Does saving money show a lack of faith?

No. Proverbs 21:20 states, "Precious treasure and oil are in a wise man's dwelling, but a foolish man devours it." Also, according to Proverbs 6:6–8, workers need to lay aside some surplus in higher-income-earning years so that the latter years can be spent in peace. "Go to the ant, O sluggard, observe her ways and be wise, which, having no chief, officer or ruler, prepares her food in the summer and gathers her provision in the harvest."

Statistics show that the "harvest" years for most Americans are between the ages of 25 and 60. Therefore, it would be wise to lay aside some surplus income for the latter phase of life, when income-earning abilities decline, so that retirees will not become a burden to their children or the government.

It would be fair to say that one of the primary ways God provides for us now and in the future is through the income we receive from our jobs. We can also safely say that our money management today impacts our tomorrow thus making saving important. The only time there is a danger in saving is when we derive our hope and security in how much we have in our account. We should be able to say in our hearts that we are willing to freely give away whatever savings we have accumulated should God ask.

- Pastor Chad Sykes

How much should I save?

The most important question to ask is "How much should I give?" Saving, while a necessity and commanded by the Word of God, should not take priority over giving (Luke 12:13–21). Once you've established a lifestyle that facilitates giving to God's work, you can then explore questions about saving.

Proverbs 6:6–11 stresses the importance of having some reserves so that in time of need poverty doesn't overtake you. That being said, it's vitally important that you have an emergency fund of at least $1,000. After that, it's wise to have an accumulation fund. This allows you to save with a longer time frame for unexpected major expenses or large purchases. The common consensus is to have six-nine months of basic living expenses in this account. The funds can be stored in Money Market Accounts, CDs, etc. Lastly, you'll want to have a long-range investment savings plan. This includes retirement accounts; these accounts are focused on long-term growth that will provide security in later years.

- Pastor Chad Sykes

How much should I spend on a home?

Most people will have to borrow in order to purchase a home. If this is the case for you, we recommend a 20% down payment with a monthly payment that will fit into your monthly spending plan (budget). The amount one should spend on a monthly mortgage payment should not exceed 25% of his or her Net Spendable Income (gross income minus tithe and taxes), which would include property taxes and insurance.

- Pastor Chad Sykes

Is a budget for everyone?

Planning is part of a Christian's walk with God and essential to any financial program. It's literally committing spiritual goals to written form. In Proverbs, God says that someone who plans well will foresee danger and avoid it, but the foolish person (the one who doesn't plan) will rush ahead, do whatever is convenient, and end up paying the penalties (Proverbs 27:12). God wants us to be able to live on a short-term plan (budget). Then, we're to look forward and create a long-term plan to allow us to see eventual needs and try to meet them.

- Pastor Chad Sykes

If I am out of work, what's the point of budgeting?

Being out of work can seem like an overwhelming situation, and we encourage you to persevere in looking for another job. The truth is that now, more than ever, it's critically important for you to live on a budget! If you don't have a budget, create one immediately! Visit our budget forms here to get started. If you do have a budget, analyze every line item and see if you can reduce or eliminate the expense altogether.

It's vital that you avoid incurring new debt of any kind. It can take many months or even years to recover from a debt-funded lifestyle of just a couple of months. Budgeting enables you to be realistic about your temporary lifestyle change. It will give you a clear picture of your financial situation and enable you to be much more diligent in not incurring new debt throughout your work transitions.

- Pastor Chad Sykes

How do I get out of debt?

Getting out of debt is a process that doesn't typically happen overnight. It's important to start the journey with prayer. Pray that God will show you your unique calling; this will help you stay focused and passionate and finish this journey.

Carefully create and manage your personal budget. This will show you where you can make cutbacks and maximize your current resources. Evaluate your lifestyle and cut any unnecessary expenses. Utilize a debt snowball by paying the smallest bills first and working towards the largest. Remember this is a marathon not a sprint, so find like-minded people who will encourage you along the way.

- Pastor Leo Sabo

What if I can't pay my bills?

In situations where outgo is larger than income, you must develop a priority list for all your expenses. Your first priority after tithing and paying your taxes should be to meet your family's basic needs. Basic needs are defined as food, shelter (housing), transportation, and clothing. The remainder of obligations should be listed in order of importance and paid as you are able. Although you may feel an obligation to pay all your bills, including your unsecured debt (credit cards), this should never be done by sacrificing your family's basic needs.

- Pastor Chad Sykes

If I don't have enough money to pay my bills, what should I do?

If your spending is greater than your income, it will be necessary to quickly decrease spending. First, you should ensure that your family is taken care of. Whatever is an absolute life-sustaining necessity for your family should be provided first (food, shelter, transportation, and clothing). After that, every expense should be scrutinized to see if it's necessary. Keep in mind that you should just be in "survival mode" in regards to your lifestyle. Absolutely avoid incurring any new debt as it is imperative to end the debt cycle now.

This is a great time to create a budget if don't have one. Visit our budgets here.

- Pastor Chad Sykes

The tithe is first.

“I know we are to tithe 10%, and I know that it needs to come from our gross income. However, how do I do that when taxes, Medicare, social security, and medical insurance all come out before I even get my check or my deposit? So how do I put my tithe first?”

- Petra

 

I understand your question and your concern that the tithe should truly be the first portion. The important thing to remember is that God sees your heart. He is concerned with the intent of your heart because that's what tithing really is; an outward expression of an internal conviction. By tithing you are saying; "God, you own everything and all I have comes from your hand. I recognize you as provider and sustainer of my life and I return the first portion of all that you give to me, as a testimony of my dependence on you."

It is true that taxes, medical insurance premiums, and other type of expenses come off before we get our paychecks. However, I believe God wants us to honor, and be subject to, the authorities he has placed in our lives, and that includes paying taxes to our government. Also, there are benefits to having medical or investment money taken before taxes since it lowers our tax liability; I consider this a blessing since I get to keep more of the income and therefore give more to building His kingdom. Therefore, paying your tithe on the gross amount (your total compensation) even after the taxes or other expenses have been taken out is still tithing if it is the first portion you set aside or the first check you write. You cannot control taxes coming off your paycheck first but you can control what you do with the income once it's in your possession.

Remember what Pastor Robert wrote in The Blessed Life book? On page 40, he uses an example of having 10 one dollar bills. In the example, the tithe is equal to $1 (10% of $10). He asks the question, "Which one of the ten one dollar bills is the tithe?" The answer is, "The first one that is spent or given." Therefore, if the first check you write is for the tithe, you are tithing the first portion you've been given.

However, you must be careful not to get caught up in legalism. Our God is not legalistic or difficult to please. He is full of grace and compassion. He knows the condition of your heart. As long as your desire is to obey the principle of tithing and do so to the best of your ability, be at peace, God is pleased with you and he will fulfill his promises to you.

- Pastor Leo Sabo

Gross or Net?

“Does tithing correctly mean 10% before or after taxes?”

- Susan

 

Tithing should always be from what we receive from the Lord, which is everything.

In the Old Testament when the Israelites were given God's commandments and laws, they were told to return the first born of every animal and the firstfruits of every harvest (see Leviticus 27:30–31 and Deuteronomy 14:22.)  

The Israelites didn't have the issue of net vs. gross because they didn't receive a paycheck like you and I do. However, our situation is similar to theirs. We receive an income (gross) but because we live in a country where the government is supported through taxation, those taxes are removed automatically from our income. Additionally, because government laws have been passed to help us better manage our health and retirement costs, we have the benefit of paying or saving for these items before we pay our taxes.  

So, we receive all the income (gross), we pay for medical premiums and retirement (401(k)) saving, we pay our portion of taxes, and then what's left is our net income. We benefit from all the income, but we only see the net income because we purchase or save for some things with pre-tax dollars.

Our situation is similar to that of the Israelites. They were instructed to tithe from all (all of God's provision – gross) of their increase (animals and produce) to the house of God (tabernacle or temple) for the purpose of taking care of the tribe of Levi who was ordained by God to care for the nation spiritually, as well as for the welfare needs of others (poor, widows, and the fatherless) as our government programs do today.

Therefore, our tithe should also be from all of our income and benefits, the gross, which represents God's whole provision for us.”

- Pastor Leo Sabo

Is tithing in the New Testament?

“I am retired and get my pension and social security at the end of the month. Does that mean I take that as the firstfruits and give it to my church? Then the rest of the month give what I can give? My friend told me that this is in the Old Testament, and I know that, but she said that Jesus never said we should tithe. I am trying to find out if Jesus did or did not tell us to tithe.”

- Collette

First, tithing is giving the first 10% of all your increase to God by giving it to your local church. Tithing is all throughout the entire Word of God. There have been some that try to say that tithing was only of the law. However, tithing and the principle of tithing was before the law, during the law, and after the law. The story of Cain and Able was a representation of the tithe 2,000 years before the law. Jesus Himself (in red letters) said you ought to tithe in Matthew 23:23 and in Luke 11:42.

Jesus was actually a form of the tithe, as God gave His first for us in faith that we would accept Him, and you will actually see that Jesus is often referred to as the Firstfruits. There are many more scriptures on tithing throughout the Bible that we could also go through. Please listen to The Blessed Life series to hear a more detailed teaching on tithing with lots of scriptures.

- Pastor James Morris 

Is tithing under grace?

"I just heard Pastor Robert’s sermon on tithing from the series From Dream to Destiny. Excellent, but I have a problem with this particular teaching because we are under grace now and no more under the law. And I know that God loves a cheerful giver. Therefore how can I reconcile what you have preached with the New Testament teaching?"

- Antoine

The principle of the tithe was in place during the law. However, tithing and the principle of tithing is all throughout the entire Word of God. Tithing is not just law; it is a biblical principle. The principle of the tithe is pre-law, during law, and post law.

In Genesis 4:3, 4, 5, 6 ... Now Abel was a keeper of the sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground. And in the process of time it came to pass that Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord. Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and their fat. And the Lord respected Abel and his offering, but did not respect Cain and his offering. And Cain was very angry, and his Countenance fell.

Before we go on lets briefly go over some of the principles of the tithe. Here are a couple of the principles of tithing:

We return the tithes to God, not give the tithe.

It must be the first portion.

It is 10% of all your increase.

It takes faith.

The reason why God blessed Abel but did not bless Cain is because Abel followed the principle of the tithe. This is also declared in Hebrews 11:4, "By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain." It does not take faith to give out of your leftovers. It takes faith to give your first. There are many examples I could have started with to show tithing, but the reason I am using this scripture first is that the law was not even in existence during this time. This was 2,000 years before the law. (Several examples like this that shows the principle of tithing both before and after the law can be provided)

The tithe is actually in the New Testament in multiple areas as well. In fact, both Jesus and Paul say you need to tithe. In Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 Jesus Himself (red letters) says you ought to tithe. In 1 Corinthians 16:1–2, Paul writes: "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come." This is Paul saying that the people of the church must give a tithe to the church so that the church may do the work of the Lord. 

Through Jesus we are saved through grace. Justice had to be served so God sent His Son, His only Son to die for us. If we accept Jesus we are saved. Thank God for grace!!! One quick note on this before I continue: Jesus was actually a form of the tithe. God gave His firstborn Son for us in faith that we will accept Him, and you will actually see that Jesus is often times referred to as the firstfruits or firstfruits offering.

Tithing is not a principle of law. Tithing is a principle of God.

Let's look at Malachi 3:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12: For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. Yet from the days of your fathers You have gone away from My ordinances And have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you,” Says the Lord of hosts. “But you said,  ‘In what way shall we return?’ Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed you? In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in my house, And try Me Now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. “And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,” Says the Lord of hosts. “And all the nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.

This is one of many good scriptures on tithing. One thing I like about it is that God starts off by saying. "I am the Lord, I do not change." God can not and will not change. This is the theological understanding of the immutability of God. He can not change. Because if he could change then He could get better and He can not get better because He is already Best. Why would God start this scripture with, "I am the Lord, I do not change"? Please listen to me on this analogy. I know God is not 10 foot tall, but please listen to get the understanding of where I am going. If God says that He is 10 foot tall, I do not change. Then how tall is God 3,000 years later? He is still 10 foot tall because He does not change so 10 foot must be the perfect height. So if God says that the tithe belongs to Him and He has not changed in the last 3,000 years ... Then who does the tithe belong to today? It still belongs to God.

Now let's look at the difference between law and grace. There were ceremonial laws in the Old Testament, which were in place to drive the people to needing and wanting the grace of God. However, there was also God and biblical principle (law) that is throughout the entire Bible. It was and is before the law, during the law, and after the law (during grace). Also if something was right under the law does it now make it wrong under grace?

Ceremonial law vs. God's character and principles.

Matthew 5:16, 17, 18, 19 Jesus says: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. "Do you not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy them but to fulfill. "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. "Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. "For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 7:22, 23 (And right before this: Jesus talks about how you will know them by their fruit) Jesus says: "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'

Interesting Jesus did not say there depart from me you that never said the sinners prayer or You who did not believe. But No, Jesus said you who practice Lawlessness! Because the scripture says that we are to believe in our hearts and confess with our mouth. That is because God knows that if you truly believe then your actions will follow your beliefs. Tithing is where the rubber meets the road. Believe in him so much that you are willing to put him first in your finances? If I were to tell you that if you go to your door step at 6:00 am and open the door and call out for me then I will give you $10,000 every day until the first day that you miss it. Then would you do it? Well it would depend on how much you believe me. If you truly believed me then you would be out on your door step every morning because your actions will follow your beliefs, but if you don't believe me then you will never wake up early and test me in this.

Let us now compare Old Testament principle and law vs. New Testament grace.

1.) Old Testament law is: Honor your father and thy mother.

New Testament Grace says:

Matthew 15:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 He (Jesus) answered and said to them, “Why do you also transgress the commandment of God because of your tradition? For God commanded, saying, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.’ “But you say, ‘Whoever says to his father or mother, “Whatever profit you might have received from me is a gift to God”- Then he need not honor his father or mother.’ Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition. “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men."

Matthew 19:19 Jesus says 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"

So let's review. The Old Testament law says to honor your parents, but under the New Testament grace and Jesus actually upped the bar on us.

2.) Old Testament law is: Thou shalt not murder.

New Testament grace says:

Matthew 5:21, 22 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, Ra’ca! Shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire.

So Let's review again. Old Testament law says do not murder, but now under grace, Jesus upped the standards on us again and says to not even have a hatred thought towards someone.

3.) Old Testament Law is: Thou shalt not commit adultery

New Testament grace says:

Matthew 5:27, 28 Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

So the Old Testament law says do not commit adultery, but now under grace, Jesus says that He doesn't even want us to look at another and lust.

4.) Old Testament law is: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

New Testament grace says:

Matthew 5:33, 34, 35, 36 Jesus says: “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ “But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven for it is God’s throne; “nor by earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. “Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

So once again the Old Testament law says do not bear false witness, and once again Jesus under grace upped the standard on us under grace.

Now let's look at this in relationship to tithing.

5.) Old Testament says to tithe the first 10% of all your increase

New Testament grace says:

2 Corinthians 9:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written: “he has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever.”

1 Corinthians 16:1, 2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

Matthew 23:23 (And Luke 11:42) On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come.

They would even tithe on their spices. Jesus didn't say you don't need to do that anymore, because this is the New Testament and you are now under Grace.

Why would you argue with this scripture, but even more importantly why would you want to?

Hebrews 7:8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there He receives them, of whom it is witnessed that He lives.

So now the Old Testament says to tithe the first 10% of all your increase. Now God says in the New Testament under grace that not only does God want you to tithe the first 10%, but that He wants you to return the first 10% of all your increase with a pure heart, not grudgingly or out of necessity but instead do it with a pure heart for the reason that you love God and desire to put Him first in your life. See previously you could have been bitter at God and not want to tithe, but only did the action to be blessed. Under grace God now upped the bar on us once again and said. No more being angry and bitter when you tithe and obey Me, but now I want you to continue in Tithes and Offerings with a pure heart from now on under grace. And I would hope that we would all be able to return the 10% to God with a cheerful heart, and not grudgingly or out of necessity. Especially considering all that He has done for us. We should all be able to say I will "I will freely Sacrifice to You; I will praise Your name, O Lord, with my tithes and offerings, for it is good. (Reference from Psalms 54:7) If this is difficult for us to do with a pure heart then we ought to re-evaluate all that He has done for us and what a good God He is.

Through our tithe God is learning about our character, how much we think of Him, how much we think of the bride of Christ, how much we respect Him, and how much we love Him.

This may be a surprise to you, but this is actually my short answer on this topic. I would love to go into more depth. There is just so much in the Bible on this topic that I would love to take my time and really unpack this subject. Pastor Robert's book takes this topic in a little different angle to try to explain this in his book The Blessed Life if you would like to read it. 

I think you may be interested in hearing some other similar messages. Pastor Robert paints a great picture and understanding of tithing and stewardship, but it is good to hear the entire teachings.

Here are some other great sermons taught by Pastor Robert regarding tithing.

Live to Give Series:

God Must Be First 

Why Tithe? 

It's A Heart Issue

Over and Above

Obedience is the Key

Elevate: 

The Ten Financial Commandments Part A

The Ten Financial Commandments Part B

The Ten Financial Commandments Part C

-Pastor James Morris

Can I give my tithe to a TV ministry?

“I do not belong to a local church. Would God consider gifts to a TV ministry as tithing?”

“The tithe as it was instituted by God in the Old Testament was for the purpose of taking care of the Levites and their families since they did not receive an inheritance in Canaan as did the other tribes. The Levites were given the responsibility of leading the nation spiritually by teaching the people to obey God's law.

Today, pastors and those who work in the church are the equivalent of the Levites of the Old Testament. The church serves as the tabernacle of God, or more accurately, the people are the body or the temple of God. Although people make up the church (body of Christ,) the physical building of the church is important, because through it we are able to fulfill God's plan of reaching the lost and take care of the family of God. People need to belong to a place where they not only receive God's Word and spiritual nourishment, but can also serve his body through their gifts and talents.

Another important aspect of the church being a physical place is that it gives God's people the ability to come together to worship and serve Him. In the Old Testament the nation of Israel was given numerous festivals throughout the year for the purpose of coming together and celebrating before the Lord. In the New Testament, we are encouraged not to forsake meeting together for the purpose of encouraging one another. (Hebrews 10:25)

It can be difficult to find a local church that is perfect. Actually, it's impossible. No church is perfect, nor can it be because it's made up of imperfect people. However, the benefit of belonging to a local church where you and your family can grow and mature is worth the effort of finding one. Don't give up looking for a church that is a Bible-believing church that will meet you and your family’s needs.

With that being said, I believe the biblical model set for us is to return the tithe to the place where God has chosen to put his name. In the Old Testament, it was the Tabernacle, today it is the local church. Therefore, your tithe should go to a local church where you and your family belong. Giving to other ministries for the purpose of spreading the gospel is good and should be done with offerings.

- Pastor Leo Sabo

Where do I give my tithe if I can't go to church?

“I have a disability that has been keeping me from attending church. Where do I give my tithe if I do not have a local church?”

- Lula

Based off of your question, I am assuming that you heard Pastor Robert’s sermon that all tithe belongs to the local church. You have a unique circumstance that does not allow you to attend your local church. Even though you do not have a local church that you are currently attending, I believe your tithe should still go to a local church in your community. Perhaps you were attending a good Bible believing church before your disability that you could continue to tithe to? If not, I would recommend you trying to find the best church with similar beliefs around you to start tithing to. Remember that when you bring your tithe to your local church, God is the one who will receive it.

Hebrews 7:8 “Here mortal men receive tithes, but there He receives them, of whom it is witnessed that He lives.”

- Pastor James Morris

Tithing when your husband does not agree with it

“I have had the chance to tithe without my husband’s knowledge or permission, but hesitated to do so because I had heard and read teachings about not going against your husband’s will. My husband is always telling me that we can’t afford to tithe. I really do want to honor both God and my husband. Is there a way to do both?”

- Lisa

I believe it is very important to tithe. However, as a godly wife, it is also important that you submit and honor your husband. In the end, I believe you will personally be honoring God through honoring your husband. My suggestion would be to encourage him to tithe. I have attached some links below of Pastor Robert speaking on tithing and it would be great if your husband would listen to them if he were open to it.

I would then in a humble, submissive, and non-threatening way challenge him to tithe for a time (1 year would be best) and let him know that if you are not better off by the end of the year that you will not put any more pressure on him to tithe. However, if you are better off then, you will keep honoring God as a couple through your tithes. I would then ask you to keep very close eye on your finances so that you will have evidence to stand on when you are better off.

Our tithe is the one thing that God says we can test him in this (Malachi 3:8-12). God does bless people that He can trust who put Him first and honor Him through their tithes. The motivation for tithing shouldn't be to give to get, but I believe that only God has the ability to bless your finances. If you follow biblical financial principles and Honor God I believe your husbands heart will change towards the matter and you guys will be blessed.

Malachi 3:8 – 12 (NKJV)

“‘Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

Here are also a few teachings on the tithe:

The Blessed Life Series

- Pastor James Morris

Tithing when your wife does not agree with the principle.

“I have been tithing with a thankful heart, and can’t wait to get paid to give back to God. However, my wife doesn’t tithe and doesn’t want to, saying we can’t afford it.”

- Leonardo

I believe it is very important to tithe. However, it is also very important for you to keep peace in the household the best you can as the spiritual authority of the house.

My suggestion would be to encourage your wife to tithe. I have attached some links below of Pastor Robert speaking on tithing, and it would be great if she would be open to listening to them. I would then in a humble and non-threatening way challenge her to tithe for a time (1 year would be best) and to track the finances during that time. Let your wife know that if you two are not better off by the end of that year that you will drop it by not asking her to continue to tithe. However, if you are better off at the end of the year, then you two will continue honoring God through tithes. I would then ask you to keep a very close eye on the finances so that you will have something to stand on when you are better off.

Our tithes are the one thing that God says we can test him in this (Malachi 3:8–2). God does bless people who He can trust that put Him first and honor Him through tithes. The motivation for tithing shouldn't be to give to get, but I believe that only God has the ability to bless your finances. Although I do not want her to give as an investment so she can have more. I believe if she follows biblical financial principles and honors God, then your wife's heart will change towards the matter, and you guys will be blessed. Especially as she then starts learning on the subject and grows in Christ.

Malachi 3:8–12 (NKJV)

“‘Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

Here are also a few teachings on the tithe:

The Blessed Life Series

- Pastor James Morris

Should a business tithe?

“My husband’s father is about to start fading into retirement and to hand over his business to my husband. It is a solo business and his dad is a strong believer, and everyone in the office is currently a believer. Over the last two years, we’ve wondered if businesses should tithe. Is it biblical? I know it wouldn’t hurt, but are we supposed to tithe?

It would be a very large stretch for us. I’m asking the Lord if this is what He wants us to do and trying to collect more information before I mention it to my husband and father-in-law.”

- Andrea

In regard to a business owner, the principle of the tithe is to give the first 10% of the gross of everything the business owner takes out of the business as personal income. I do not believe that a business has to tithe, similar to the same reason that I believe that a business cannot be saved. With that being said, the main thing is to be obedient to what God says, and I know several businesses that God has told the owner to give and/or tithe out of the company and the company has been very blessed. However, they had a word from God to do this. I have also heard testimonies that God has asked the owner to give out of the business to test the owner and see where their heart is or as proof that God is in control of the business. It is important to hear God for your specific business and to get His heart for the business.

Steve Dulin briefly spoke about this topic during his Master Plan Business Seminar. I definitely recommend this seminar to everyone who owns a business.”

- Pastor James Morris

Claiming tithes on your taxes.

I was wondering if I should claim my tithes for taxes and just re-tithe 10% of anything I get back? Or should I just tithe and not claim it at all?”

- Joseph

We believe that tithing is first, and that it should be from all your increase which is your gross not net. That is important, because the amount of taxes we pay would not change the amount we tithe. Our tithe is 10% of the gross of all of our increase. So if we lived somewhere that took 70% or 15% for taxes then we will still tithe the same amount. Often taxes are taken out of people’s paychecks immediately. We could then choose to have more taken out each paycheck and get more at the end of the year or pay nothing each pay check and just pay a lot more at the end of the year. This simply depends on how you choose to handle your taxes, and when you pay this to the government.

Because we tithe first and off of the gross, then technically any money that we get back from the government has already been tithed off of. It is as if you over paid for a bill and they sent you back the money that you over paid. In fact on my last tax return I got money back and it was labeled as overpayment. So there would not necessarily be any reason to tithe off of your tax refund (reimbursement) for over paying.

Next, our government was founded upon godly and biblical principles, and they allow us to deduct our tithes. There is nothing that is unethical or wrong in doing this. I personally think that giving more money to the church creates a greater impact than giving more money to the government. Not accepting tax benefits from tithing would be similar to not accepting the tax benefits that we get for having kids. If you have kids and you mark that you do not have kids on your tax return, then you would over pay. If you have kids and mark correctly that you do have kids, then it is simply being honest and correct. That being said, I think that by writing off the money that we have given through tithes and offerings on our taxes, then we are actually doing a good thing and being a better steward of all that God has entrusted to us.  

In summary, I would say it is a positive thing to deduct your tithes and offerings out of your taxes and then use your tax return as God directs you. I know several people that actually give their tax return away, others that save it, and others that spend it. Seek God as to how he would want you to use it.

- Pastor James Morris

Tithing on our depleting retirement.

“My wife and I are retired with almost no funds in our retirement fund. Since I am on unemployment, I was forced to retire one year before the age of 66. I am tithing on my unemployment benefits. We need the Holy Spirit to enlighten us as to whether we should be tithing on our monthly retirement checks.”

- Pete

I like the way you put it; that you need the Holy Spirit to enlighten you as to what to do. I think that it is most important to hear the Holy Spirit and work through it with God. I personally would never tell someone not to tithe. I have heard testimony after testimony of the numbers not adding up, and yet people still tithing out of faith and obedience and seeing the Lord come through and work it out.

One of our stewardship pastors shared a story with me recently about the first time he tithed. He explained that there was no way possible for him to make it through that month, but he heard about tithing and responded out of obedience. Not only did God bless him and get him through the month, but also he had money left over.

To me, it sounds like you need a blessing on your finances and the devourer to be rebuked for your finances. Your situation reminds me of Moses in the wilderness for forty years with God's people and how God provided food for them to eat and allowed their clothes and shoes not to be worn out. That is exactly what you need for your finances. For God to protect what you have, your resources not to be worn out, for the Lord to protect you and to take care of you during this time.

Malachi 3:8–12 (NKJV)

“‘Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse, for you have robbed Me, even this whole nation. Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

- Pastor James Morris

Tithing when modern day taxes already do so much.

“We live in London and are wondering how modern day taxes and tithing fit together. The modern tax system makes provision for the poor, the old, and the sick. For example in the UK the tax rate is 50%, of which a significant portion (40%) goes to welfare. Of course this is not all the church provides for, which also made us wonder how the church allocates the tithe. Finally, does it matter what church we give to? Currently, we give some to our local church where we attend, but we always watch Gateway and I have family in Texas that attends there.”

- Linsey

There is a distinct difference between taxes and tithing. Taxes are a component of a worldly system while tithing is a spiritual principle. One is a principle of this world, while the other is a principle of God's kingdom. Although some governments today provide for the poor, the old and the sick, through programs, this was not the Biblical model God created for the nation of Israel, which serves as our model for the church today.

If you recall the Israelites wanted a king (1 Samuel 8:4-9), but that wasn't God's plan for them. They rejected God's plan and chose to follow the pattern of other nations. God's plan was for the priests and Levites to tend to the needs of those who had no one that could take care of them (widow, orphans and the poor). This help they received was not just physical, but it was also spiritual. And it was funded through the use of the tithes and offerings brought by the people.

The church today is the new tabernacle of God (the body of Christ). Therefore the church is the most qualified entity (through biblical authority) to provide help for those in need, as it was in the original model.

Unfortunately, the church is not able to provide for these needs largely because the lack of tithes and offerings. The average giving of all evangelical believers in the United States is 3% with 38% of all evangelicals never having given anything measurable throughout their lifetime. Governments have tried to step in and provide for these needs through different social programs funded by taxation. I think that you would agree with me that most of these programs fall short of providing the adequate help necessary, physically or spiritually.

I believe it's important to understand that God instituted all authority, including our governments. Taxes are part of the government structures you and I are under and we have a responsibility to abide by the laws of our governments. (Romans 13:1-7) More importantly, we are responsible to God and being faithful to his commandments. I believe the Bible is as clear on tithing, as it is on paying taxes. My encouragement to you is to do as Jesus commanded, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's." (Matthew 22:17-22) God has promised to provide for all your needs (Matthew 6:33) and he will never forsake you when you put him first in every area of life, including finances.

- Pastor Leo Sabo

I can't afford to tithe.

“I've been giving 10% to my mother for probably 15 years because she needs it to pay bills, pay the mortgage, etc. I've not been involved with a church for quite some time until recently when I discovered Gateway, so I've always considered that the 10% for my mother was my "tithe." I now understand the importance of giving to my church. I've now been giving 10% to the church as well as 10% to my mom. The problem is that I'm living with a family member and can’t move out, because I'm giving so much money, nearly $800/month. That other $400 or so that I'm giving to my mom is leaving me unable to get my own apartment again and pay for everything else too.

I want to keep helping my mother too, but I'm 46 years old and cannot live with family indefinitely. I'm wondering what the right thing is to do from God's perspective. I can't call my mother and tell her I can't help her anymore (or I can't help as much) because I need to give that 10% to the church instead. Should I keep giving 20% and trust God to provide, even if that means I can't move out of my family member's home for as long as I have my current job? Unfortunately, I had to take a sizable cut in base pay to get this job, but it was the only door God opened over the course of an 8-month job search.

- Melanie

I am proud of you for making the decision to honor the Lord by putting him first. The fact that you are tithing is a testimony that he is first in your life. God will bless you as you recognize him as the provider; not only the financial provider, but also the one who provides all you need for every area of your life.

I don't know all the details of why you need to financially assist your mother; I'm sure there is a good reason for doing so. If your mother has legitimate needs, then it is your responsibility to care for her. However, I would still ask the Lord for wisdom on how to best assist her. Ultimately, it is God's responsibility to care for all his children, including your mother. If he chooses to use you to care for her, he will also provide you with the means. If that assistance is to be financial, then seek the Lord as to the amount that you should assist with. The great thing about our God is that he is with us to give us wisdom in every situation. Through his Holy Spirit he can guide you to the best solution for each situation you face. Most of us are limited in our ability to come up with options to take care of these kinds of situations. The Lord wants to partner with us, guide us, and instruct us on how to proceed. His Word and his Spirit are there to help you but you must not default to your own wisdom alone, you must seek his face for wisdom and direction. This may require you to learn more about what it means to be a "good steward."

I've noticed, in my own life, that God is always working in me through the circumstances in my life. Often, how I respond to difficult situations is an indicator of what's really going on inside; it reveals my character. If I respond in a negative way or if I make the wrong decision, God is faithful to make me aware of it and then to create an opportunity for me to learn and grow. As a loving father, he is always teaching me for the purpose of growing and maturing me. Could he be doing something more through your situation? Is there something he is trying to teach you?

My advice to you is that you put the best plan in place that you can to take care of this situation. This means that you make a budget (a financial plan) that clearly identifies all your current and future personal needs. If you need help with building a financial plan Gateway Generous Life Ministry has several classes that can help. Once you have a plan in place you will find that you'll have more clarity on the decisions you need to make. You will know what is possible and what is not.

The next step is to pray and ask God to do the impossible, the supernatural part. God has all the resources in the world and he promises to provide for your needs (Matthew 6:25-34); notice I said needs not wants. However, he cannot bless a bad steward (see Luke 16:1-13) therefore, you must manage well that which he has given you by having a financial plan. Be faithful with what He's given you; do all you can. Then trust him to do the supernatural; to open doors for you and create opportunities that didn't exist before, and give you the wisdom you'll need to manage it all.”

- Pastor Leo Sabo

I am having financial problems. Should I still tithe?

I am having financial problems. Should I still tithe?

- Matthew

Tithing is an act of obedience to God and a tangible way one expresses his/her recognition of God as owner and provider. If we're faithful to obey Him with our tithes and offerings, God has promised to rebuke the devourer for our sakes (Malachi 3:8 – 12). Only God is able to bless our finances, and He alone can give us the provision and wisdom to help us overcome our financial difficulties. Remember, your tithe is based on your income. If you're between jobs and have no income, then your tithe is zero.

Pastor Chad Sykes

How much should I tithe?

 

How much should I tithe?

- Kristi

The word tithe means "one tenth." It's the minimum portion that a Christian should tithe. The tithe's purpose is to be a testimony of God's ownership, and thus it's meant to be individualized. Proverbs 3:9 tells us "Honor the Lord with your possessions, and with the firstfruits of all your increase." (Emphasis added). The tithe therefore should be taken from all our income, meaning the gross, not the net.

Pastor Chad Sykes

Should I tithe off of child support?

Should we tithe on child support? My ex-husband never allowed me to tithe, and after listening to the sermon on mammon last week, I really believe what destroyed our marriage was the spirit of mammon. Since tithing, my personal finances have become easier to manage. But I didn't know if I should tithe child support or not.

- Taren

First let me say how proud I am of you for stepping out in faith and honoring God with your tithe. As you have heard through the "The Blessed Life" messages God requires that we put Him first in every area of our lives and that the "spirit of mammon" is competing for that number one spot through the false promises that only God can provide.  As we put Him first, He makes this promise in (Proverbs 3:9-10 NKJV) Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.

To answer your question, please look at the verses above. Verse nine says: Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase. When you receive child support it is increase to your home. It helps pay for the everyday expenses it takes to run your home for you and your family and according to Gods word, you will want to put Him first and tithe from the increase God has provided through the child support you are receiving.

Thank you again for your question Taren. Also remember (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV) For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

- Mike Harrell

How to give to the Jew first

“We think we need to be giving to Jewish ministries regularly. Is there a certain way we should go about giving to the Jew first? Do we figure this amount before or after tithe? Also how does it work when our church does not tithe to the Jews first?”

- Renee

I really appreciate your heart to help the messianic, evangelical Jews. As far as the tithe, which is 10% of all your increase, it all goes to your local church. Any thing you give to Jewish ministries would be an offering, over and above your tithes. I feel that God has placed the Jewish people on some hearts more than on others. We are all uniquely made with gifts from God to help everyone. God has a desire to see His Jewish people helped and blessed. We as a church have partnered with several good messianic Jewish ministries in Israel and would be happy to direct you to some of them if you are interested. As far as your church not giving first to the Jews, it is up to the leadership at that church to steward the money that God passes through their hands. We personally as a church have felt that God has directed us to give to the Jews. We contribute a great deal of our success to this principle. We regularly teach about this principle in our pastor’s conferences. But once again, it is up to the church leadership there to seek God as to how He would want them to steward the money they receive. If you are willing to and if they are willing to listen; you can humbly explain these principles to your church leadership to see if they would have an interest in giving to the messianic, evangelical Jew first.

Here is a link to a video of Pastor Robert Morris, teaching on the Jew first.

To the Jew First

- Pastor James Morris

Why do non-believers prosper?

“1.) Why do the rich who do not honor God with their money get richer? I understand why the rich get richer in the kingdom. But I see non-believers blessed with material wealth, as well as non-material wealth. They seem happy, content, and fulfilled.

2.) If wealthy non-believers are, by default, worshiping mammon, why is their wealth not devoured? How is it that their money is multiplied (or at least it appears to be) when it is “not blessed”?

3.) If unbelievers follow God’s Principle of sowing generously, will they still reap generously? In other words, does the law of reciprocity apply to believers and non-believers? If someone sows just so they can receive, will the law still apply? If not, why? A law is a law is a law.

4.) During those times when Pastor Robert was led to give everything away, he did you get by? For example, when he gave away all his money during the miracle offering, how did he buy groceries for the following week? When he gave away his car, how did he get to work the next day? When he gave away his house, where did he sleep that night?

- Kia

1.) Why do the rich who do not honor God with their money get richer?

I like this question because this is something I used to often wonder until a great man of God named Steve Dulin taught me this. The main principle is that God's ways work. The reason why non-Christians prosper in the market place is because they are operating in God's principles, even though they may be breaking many of his moral laws. A law tells people what to do or what not to do. Principles are the basis of the operation of the system. The world is a system that God set up to operate on a set of principles. It is possible to prosper financially because you are operating in God’s principles even though you are breaking many of his laws—laws like: "thou shall not lie", "thou shall not covet", "thou shall not steal", etc. But if you are operating in God’s principles then they will work.

Here are a few examples that non-believers use to gain wealth that we as Christians can do in a godly manner.

-They are diligent. Proverbs 10:4 "He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich."

-They plan and set goals.

-They work hard like the ant in Proverbs six.

-They are shrewd like the unrighteous steward.

-They build relationships.

-They may be generous. Proverbs 22:9 "He who has a generous eye will be blessed for he gives his bread to the poor." It does not say if you are a Christian and have a generous eye you will be blessed. It just says if you have a generous eye you will be blessed.

-They are faithful. He who is faithful in little will be rewarded with much like the servants in Mathew 25.

-They become experts. Proverbs 22:9 “Do you see a man who excels in his work. He will stand before kings. He will not stand before unknown men.”

Here are a few examples of the principles that worldly people use. But the answer is not to envy the rich. The answer is to understand God's ways:

Psalm 73:3 “For I was envious of the rich, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” 

Psalm 73:12 “Behold, these are the ungodly, who are always at ease; they increase in riches.”

Psalm 73:16 - 19 “When I thought how to understand this, it was too painful for me until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I understood their end. Surely you set them in slippery places; you cast them down to destruction. Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment! They are utterly consumed with terrors.”

The rich may have financial success, but rarely do they have success in life. A lot of rich people are very unhappy. The reason why they are unhappy is because of the things they do to earn wealth eventually bring destruction in their life. The hours they work, the things they have to do eventually will bring destruction on their life, family, health, etc. 

God has a different way. God has His way of provision. Here is God’s way in Deuteronomy 8:18, “you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth.” God is the one that gives us power to get wealth. Proverbs 10:22 says, “the blessing of the Lord makes one rich and He adds no sorrow with it.” That is not just talking about money. God wants us to be rich in our marriage, families, in our ministries, in our relationships. If God is the one that blesses us, He will add no sorrow with it. If you are a non-Christian, you cannot have the riches without the sorrows.

2.) If wealthy non-believers are, by default, worshiping mammon, why is their wealth not devoured? How is it that their money is multiplied?

One other thing I would like to add on top of my previous answer to help answer this question is that we mush remember that non-believers are trying to obtain a perishable crown, but we are trying to obtain an imperishable crown (1 Corinthians 9:24-27). We will never have the opportunity to do all that we can now on earth to affect our eternity.

3.) Does the law of reciprocity apply to believers and non-believers?

I also touched on this in my first answer. Unbelievers may be following the principle of being generous. Proverbs 22:9 "He who has a generous eye will be blessed for he gives his bread to the poor." It does not say if you are a Christian and have a generous eye you will be blessed. It just says if you have a generous eye you will be blessed. However, only God blesses with no sorrows attached.

Before Pastor Robert Morris went on the extravagant journey of giving that he shares in the Blessed Life, God first told him to get his finances in order so God could bless him. God blesses things that are in order and has made a choice not to bless things that are out of order. We must become good stewards and be an extravagant giver. 

4.) When Pastor Robert was led to give everything away, how did you get by?

If God speaks, then He will provide. Pastor Robert is a great steward with all that God gives him, which allows him to be an extravagant giver. By Pastor Robert being a good steward, living below his means, and not living in debt it allows him to be more flexible with his giving. Plus, God has always blessed him for being an extravagant giver and being obedient when God speaks.

Early when Pastor Robert went into ministry God told him to get his finances in order so God can bless them. God blesses things that are in order. This meant getting out of debt and living below his means. This principle has allowed him to live this lifestyle.

I understand you are asking about the more practical portion of this. I actually asked Pastor Robert and Debbie Morris this and they had several stories of what they did during these times. They told the stories with so much excitement because they got to see God’s provision in their lives when they were obedient to God and gave.  When they gave away both cars they had a friend that offered to let them borrow a vehicle until they got new one. When they gave away the house, they temporarily moved in with some people until they found another place to live. God has always come through with blessings and provision.

As I said earlier, God is a God of order. Pastor Robert came up with a strategic giving plan to give and make it work. God did not tell them to give away the house at 6:00 pm and they immediately gave it away by 7:00 pm without having a place to sleep that night. They got creative and planned it out. ​​ 

- Pastor James Morris

Breaking Your Lease

“I am considering breaking my lease to move into a place that is half the rent that I am currently paying. Should I be concerned with how this will affect my credit?"

- Rebecca

It sounds like you are getting gazelle-intense to get your finances in order. That is great!

As far as breaking a lease hurting your credit score, I’d say it is based on the type of lease you have and how you plan on breaking your lease. Breaking a lease for an apartment or rented house shouldn't hurt your credit or even show up on your credit, if you break the lease properly. Usually your lease will have a written out process in the contract of how to get out of the lease. This usually involves you having to give them a notice to vacate and pay some fees. You can then weigh out your options to see if it is worth it based off of the fees. If you will be able to rent a place for half the price, it seems like it will be worth it.

- Pastor James Morris