There are a lot of people who are deceived about tithing. They follow traditions, but they don’t know the truth.
In 2007, The Barna Group found that less than 5% of Americans tithe. And why? I believe a big part of it is because people feel manipulated, and they don’t know the truth. You hear about tithing, and you feel like there’s just something “not right” about what you’re hearing. And guess what – you’re right! There is something “not right” about it.
So this morning you and I are going to talk about the truth, versus the tradition we have been sold.
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Cain & Abel were the first to tithe – at least the first recorded in the Bible. “So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell.” (Genesis 4: 3-5)
One sacrifice was accepted and one wasn’t. The Bible doesn’t come right out and say why, either. All you know is the aftermath that followed (Cain killing his brother). You see, what was inside of Cain’s heart – maybe his motive for bringing the offering that was the root cause of all the fallout.
There was something in the heart of Cain when he presented his offering. Maybe manipulation, jealousy or insecurity. Meaning, he gave to get attention from God. When God regarded Abel’s offering, Cain took it personally instead of learning from it.
Have you noticed when people are insecure, they take things personally? And their response is usually defensive or self-deprecating. “I know, I just suck. I shouldn’t even be here. I’m not good enough. I always screw up. What’s the use?” or “No, I did everything right. I can’t help it if you didn’t make it more clear.”
Do you get squirmy when you get caught? Do you start wiggling in defense? Do you then get mad and begin to destroy yourself or others? That is what Cain did.
When it comes to giving to God, we need to make sure our motives are right. You see, we humans have a tendency toward greed and stinginess. That greed and stinginess keep us from receiving the bigger blessings in life. It keeps us from immeasurable favor and greater blessings. It chokes out favor, blessing, happiness and true wealth.
Yet Cain brought the offering, but based on the fruit, he brought it for the wrong reasons. “Hey look, mine is better than my younger brother’s.” “What am I gonna get for this in return?” “Hey look at me, look how good I did!”
So it is clear that when we break through the first barrier of stinginess and greed, we must also break the second, which is a wrong motive.
The purpose of the offering is to have an obedient, a clean heart – adoration for God, not yourself. It’s about being thankful to God for how He has blessed your work – it is not a time to show off to God how great you are and to prove to everyone else how great you are.
I hope today’s message cleared up a few things for you. Leave me your comments below and please be sure to Like and Share today’s message.
If you forgot, the conversation will continue this afternoon at 12:00 pm ET/11:00 am CT on The Dani Johnson Show. Join us!
In great faith,
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