Return unto Me (in Tithes and Offerings) and I will return unto You

In Hebrews 13:5-6 and Deuteronomy 31:6-8 the Word of God tells us that God will never leave us nor forsake us, but in times of difficulty and hardship it can be difficult to remember this.  

As I was studying Malachi last night, I came across verse 7 of chapter 3 that says, “Return unto me, and I will return unto you.” See the truth is that God will never leave us, but he won’t force us to be with Him.  That means if we want to by an act of our will (through disobedience) we can leave His perfect will and therefore His perfect provision for us. 

Our Text

7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the Lord of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Malachi 3:7-8 KJV

In times of Hardship, you’re responsible for what you know

Today, I want to look at two related things we need to do to ensure we stay in God’s will.  Of course these are related to our finances, but they’re not the only things.

Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

James 4:17 KJV

It’s all about what we know to do and don’t do.  

In my own life…

I’ll just be honest with you.  I personally got into some trouble with God because of my lack of giving offerings. I was giving tithes, but rationalized, Well God you know I want to buy ______ and I need to save up money, and you know I have this bill and that thing…

But as we will see today, it’s not required that we just give tithes but offerings too. And I knew that and therefore God held me accountable for it.

Tithe is 10% of your increase

The Word of God is very plain on what tithe is.  Your tithe is 10% of your increase whether that increase comes from your paycheck, selling some furniture, a business deal you do or anything else.  If you make a profit, then you’re supposed to tithe.

32 And concerning the tithe of the herd, or of the flock, even of whatsoever passeth under the rod, the tenth shall be holy unto the Lord.

Leviticus 27:32 KJV

Now it’s up to you how legal you get with your tithe. I used to count it down to the penny.  I’d take 10% and make sure I put exactly 10% in the offering. But remember we live in the age of grace.  

You want to get legal with God – God will be legal with you, but remember the Law killed everything it touched including Jesus when it nailed him to the cross! 

6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. 

2 Corinthians 3:6 KJV

God looks at the spirit or the heart behind the action. 

Offerings are anything above the tithe

Offerings are different from tithes and they operate on different rules, but also receive different rewards than tithing too! I don’t have time to break this all down today, but here are the most important things to know.

Offerings are everything you give above the tithe amount.

The amount of your Offering is your Decision

The Word of God makes it plain that the amount you bring as an offering is your decision. It’s up to you how much you want to bring.

7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

2 Corinthians 9:7 KJV

God judges the amount you give by what you have

I used to think, Well is my $20 really worth much? I mean they need $20,000… But the truth is that it’s never about who you are giving it to because your heart should recognize it’s not about them but that it’s about God who you are honoring.

The biggest thing to remember is that offerings are not about the amount of money we give, but the attitude we give it in.  Remember the widow with the two small coins?  Jesus said that she gave more than everyone else because she gave all she had!

Your mental attitude matters when you give

12 For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.

2 Corinthians 8:12 KJV

This verse plainly tells us that our minds play a part in how we give.  The other verse we looked at above in 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “not grudgingly or out of necessity”.  It’s clear that our minds and how we think about giving will affect our giving. 

Wrapping Up

It’s not good enough that we just give the tithe.  It’s not good enough to just give offerings. The Lord requires us to give both tithes and offerings with a willing heart and mind.

Remember that we should do everything we do to the glory of the Lord.  

That includes how we manage our money. 

I didn’t have time today to get into the benefits of tithing and giving, but let’s just say the Lord isn’t asking for us to give because He needs the money. God asks us to give so that we give Him and avenue in our lives to bless us: spirit, soul and body. 

Stay Connected

If this post helped you, or if you have any questions about anything I wrote.  Please don’t hesitate to contact me via the chat, comments section or email at [email protected]

I want to personally thank you for reading these blog posts.  It’s an honor to serve you as I serve the Lord and do what I feel He has placed in my heart to do. 

When you apply these principles, I know they will work in your life, and when they do – come back and tell me so I can rejoice with you! 

If you missed my last post, you can check it out here: 3 John 2: Even as your soul prospers.