READ : Malachi 3:7-12
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. (v. 10, NIV)
In Malachi 3:6-7, the Lord told the people to return to him. In verses 8-12 he tells them how to return: stop robbing me and bring in the whole tithe. Whether or not tithing is mandatory for New Testament believers, the principle of generous giving clearly is. I use the acronym PLAN to help me in my giving.
P – Pray for a generous heart. Make people a priority over prosperity. Don’t think: “How much do I have to give away in order to be obedient?” Ask: “How can I get more so that I can give more away?”
L – Lifestyle cap. As we earn more, are we increasing our standard of living or our standard of giving?
A – Accountability. Set goals and find someone you can trust who won’t be threatened by talking frankly about finances, and ask them to hold you accountable in your giving.
N – No less than a tithe. I find it hard to imagine that Western Christians who have seen the glory of God in the face of Christ and enjoy great wealth would want to give less than was required of the poorest Israelite. Considering that in one recent year Protestants gave only 2.6% of their income to their churches, a tithe, for many, would be a step in the right direction.
Lord, help me sow generously that I might reap generously. Amen.