Proverbs 3:9-10 "Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine."
Relevant to you today.
Is that true? Did Jesus' death, burial and resurrection do away with the standard of tithing? Whenever studying both the Old and New Testaments, unless God has either removed or replaced a given institution or command, we can assume that the command or institution carries forth from Old to New Testament. Jesus for example used very similar language as that of Malachi 3:10 in his first sermon in Luke 6:38. When Jesus rebuked the Pharisees in Matthew 23:23 for focusing on tithing above the "weightier matters of the law", He is not abolishing the tithe, rather He is admonishing the attitude of their hearts and neglect of God's Word. If anything, Jesus' teaching gets us to the heart of stewardship (Matthew 6:33) and does not do away with the Divine standard of tithing.
As one journeys into the New Testament, several key Old Testament practices or institutions were replaced and removed. For example, the Levitical priesthood was done away with when Christ came, since His priesthood is of a different order. (Hebrews 7-10) We also don't sacrifice animals due to the fact that Christ's subsitutionary death satisfied the wrath of God against the sins of those who receive His work by grace through faith. (1 Peter 3:18)
However, we discover not one prohibition against tithing. The standard of 10% was ordained by God some 400 or so years before the giving of the law. Abel (Genesis 4:4), Abraham (Genesis 14:20) and Jacob (Genesis 28:22) were tithing millennia before Christ and centuries before the giving of the law. The law of God served to reinforce the standard, however when Christ came, the standard was never removed nor replaced.
In studying the over 100 passages that speak on the subject of stewardship and tithing, here is what we discover:
1. A person is free to give whatever they want (offering) only after they have been already tithing.
2. Tithing represents the most basic level of stewardship, the ground floor if you will. Whenever we begin to tithe is whenever we begin to hear God in the realm of giving.
3. Wherever the believer is told to give in the liberty of his heart and conscience, it can be assumed that the believer has already been tithing. (2 Corinthians 9:6-10)
So yes dear friend, tithing and stewardship is relevant for you and me today. It still remains God's lightning rod of blessing. However there is a second reason as to why we should tithe to the Lord....
Opens you to God's supernatural power
The only way you and I can accomplish the impossible or believe that God can do impossible things is by humbly acknowledging that His words are more trustworthy than our opinions. By His Spirit the Christian is able to conclude and continue entrusting God with the salvation of their souls. (2 Timothy 1:12) Yet why is it when it comes to resources and finances we hesitate? In the realm of lightning rods, lightning will seek the path of least resistance. All the time people will quote passages such as Philippians 4:19 without considering the context within which occurs - namely that of giving and stewardship.
Whenever you and I are converted to saving faith, our relationship toward four books should change. First, our relationship to The Book, the Bible, ought to change, being that as converted saints we conclude it to be what is really is: God's precious, infallible, inerrant word. (1 Thessalonians 2:12-13). Secondly, our datebook ought to change, being that your appointments and plans are directed by the Lord moreso than circumstance or person preference. Thirdly, your songbook ought to change. Overtime the believer will learn to appreciate music that edifies the spirit man and not just the senses.
However there is a fourth book that ought to become different - and that is the checkbook. Solomon writes in Proverbs 3:9-10 "Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine." In a texts where we are told to "trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not unto our own understanding...." (Proverbs 3:5-6), scripture gives us a test to see whether we believe that truth - namely our resources and finances. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed." Space does not permit, but the Old Testament text quoted by Paul in the context of the passage (Psalm 112:9) indirectly alludes to tithing and stewardship.
God prescribes tithing to you and I dear Christian not to shackle us but to free us. He desires and wants to bless us far more than we do. He aims to raise our idea of blessings from the material to Himself, for to be blessed simply means I have His power and presence coursing through my life. The lightning rod of blessing - tithing, is given by God to give me a chance to open a doorway whereby He can unleash His supernatural power into my finances and so much more.