The 90 Day Tithe Challenge

The Tithe and the New Covenant The tithe is a bible word that simply means a tenth. And while in the Old Testament Scriptures there are numerous applications for the tithe, a simple understanding is that tithe means a tenth of a person’s income that is brought to God. In Malachi chapter 3, the prophet writes about bringing the “whole tithe” into God’s storehouse. Not all believers are in agreement about whether the tithe is relevant in the new covenant era. And there would be many who understand that the tithe was an old covenant prescription that no longer exists in the current era. However, Jesus referenced the tithe in teaching on justice, mercy and faithfulness. He commends the Pharisees for tithing, but rebukes them for not exercising justice, mercy and faithfulness.

In Matthew 23:23 (NLT)
Jesus says “For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the most important aspects of the law – justice, mercy and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.”

The Apostle Paul, in 1 Corinthians chapter 9 puts forward a case concerning the rights of full time gospel preachers to be remunerated for their ministry.

He puts forward a number of examples where individuals receive their living from the industry or activity in which they are engaged:

  • A soldier does not serve in the army at his own expense (1 Corinthians 9:7).
  • The ox is not muzzled while treading out the grain so that he can eat as much as he wants while working. (1Corinthians 9:9; 1 Timothy 5:17-18; Deuteronomy 25:4
  • The farmer should share in the harvest. (1 Corinthians 9:10; 2 Timothy 2:6)
  • Then to sum up his argument, he references the fact that just as the Levites were paid by the tithe received in the temple in the Old Covenant, the gospel preachers in the new covenant should also be paid by the tithe received. (1 Corinthians 9:13-14; Deuteronomy 18:1)
  • “In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” (1 Corinthians 9:13-14) The phrase “in the same way” relates directly to the tithe being used to remunerate gospel preachers in the same way that the Levites were remunerated by the tithe.

Generous Giving

But what about expenses in church activities and ministries other than staff remuneration? Generous giving over and above the fundamental tithe provides the answer.

A church that is healthy will have a significant percentage of people who both tithe and who also give generously over and above the tithe.
 

Launching a Challenge

At Spires Life Church, we are about to launch an initiative called THE 90 DAY TITHE CHALLENGE as outlined by Wealth with Purpose.

This launch will take place on Sunday 22nd July.
 

Overflowing Blessings

Fundamental to this 90 DAY TITHE CHALLENGE are these two things:1.While obviously any church is financially blessed that has numerous members who are tithers,

the premise of this initiative is not about the church being blessed, but about the individual tither being abundantly blessed financially and in many other ways.
 
2. The initiative is based on God’s challenge to His people, as outlined in Malachi 3:10-11, to take the plunge and test Him to see that He will indeed bless them:
 

“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and thereby put me to the test,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear,” says the Lord of hosts.

(Malachi 3:10-11 RSV)

God asks us to take the risk in testing Him by tithing. In other words, He knows that sometimes we struggle to pay all the bills and balance the budget, and humanly speaking, we may think, “if I give ten percent of my salary to God, how in the wide world am I going to balance the budget when I already have no margin?” And God hears our thoughts and says to us, “Why don’t you test my promise to pour out an overflowing blessing into your lap?” And the only way you will receive the blessing is to take the risk, test God and His promise by letting go of the tithe; a tenth of your salary to Him. Many in this church, including Lara and myself, have been living according to the promise of God in Malachi, and have been tithing for decades, and testify to the validity of God’s promise of blessing.  

Leaning on God and His Promises

THE 90 DAY TITHE CHALLENGE is an opportunity for those who have never consistently given a tenth of their income to God through the local church, to begin to do so. The church will hold your tithe for you, and if at the end of the 90 days, you cannot say that God has been faithful to His challenge in Malachi 3:10-11, then your tithe during that period will be refunded to you. We believe, however, that at the end of the 90 days, you will declare and testify, that indeed, God has been faithful to His promise of blessing you. This is a call to trust God and lean on Him and His promises:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honour the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”

(Proverbs 3:6-10 NIV)


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