There are more promises in the Bible about giving and money than any other subject. It is impossible to teach about becoming a fully devoted follower of Christ without talking about this important topic. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” Matthew 6:24
We believe that generous people are happy people. Our goal is for you to live a blessed life. We believe the Bible teaches that the way we handle money affects our joy, peace, and prosperity. We want you to live in God’s full blessings. We want this for you, not from you.
At Avalon Church, we believe in grace giving. We are not under the law but under grace. We believe the Bible teaches that bringing the tithe is an act of worship. This is done to recognize the greatness of God, to express thankfulness, to worship God, express our faith in Him, and to celebrate the life of Jesus Christ. We believe that the more you recognize and understand the greatness of Jesus and God’s grace, the more you give out of a grateful and generous heart. We do not want you to feel pressured to give. We want you to learn more about the greatness of Jesus and God’s grace!
What is a tithe?
The word tithe means “a tenth.” In the Old Testament, ten represented the whole. For example, God gave Ten Commandments. There are hundreds of commands that God gave to Israel, but the Ten Commandments represented the entirety of God’s Law. The New Testament teaches that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law and that humans break all of God’s Law by breaking even one (a tenth) of the Ten Commandments.
The tithe began under grace, not under Law. Abraham gave a tithe to Melchizedek over 450 years before God gave the Law to Moses. God’s covenant with Abraham was a covenant of grace. By bringing the tithe, Abraham believed Melchizedek was great and worshiped God. Melchizedek was an Old Testament appearance of Jesus Christ, according to the book of Hebrews. Abraham brought the tithe and Melchizedek brought bread and wine. Bread and wine represent communion and the body and blood of Jesus.
Bringing the tithe is an act of faith. God promised to bless Abraham spiritually, physically, financially, and relationally because of his faith. We believe the same is true today for those whose faith is in Jesus.
At Avalon Church, we believe that believers are under the covenant of grace. As a result, you are blessed with the blessings of Jesus. You are blessed because of the work of Jesus, not because of your own works. Therefore, even if you don’t tithe, you are under grace and blessed. So, why should you tithe?
The Bible teaches that we are under grace because of Jesus, but your money is not automatically under God’s blessing of grace. In fact, it is under the curse of sin. God’s Word teaches us that when we bring the tithe, then God lifts the curse off our money and blesses it! Blessed money has God working for it. God promises to bless your money, rebuke the devourer, and multiply your blessings when you tithe. Here are a few reasons we bring the tithe:
· The tithe demonstrates that we believe God is great.
· The tithe celebrates the resurrected life of Christ.
· The tithe empowers our worship.
· God promises to bless your money through the tithe.
· God owns everything and we are His stewards.
· Tithing helps me grow spiritually and become a disciple.
· Tithing funds God’s work through the church.
· Tithing helps me fulfill God’s mandate to spread the gospel.
· Tithing blesses my family and others for generations.
“Bring to My Storehouse a full tenth of what you earn… Test Me in this”, says the Lord. “I will open the windows of heaven for you and pour out all the blessings you need.” Malachi 3:10
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first and best part of all your income. Then your barns will be full, and your vats will overflow with fresh wine. Proverbs 3:9-10
If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving—large or small—it will be used to measure what is given back to you. Luke 6:38
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need, and plenty left over to share with others. 2 Corinthians 9:8
The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives. Deuteronomy 14:23
What is my next step concerning tithing and giving?
· Ask God for a revelation of the greatness of Jesus and of God the Father.
· Ask God to increase your faith and give you the courage to take a step of faith.
· Make a prayerful decision. At Avalon, we don’t want you to feel pressured into giving. We want this blessing for you not from you. We want you to experience the joy that comes with giving, the feeling of doing something greater than yourself, and the blessings of God on your finances, your health, your family, and all areas of your life.
· Become a planned giver. You will never start if you don’t plan. If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Ecclesiastes 11:4
· Become a percentage giver. We get it if this feels like a giant step in your life. If you don’t have the faith yet to give a full ten percent, then start somewhere. Chose a percentage or an amount and ask God to demonstrate His faithfulness to you. While we believe that starting with the tithe will open great blessings for you (even if you don’t think you can afford it), we believe God rewards steps of faith.
· Become a progressive giver. When you begin to grow in your giving, you will see God’s power at work around you. Many Christians testify of how they went beyond giving ten percent as God led them. As their faith grew, their finances grew. Grow as God leads you and watch how much God blesses. You can’t out-give God!
If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have. 2 Corinthians 12:8