The "TITHE" What it is,
and What it is Not.

Ps 119:66; Mal. 3:7-10

Ps 119:66
66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Thy commandments. (NAS)

Mal 3:7-11
7 "From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from My statutes, and have not kept {them.} Return to Me, and I will return to you," says the LORD of hosts. "But you say, 'How shall we return?'
8 "Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed Thee?' In tithes and offerings.
9 "You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation {of you}
10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
11 "Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it may not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast {its grapes} " says the LORD of hosts. (NAS)

INTRODUCTION
Do you know pastor's get advice from all kinds of people. I have been told in the same day " you need to preach more about tithing and then a little latter someone said "you preach too much about tithing."

What is a preacher to do? He is to preach the word as he believes he receives direction from the Lord. So, today I want to ask and answer several questions concerning the tithe; what it is and what it is not.

The text will serve as a guide for this message. We need good discernment and knowledge as we follow the commands of God.

1. First I want to ask and answer, What the tithe is not.

2. Secondly I want to answer what the tithe is.

.

1. What the Tithe Is Not. Ps 119:66

Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Thy commandments. (NAS)

A. The tithe is not . . a man made Idea.

B. The tithe is not . . mine to use as I desire.

1. Does your giving exalt you, or God's Word.

ILLUSTRATION
Alexander I (1777-1825) was Czar of Russia from 1801-1825. When he was in Paris following the defeat of Napoleon, he attended anniversary celebrations at one of the hospitals. The ladies who had organized the affair passed plates around for contributions. An extremely pretty girl was delegated to take a plate to the Czar. Alexander dropped in a handful of gold and whispered, "That's for your beautiful bright eyes."

The young lady curtsied and immediately presented the plate again. "What? More?" said the Czar. "Yes, sire," she replied, "Now I want something for the poor."

C. The tithe is not . . A Gift To God.

1. We are Commanded to pay Tithes not give them.

D. The tithe is not . . An Admission Fee.

1. Not just to be given if your able to attend.

E. The tithe is not . . A Vote of Approval.

1. I like the pastor so I will tithe etc.

F. The tithe is not . . Something to be Done Without Faith.

1. When we say we can't we eliminate Faith.

ILLUSTRATION
A man received a sharp letter from one of his creditors demanding payment. He wrote back to the firm and said, "Dear Sir. Every month I take all the bills I have and put them on the table, shuffle them, and pick out six, which I pay. Now, if I have any more trouble out of you, next month you'll be out of the shuffle entirely." Have you shuffled God out of your giving?

APPLICATION

Ps 119:66 66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Thy commandments. (NAS)



2. What the Tithe Is.

Ps 119:66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Thy commandments. (NAS)

A. The Tithe Is . . A Command of God. Num 18:26; Deut 14:22; Heb 7:5

Num 18:26
26 "Moreover, you shall speak to the Levites and say to them, `When you take from the sons of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present an offering from it to the LORD, a tithe of the tithe

Deut 14:22
22 "You shall surely tithe all the produce from what you sow, which comes out of the field every year. (NAS)

Heb 7:5
And those indeed of the sons of Levi who receive the priest's office have commandment in the Law to collect a tenth from the people, that is, from their brethren, although these are descended from Abraham. (NAS)

B. The Tithe Is . . God's Plan to Finance the Work of the Church.

Mal 3:10
10 "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven, and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. (NAS)

C. The Tithe Is . . God's Plan to Stretch Us Financially.



ILLUSTRATION
"I was just a child," related a retired Baptist preacher, "when one spring day my father called me to go with him to old man Russell's blacksmith shop. He had left a rake and a hoe to be repaired and they were ready, fixed like new. Father handed over a silver dollar for repairing them but Mr. Russell refused to take it. 'No,' he said, 'there's no charge for that little job.' But father insisted. And if I live a thousand years," said the preacher, "I'll never forget that great blacksmith's reply. 'Sid,' he said to my father, 'Can't you let a man do something' just to stretch his soul?'"

D. The Tithe Is . . Part of Lordship.

ILLUSTRATION
Milo Kauffman develops this thought a step further when he writes:

"Stewardship of possessions is the effect of God's saving grace upon one's self and his property. When God gets a man with a car He gets a car to be used in His service. Some seem to think of stewardship as a whip or as legal action to drive people to give to the expenses of the church. No doubt too often the attempt has been made to wring generous offerings from selfish souls. Christian stewardship most certainly is not church legislation nor a scheme to deprive men of their cash. It is the natural consequence of an experience with God -- the natural reaction of the human heart that has been touched by the divine spirit. -- Milo Kauffman, The Challenge of Christian Stewardship,

APPLICATION

Let me share on of my favorite poems.

Ah, when I look up at that Cross

Where God's great Steward suffered loss

Yea, loss of life and blood for me!

A trifling thing it seems to be

to pay the tithe, dear Lord, to Thee,

Of time or talent, wealth or store-

Full well I know I owe Thee more;

A million times I owe Thee more!

But that is just the reason why

I lift my heart to God on high,

And pledge Thee by this portion small,

My life, my love, my all in all!

This holy Token at Thy Cross

I know, as gold, must seem but dross;

But in my heart, Lord, Thou dost see

How it has pledged my all to Thee,

That I steward true may be!

Ps 119:66
66 Teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Thy commandments. (NAS)

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