Thursday, July 21, 2011


The women of Konoweka were enthralled with the teaching about tithing. We first examined Scripture to learn that God created everything (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-2; Job 41:11; and Psalm 50:9-12) and likened that with making bread or a cake. We thought about the idea that the grain of flour has no more ownership over the other elements in the cake as we do over the material things we own.

To understand why the tithe was instituted we studied the Old Testament (Genesis 4:1-26; Exodus 25:1-2; Exodus 30:11-12; Leviticus 1-7). We even looked at where the idea of 10% came from as many of the women were stuck on this element (Genesis 14:20; Genesis 28:22; Deuteronomy 14:22-23). Moving into the New Testament we examined the place of the heart (Matthew 6:1-4; Luke 21:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:1-5; 2 Corinthians 8:12).

After looking at these Scriptures and finding themes, I asked the question about what differences they saw or what changes they saw in the way tithing was viewed. Galatians 3:24 says, “So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.” Such freedom we’re given.

This wasn’t the end of our studies, though. We looked at God’s promises as a result of our faithfulness (Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 14:28-29; Malachi 3:10; Proverbs 3:9-10; Luke 6:38; Luke 18:10-14; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7; Philippians 4:19). To be God’s treasured possession, to have barns filled, to reap bountifully…what wonderful promises.

Money issues are prevalent here, just as they are in the U.S. Mistrust as a result makes people question church leaders and how they manage the money that comes into that place of worship. We finished our teaching with a discussion about the ways their tithes are used in the church (Deuteronomy 26:12; Acts 4:34-35; 1 Corinthians 9:13-14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18). Using that money to help the weak is thematic in Scriptures and I worried that these ladies would see themselves as deserving of the tithe money the church collects.

I challenged the ladies with this question – Who are you in this picture? Are you the weak? Are you the one the church should be giving money to? We explored their position in Christ as well as their many gifts and talents to reveal that they are not weak but that they are strong in Christ. They help one another in their time of need and they rely on God to provide strength and wisdom but that they are NOT weak. A resounding cry of agreement was shouted out at the end of this exhortation.

In the end, we agreed that the Holy Spirit is our guide for giving, not the Law. We answered a number of questions about the technical aspects of tithing with the same answer – the Holy Spirit will guide you – and this is not a pass to avoid giving. We talked a bit about how to recognize the voice of the Spirit and prayed about being obedient. Please agree with me in prayer that these ladies would see themselves as something other than “the most needy” and that God would fulfill his promises to bless them for their faithfulness.