The reasons believers should financially give to the work of the Lord are legion. One that deserves our attention is our desire to be obedient to God. Consider Leviticus 27:30–33, from the Pentateuch, which reads: Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees (income), it is the LORD’S. It is holy to the LORD. . . . This passage is very specific in its instruction. Of all that God has given to his people, he requires one tenth be designated directly to his ministry. This instruction to give of one’s income is found throughout the Scriptures, notably Nehemiah 10:37–39, Malachi 3:8–10, and Luke 11:42.
Out of a desire to grow spiritually
Giving of tithes and offerings helps us to recognize that it is our relationship with Christ and the building of his kingdom, not the possession of things, that is of greatest value to us. Matthew 6:19–21 builds on this theme, quoting Christ as saying, “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Our level of enthusiasm about giving materially to the things of Christ shouts volumes about our spiritual health. Those who adjust their priorities so that things of spiritual significance take priority encounter an amplified level of maturity and blessing.
Out of love for and worship to God
Not only are we to do what our Lord requires of us, but we should do it out of love and a desire to worship him. In Mark 12:41–44 and Luke 21:1–3 we find the story of a very poor woman who gave all that she owned as an offering. Christ’s implication was that her actions were pure and reflected her love and desire to obediently worship God: Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them.”
We are called by God to be lovingly obedient to him. A practical expression of our obedience and love is to worship him with our tithes and offerings.
Content is derived in part from Bryce Bartruff's book, God, Your Money and You (CrossLink Publishing).