“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
Thoughts on Stewardship – Lesson 25 from Deuteronomy
The Law of the Tithe
Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 14 verses 22 – 29
You shall surely tithe all the yield of your seed produced by your field each year. 23 And you shall eat before the Lord your God in the place in which He will cause His Name [and Presence] to dwell the tithe (tenth) of your grain, your new wine, your oil, and the firstlings of your herd and your flock, that you may learn [reverently] to fear the Lord your God always. 24 And if the distance is too long for you to carry your tithe, or the place where the Lord your God chooses to set His Name [and Presence] is too far away for you, when the Lord your God has blessed you, 25 Then you shall turn it into money, and bind up the money in your hand, and shall go to the place [of worship] which the Lord your God has chosen. 26 And you may spend that money for whatever your appetite craves, for oxen, or sheep, or new wine or strong[er] drink, or whatever you desire; and you shall eat there before the Lord your God and you shall rejoice, you and your household. 27 And you shall not forsake or neglect the Levite [God’s minister] in your towns, for he has been given no share or inheritance with you. 28 At the end of every three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your increase the same year and lay it up within your towns. 29 And the Levite [because he has no part or inheritance with you] and the stranger or temporary resident, and the fatherless and the widow who are in your towns shall come and eat and be satisfied, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do. Deuteronomy 14:22-29 AMP
1. The tithe was to be brought as an act of worship, to honor God, by all those who feared His Name
a. It was to be brought with joy – not with sadness or with reservations. It was a time to feast and rejoice and give thanks.
b. The whole family was involved – you and your house. God continually emphasizes the importance of His people personally obeying His word and also teaching these principles to their children and establishing them as a way of life so that every generation would love and serve the Lord. Joshua says, “As for me and my house, we WILL serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15b)
2. Give according to the increase.
a. You are to tithe and give, according to the blessing of the Lord. As He has blessed you – give.
b. You are supposed to bring a tithe to God off of your increase. You are expected to increase – not decrease. God expects you to increase. You are to expect increase in your own life. God tells us to bring a tithe of that increase.
3. Every one doing their part – taking responsibility – this is how the kingdom of God functions.
a. Don’t forget the Levites – the priests – the ministers of the Gospel. Don’t forget to bless and support them. The Body of Christ is responsible to take care of their own. Bring your tithe to your local church. Pray and give offerings as the Holy Spirit leads you. This is God’s way of taking care of ministers and the ministry. God does not want us to forget those who labor in the ministry.
b. God says that those who labor in the ministry are worthy of double-honor. When Jesus sent the disciples out to preach and minister, He told them not to make provision for themselves, because “the workman deserves his support (his living, his food). (Matthew 10:10 AMP) Also, 1 Timothy 5:17 AMP says, “Let the elders who perform the duties of their office well be considered doubly worthy of honor [and of adequate financial support], especially those who labor faithfully in preaching and teaching.”
c. Today, so many people are totally focused on themselves and their own needs and they forget the stranger, the fatherless (orphans), and the widows. Hebrews 13:2 NIV says, “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” James 1:27 NIV says, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Bless them as God blesses you.
4. If you obey God in this, He promises to bless you and to bless all the work of your hands.
Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
Every one of us, in the Body of Christ, has a responsibility toward God and His Kingdom. God’s plan for His people is blessing and more blessing. Some of us are called to ministry; some of us are called to business; ALL of us are called to support the Gospel and each other. God does not want us to fearfully sit on what we have – He wants us to spread the blessing around. As the blessing is spread around, the Lord increases it. The more we give, the more increase comes to our life.
Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
There are many people, in the church world today, who want to be blessed even though they are disobedient to the word of God. With every one of the promises, there is a condition. If we meet the condition, we receive the promise. The tithe is Holy – it tells God you love Him, and fear Him, and put Him first, above all. Take care of God’s servants, the stranger, the orphans, and the widows. These are the basics of our financial responsibility in and to the Kingdom of God. If you don’t get this, then, as far as spirituality goes – you are still in pre-school!
Prayer and Confession:
Father, thank you today that I have the privilege of blessing You, even as You have blessed me. I honor you and covenant with You to obey Your word. I expect the increase and I thank and praise You for it.