If you knew that tomorrow was your last day on earth, what would you do with your money?
NB: Now is a good moment to show the DVD (its exactly 10 mins long)
Introduction to the topic:
Before we get on to the topic of tithing, it is important to note that we are not “OWNERS” of what we have, but rather “STEWARDS” of what we have been given. We are encouraged by God in His Word to be good stewards of what he has given to us. When we start with the mindset that we are Stewards and not Owners, tithing becomes easier and actually makes sense J. Tithing broken down into its simplest form, is giving 10% of my finances BACK to God.
The topic of tithing usually triggers the following questions:
(You can share these questions and answers up front with the group or only deal with them if they arise during discussion. Please don’t use them as the questions for the general discussion J )
- Isn’t tithing an Old Testament value?
Many believe that tithing is only a thing from the law, but Scripture shows that it actually PRE – Dates the law! Abraham is seen in Genesis 14 offering a tithe to Melchizedek, a Priest and King. Many also argue that Tithing is not mentioned in the New Testament and therefore has no relevance. Jesus speaks to the religious leaders in Matt 23 telling them not to neglect tithing.
- What do I tithe on, my Gross or Net?
The Bible tells us in Malachi 3 vs 10 to “bring the full tithe into the storehouse. This means that we tithe on our full income and not on the amount after deductions.
- Who do I tithe to?
The same scripture in Malachi says tithe to the “storehouse”. The modern day storehouse is the place from which you get spiritually fed. Therefore the storehouse is the church to which you belong. Nehemiah 10 vs 38 speaks of the tithe going towards the workers of the storehouse. In our context that would be translated into going into the work of spreading the Gospel and those who work in a full time capacity.
Read: Numbers 18 vs 21 – 24
21 “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting. 22 From now on the Israelites must not go near the tent of meeting, or they will bear the consequences of their sin and will die. 23 It is the Levites who are to do the work at the tent of meeting and bear the responsibility for any offenses they commit against it. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come. They will receive no inheritance among the Israelites. 24 Instead, I give to the Levites as their inheritance the tithes that the Israelites present as an offering to the LORD. That is why I said concerning them: ‘They will have no inheritance among the Israelites.’”
25 The LORD said to Moses, 26 “Speak to the Levites and say to them: ‘When you receive from the Israelites the tithe I give you as your inheritance, you must present a tenth of that tithe as the LORD’s offering. 27 Your offering will be reckoned to you as grain from the threshing floor or juice from the winepress. 28In this way you also will present an offering to the LORD from all the tithes you receive from the Israelites. From these tithes you must give the LORD’s portion to Aaron the priest. 29 You must present as the LORD’s portion the best and holiest part of everything given to you.’
30 “Say to the Levites: ‘When you present the best part, it will be reckoned to you as the product of the threshing floor or the winepress. 31 You and your households may eat the rest of it anywhere, for it is your wages for your work at the tent of meeting. 32 By presenting the best part of it you will not be guilty in this matter; then you will not defile the holy offerings of the Israelites, and you will not die.’”
1) What do we learn about how God views the dealings of money from this text?
(Leaders Guide – God has very definite views on how money should be handled by us. The role of us a s believers is to steward what God gives us. In our context, just as the priests sought after God and not money, we should also have the posture of depending more on God than on our money.)
2) How do we apply the principles God gave the Old Testament Priests in this text to our lives today as Modern Priests?
3) Jesus raised the bar of generous living considerably. His death is an example of a life spent for others. 10% should therefore not be our bar to aim for, but Jesus should. How can we live our lives more generously?
(Leaders Guide – Discuss that a generous life is living generously with our finance but also with the rest of what we have. We need to always be generous, not selfish, but at the same time good stewards, and not wasteful.)