Think about this…we all went to a nice local restaurant for dinner and enjoyed a great meal. We had so much fun and enjoyed the community of people we were with for dinner. Then we decided to go for ice cream to a nearby ice cream shop. So we walked out of the restaurant without paying our bill and went to the ice cream shop expecting to pay our bill there. What? It doesn’t work that way does it?
Where do we give our tithes? Malachi 3:10a says, Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house…. Larry Kreider says it like this…”According to this scripture, all the tithes should be placed into the storehouse. The storehouse is where spiritual food is kept to bless those who lead us, feed us and equip us for ministry. In the Old Testament, the Levites and the priests were responsible to spiritually lead and feed God’s people. The tithe paid for the work of those who were set apart for the purpose of ministry to the Lord and to His people. The Levites were dependent upon the faithfulness of God’s people in giving tithes to support them.” So now in the New Testament period, we should tithe to the local church; the storehouse of our spiritual leaders because they are called by the Lord to minister the Word, encourage us, pray for us and look out for our souls.
Some people mistakenly give their tithes to para-church organizations, missionaries, evangelists, etc. But this is like paying for dinner at the ice cream shop. The tithe should go to the local church and generously offerings should go to these other places. These other ministries are not looking out for your soul; they have their own vision and mandate to follow. When we are obedient to tithe to the storehouse, the Lord promises a blessing (Malachi 3:10b). Amen.
Note: In all of these blogs about tithing I have relied heavily on the writings and books of Larry Kreider and give him credit. In the next weeks we will be looking more at economics and how Biblical worldview affects our finances.