corinthians 16:1-2 to name a couple.  We are also told to be wise stewards (I Corinthians 4:1-2).

Did you know that “Only about four percent of professing Christians tithe”?  ~ Table Talk, 1991

Once Martin Luther railed against his congregation for being stingy with God’s money.  He said, “You ungrateful beasts!!  You are not worthy of the treasures of the gospel.  If you don’t improve, I will stop preaching rather than cast pearls before swine.”

Are most church members living beneath the poverty line?  You may be surprised.  In 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services released the following breakdown.  For a single person the poverty line is $14,580; for a couple it’s $19,720; a family of three is in poverty if they make less than $24,860; four in a family moves the line up to $30,000; and $50,560 is the break point for a family of eight.  If you multiply by ten the total of what each church family ‘tithed’ this past year, you might find that a clear majority are claiming by their ‘tithe’ that they live below the poverty line.  In general, the average church of 100 families could increase their weekly budget by $1,000 if each family only made $20,000 and faithfully tithed.  Such obedience would generate an extra $20 billion among all American churches.  To put that in perspective, $20 billion would produce a stack of new $1,000 bills, two and one-half miles tall.  With such commitment, more Americans might look to God’s Church for solutions rather than turning to the government.”

James Kraft, founder of the Kraft cheese industry, once said, “I don’t believe in tithing, but it’s a good place to start.”  I close with this remark, “Give according to your income, lest your income begin to match your gift – for we reap what we sow.

What to do:
✞ Ask God to match your income in proportion to your giving.  If you’re afraid to do that, that tells you a lot about your gift.

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