What are Tithes and Offerings?
Tithing Honors the Lord
“The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the World, and those who dwell in it.” Psalm 24:1
As Christians, we are in a constant process of spiritual growth. As we grow to yield to the lordship of Jesus Christ in our daily lives and obey His commands. Like the spiritual disciplines of prayer, worship and Bible reading, tithing is a simple act of obedience to be used in that growth process. And it is in obeying God that we as Christians find abundant life. The word “tithe” means one tenth (1/10). It refers to giving 10% (1/10) of one’s income to the Lord. 1 Samuel 2:30 says, “Those who honor me will I honor, but those who despise me will be disdained.”
How do we honor God? Proverbs 3:9-10 says, “Honor the Lord with your income, with the firstfruits of all your crops, then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.” This was written in a time based on agricultural economy when believers took the first and best of all their produce and gave it to the Lord—one tenth. While our system of exchange is different today, we can apply the same principle in giving to the Lord the first of our income —10%— before any earthly financial obligations. But can you afford that? If you love and fear God, you cannot afford not to give. If you will write that first check each week/month to the Lord, upon the authority of His Word, He will make sure you have all you need. Maybe not all you want, but all you need.
The Difference Between Tithes and Offerings
While tithes are the basics of Christian Stewardship, offerings are gifts made above and beyond the scriptural tithe. Throughout the year, you may learn of financial needs beyond regular operations to which you feel led by God to contribute.
Gifts made to specific areas are call “designated” gifts, and when making contributions to those areas, you must specify or designate where you want that money to go. Some of those areas include but are not limited to: