“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of your crops” (Proverbs 3:9).
This week we have been looking at some spiritual practices we can undertake to prepare ourselves for God to work through our lives. This is a fitting discussion for the season of Advent, as the church prepares to remember the work of Christ and his coming.
Today, we are going to be looking at the spiritual discipline of giving and tithing.
Tithing comes from a Hebrew word meaning “tenth.” It’s the spiritual practice of setting aside the first fruits, the first ten percent for the local church.
As we enter into this Advent season and as we prepare for the new calendar year, I encourage you to look at your practice of giving and tithing.
- We give and tithe because God commands us to do so.
- We give and tithe because God is the giver of all good things.
The first thing about giving and tithing in a God-honoring way is that it has to be planned and intentional. Giving and tithing in a God-honoring way doesn’t happen haphazardly. It takes thought. It takes planning. It takes intentionality.
Think of it this way: Christmas is right around the corner. By now, most of you have been thinking about what to get for your spouse, children, and people you care about. Why? Because you want your gift to represent how much you love them and what they mean to you. What would happen if you showed up Christmas morning and realized that it was time to exchange gifts and you fetched out whatever you had at home and gave that to your spouse. How would that make the receiver of the gift feel? How would that go?
Yet that’s some do when it comes to giving and tithing. They show up to church and then realize it’s time to give and you give whatever you think is right and appropriate on the spot.
When there is no thought and planning to your giving to God, there is little chance such giving honors God.
Tithing and giving doesn’t happen haphazardly. You have to have a plan for giving, generosity, and tithing. You have to think it through. You have to budget.
As we prepare ourselves for the remembering and honoring the coming of Christ into our world, I challenge you to create a plan for tithing, giving, and your generosity. Don’t be haphazardly about it. Be very intentional. Give your best planning to how you will honor God through your tithing and first fruits.
In fact, the only way you’re going to be able to manage to tithe is by planning and budgeting.
Prepare to honor God through your spiritual discipline of tithing and giving this Advent season.