THE TITHE

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GIVE GOD HIS TITHE 

Scriptures: Genesis 14:18–20, Malachi 3:8–12, Matthew 22:21, Luke 11:42

Memory verse: Malachi 3:10
"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house."

Lead—In

Today's study deals with the need to tithe, and the blessing that comes as a result of giving God His tithe. A tithe is a tenth part of one's goods or income.

(Bring 10 pieces of fruit and 10 cups of grain grown locally. Show how one of the 10 belongs to God and the remaining nine is given to us for our use. Go to the blackboard and list certain quantities of produce and money. Ask the students to determine the tithe on each item. Allow responses.)

Giving God His tithe is a clear biblical truth. Just as God asks us to be baptized in water and to tell others about His saving grace, He asks us to determine the tithe of our income and give it to Him. It is a privilege to honour God in this manner. Giving our tithe is not the same as paying for a debt we owe. Rather, tithing is our opportunity to obey God's command and freely return to Him what rightfully belongs to Him. (Practice saying the memory verse a number of times with the students.)

Hearing God's Word

God is the Creator. All things belong to Him. He made them: the universe, earth, vegetation and animals. God also made human beings, as expressed by David in Psalm 139:13, "For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb."

God has a purpose for all He created. This gives balance and sustainability to the world and all that is in it.

Good Stewards

God has chosen people, from the very beginning, to care for His creation. This is stated in Genesis 2:15, "The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." So, people were chosen to be "stewards" of God's creation. A steward is a person who manages someone's property and finances.

The Creator God gave us salvation through Jesus' death on the Cross. We received His gift by accepting Jesus as our Saviour and Lord. Now, the care and nurture of this new life in Christ is our responsibility. The apostle Paul emphasizes this in Philippians 2:12, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Each of us is a steward of our own spiritual life, God's gift of salvation. This involves determining how we live and conduct ourselves in a sinful world.

A good steward respects the desires and instructions of his master. This applies to our stewardship—oversight, responsibility—of possessions and money God makes available to us.

History of Tithing

Tithing began in Genesis, before the Law was given. Abram's nephew, Lot, and all his goods had been carried away by an invading army. Abram and his men pursued the army, defeated them, and brought Lot and all the stolen goods back home. Upon his return, Abram was met by "Melchizedek...priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram.... Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything" (Genesis 14:18–20).

Tithing was practiced throughout the Old Testament under the Law. The necessity of participation by all Israelis is set forth in Malachi 3:6, 10, "So you, the descendants of Jacob…. Bring the whole tithe…."

The New Testament records the coming of Jesus who established a new covenant. Although Jesus is the fulfilment of Old Testament practice and prophecy, He encourages the continuation of some practices. One is giving God His tithe. The one verse of Scripture that endorses the habit of tithing is found in Luke 11:42, "Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone."

Give the Tithe and be Blessed

(Ask a student to read all of Malachi 3:8–12) Now, we will examine some of the basic thoughts about tithing as given in these verses.

  • A believer in Christ can steal from God. God has developed tithing as a way to honour Him with what rightfully belongs to Him. Failure to give Him His tithe is compared to stealing money.
  • Failing to give the full 10 percent tithe is called "cheating." Cheating God by neglecting to give His tithe or only giving a portion of His tithe will bring God's disfavour upon your life.
  • God's tithe is to be given to the church (storehouse) to enable the place of worship to function and maintain itself. The tithe is to provide for the pastor and other ministries of the congregation.
  • The people who tithe will be blessed; basic needs met and even more.
  • God says, "Begin now and you will discover that the principle works—tithe and you will receive abundant blessings."
  • The local church will be a visible witness to its community when the believers faithfully give God His tithe. Why? Because God is supplying their needs and a spirit of joy settles upon the entire congregation.

Accepting God's Word

It is one thing to talk about tithing; it is another thing to do it. God's plan is based on a percentage rather than a certain amount. This allows everyone to participate and be blessed.

A believer is never too young or too old to tithe, never too poor or too rich to participate in God's plan for giving. Tithing makes it possible for every youth in this Bible study to tithe and then watch God open the windows of heaven and pour out great blessing upon their lives.

Ask the following questions:

How many of you currently give God's tithe to the church?

How many of you would like to begin tithing?

What produce, goods, possessions or money do you have from which you could give a tithe? (Allow responses.)

(Take time for any additional questions the students may have about today's study.)

Present the information about the Anufo tribe given below.

Meet the Anufo

The Anufo currently inhabit an area of savannah grassland in the northeastern part of Ghana. The soil is poor, but the main occupation of the people is farming. Many tasks require communal labour involving both men and women.

Markets in the area follow a six-day cycle, providing social interaction as well as economic activity. People bring their local produce to sell in order to buy such things as soup ingredients for women or bicycle parts for young men. It is a patrilineal society.

REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for the Anufo Tribe

1. The Anufo of Togo deserve an introduction to Jesus,
2. Jesus has commanded us as believers to go and preach to the Anufo,
3. Our study group to recognize our responsibility to pray, to go, or to send a messenger to the Anufo.

Prayer Promise

"On this mountain he (God) will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations.... The Lord has spoken" (Isaiah 25:7—8).

MORE INFORMATION: www.joshuaproject.net

Remember: GIVE GOD HIS TITHE

Memory verse: Malachi 3:10
"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house."

1. A tithe is a tenth of all my possessions and money.
2. The tithe belongs to God, not me.
3. I will tithe and receive God's promised blessing.

Pray for the Anufo tribe.

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Study 6 | Give to God / Paul Writes | africaatts.org/go-teach

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