By Steve Nelson
Two masters – Mistakenly, people often say money is the root of all evil, misquoting 1 Timothy 6:10. This verse accurately reads that “the LOVE of money is the root of all evil.” You may already know this important distinction. Money is neutral, neither good nor evil. It’s like other tools – it depends on what you do with it.
The “LOVE of God” is the root of all good – a truth that resounds all over the Bible. In Mark 12:30, Jesus said that loving God was most important. Also in Luke 16:13 Jesus taught, “No servant can serve two masters… ye cannot serve God and mammon.” Mammon = treasure, riches, money and the false confidence that comes with it. So, who do we serve? God or money? Be honest, what or who is on our mind more?
Money defined – Money is a thing. It is lifeless until energy is put into it. If paper, or coins, or digitally tracked, all types of money are the same – a means of exchange for products and services in society. It’s an idea in which both parties agree on the perceived value of stuff. Although money is a symbol of purchasing power in the physical realm, it’s affected by spiritual factors that are good or evil, depending on how people use it.
That’s right, we determine the impact of our money based on the decisions in our hearts. The type of energy put into acquiring and spending money has far-reaching ramifications. This motivation behind money is very important to God. It’s not necessarily how much we have, it’s what we do with it. “We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out” (1 Timothy 6:7).
God’s financial advice – God is the best financial planner, giving detailed financial instructions in His Word, even what to do before spending on food, clothing and shelter. The devil is the second best financial planner, offering lots of “wisdom,” but all his ideas skip God. Sad reality: most people ignore God regarding money. For example, money on self or family first is not advice from God.
Unless God is involved in our first decision about money, we are being misled with an illusion that the world is smarter than God. Has someone taught you that the Bible is no longer relevant about money? You’ve been fooled, my friend. Without knowledge from God, money “experts” are merely imperfect humans who can only see things from a physical point of view, not spiritual. “Seek the kingdom of God FIRST” is still the best strategy (Matthew 6:33).
Prove God with this financial action – God’s first financial principle is TITHING. It’s not a new concept, nor an outdated concept. It’s a principle that works today, as it did since before 1896 BC for Abram (later became Abraham), who was the first to tithe. See Genesis 14:18-20. Then prior to 1500 BC Moses recorded this: Leviticus 27:30, “And all the tithe of the land… is the LORD’S: it is holy unto the LORD.”
What is tithing? It’s giving exactly 10% of our net income to God, before a dime is spent on anything else. The amount is not ambiguous, nor based on how much extra we have after paying bills, nor on emotional hype when we hear a hot sermon from some preacher or not. The tithe is exactly 10% off the top, every single time.
Practical ways to “give our money to God” – We cannot throw money up into the sky as if God will catch it. Haha! We give it to God’s representative. In our day that means giving money to a church, or ministry or organization – whoever is teaching us God’s Word. Giving more than 10% of our income goes beyond the tithe and has blessings as well, but the tithe at 10% is the minimum financial obligation we are told to obey. To obey is to believe.
If we respect God, then we’ll do what God says. If not, people have been giving excuses in their hearts for years on reasons not to tithe. Don’t believe the lie that tithing is obsolete. Nor the lie that you can’t find someone worthy to tithe to. We don’t live under law but we still put God first. And all churches and ministries are imperfect! Let God worry about how the money is handled. That’s His job. Our job is to give. No excuses. Once we drop it in the mail or send it digitally, at that exact moment we’ve tithed. Then, God does the rest.
Benefits of tithing – Malachi 3:8-12 has amazing details about tithing. To not do it is just as bad as if a person is robbing God, it says. Robbing God? Wow, that’s dramatic. And without tithing, it says we are cursed with a curse. In other words, the spiritual energy of our efforts is not blessed by God.
On the positive side, when people tithe, the physical needs of life are supplied. God will pour out huge blessings and rebuke Satan for our sakes. Our physical needs will be guaranteed, no matter how much money we make or what the world’s economy is up to. God tells us to prove His Word works by tithing. We spiritually recognize that 90% with God’s blessing goes further than 100% without.
Conclusion – Food for thought: wouldn’t it be wise if people went to God proactively before financial troubles come? Now a better idea: for thousands of years the tithe has been the best financial principle and it has not been improved upon. Tricked into doing nothing: people question the logic of tithing and usually end up doing nothing at all.
Tithing is a financial choice which is backed by guaranteed promises to us from God Almighty. For those who respect God, we take this action and see the blessings in our lives. Make a decision today. Tithe! It primes the pump of giving and God will come through. God bless you!
Steve Nelson has been a Bible teacher for over 25 years. This article comes from “Tithing and Giving” Segment 87 of “CORE”, a course for families on how to read and understand the Bible. See T4FAMILYCENTER.COM or reach Steve at [email protected]