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One of the ways God's people have honored the Lord is through the act of tithing. Both, Old Testament and New Testament saints, used portions of their earnings to fund God's work in the world. While God does not "need" money to accomplish His plan, He has chosen to use the faithful sacrifice of men and women to bring about change in the church, the community, and throughout the nations. If God has impressed upon you to give to the work at Living Water Church, the link below is one way you can contribute.

Tithes vs. Offerings

A guide for giving


What is Tithing?

The concept of a "tithe" was established in Genesis 14 where Abraham gave a tenth of his belongings to Melchizedek, the king and priest of Salem. God later established the this fraction of wealth, 1/10th, as a consecrated amount to be set aside for God. We later learn that Melchizedek was foreshadowing Jesus Christ, who according to the book of Hebrews, is our high priest after the order of Melchizedek (Heb 6:20). New Testament Christians give to our king and priest, Jesus Christ, the way Abraham gave to Melchizedek in Genesis. Furthermore, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for strict tithing practices while neglecting acts of compassion. His response is "these you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. (Matt 23:23). This reveals that Jesus embraces tithing as an act that should be done, yet not as a substitute for other acts of righteousness, but as an accompaniment. 

What is an Offering?

Offerings also have their historical root in the Old Testament text. In addition to giving one tenth of one's wealth to God, there were other "donations" that could, and should, be made as an Old Testament Jew. There were various types of "sin" offerings that were given as a worshipful sacrifice of repentance. Some offerings were given as a celebratory donation at times like Passover and other festivals. There were offerings given to help build the temple of God and as a means of consecrating it once it was finished. The Old Testament notion of "offerings" is quite extensive but reveals that one could honor God with gifts and sacrifices outside of the 10% tithe. Paul writes about these extra gifts in several places, such as Philippians 4:18 where it reads,

 "I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God."

In this passage Paul connects the financial gifts of the New Testament church to the Old Testament offering system. He goes on to teach in 2 Corinthians 9:6-7 that,

:"The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

So an offering for Paul is a gift one gives from their own desire to see God's work succeed. It should not be a "forced" gift but one given freely and cheerfully. It is likely the tithe should also fall under this set of qualifications. However, it should be noted that the tithe is a set amount while the offering is not. The word "tithe" means a tenth and so any gift given that does not represent 1/10th of one's earnings cannot be properly designated as a tithe. Both are biblical gifts, both should be practiced in the church, and both should be an act of worship and an act of obedience, not a forced obligatory action of sorrow and regret.

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