I received an email the other day from someone who apparently did not like what I had written on tithes and offerings. He said that everything belongs to the Lord, and there is no need to give ten percent. Obviously, he had not read Malachi 3:8-9: Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Scriptures on tithes and offerings have already been addressed in the document, Bible Plan for the Support of God's Work.

From time immemorial, tithes and offerings were, are, and will always be the means by which the work of God would be carried out and finished. In the Old Testament, Abraham gave his tithes to Melchisedec, King of Salem. The Israelites gave a large portion of their means to God's cause. King David gave several million dollars (in today's monetary standard) to the cause of God. In the New Testament, the Pharisees tithed, and Jesus commended the widow for giving not only a tithe, but all that she had. Her action was immortalized and recorded in sacred writ for all generations as a witness that tithes and offerings (not bazaars, bake sales, garage sales, raffles, carnivals, Christian rock concerts, etc.) are God's ways of providing the means to proclaim the good news of the Gospel to the world.

Let's read the account of the widow taken from the book, Counsels on Stewardship, Page 175.

"Jesus was in the court where were the treasure chests, and He watched those who came to deposit their gifts. Many of the rich brought large sums, which they presented with great ostentation. Jesus looked upon them sadly, but made no comment on their liberal offerings. Presently His countenance lighted as He saw a poor widow approach hesitatingly, as though fearful of being observed. As the rich and haughty swept by, to deposit their offerings, she shrank back as if hardly daring to venture farther. And yet she longed to do something, little though it might be, for the cause she loved. She looked at the gift in her hand. It was very small in comparison with the gifts of those around her, yet it was her all. Watching her opportunity, she hurriedly threw in her two mites, and turned to hasten away. But in doing this she caught the eye of Jesus, which was fastened earnestly upon her.

"The Saviour called His disciples to Him, and bade them mark the widow's poverty. Then His words of commendation fell upon her ear: 'Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all.'  Tears of joy filled her eyes as she felt that her act was understood and appreciated. Many would have advised her to keep her pittance for her own use; given into the hands of the well-fed priests, it would be lost sight of among the many costly gifts brought to the treasury. But Jesus understood her motive. She believed the service of the temple to be of God's appointment, and she was anxious to do her utmost to sustain it. She did what she could, and her act was to be a monument to her memory through all time, and her joy in eternity. Her heart went with her gift; its value was estimated, not by the worth of the coin, but by the love to God and the interest in His work that had prompted the deed.

"Jesus said of the poor widow, She 'hath cast in more than they all.'  The rich had bestowed from their abundance, many of them to be seen and honored by men. Their large donations had deprived them of no comfort, or even luxury; they had required no sacrifice, and could not be compared in value with the widow's mite."

"The widow's mite, cast into the treasury with thousands of other coins, would appear insignificant, and be lost to human vision, but not to the eye of God. The Source of all riches, the great Benefactor, would make this sincere, genuine offering of the highest value for good. The widow's mite has been like a stream, small at the source, but continuing to flow through all time, until it has widened, and deepened, and run in a thousand channels, contributing to the extension of the truth, and supplying the wants of the needy. The influence of this small gift has acted and reacted upon humanity in every age of the world, and in every country upon the globe. The tiny rills which have flowed into the treasury of the Lord from the liberal, self-denying poor, have formed a living fountain, and its streams flow forth refreshing the needy, and resulting in the salvation of thousands of souls." --The Review and Herald, October 31, 1878.

"The plan of systematic benevolence does not press heavily upon any one man. 'Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.'  The poor are not excluded from the privilege of giving. They, as well as the wealthy, may act a part in this work. The lesson that Christ gave in regard to the widow's two mites shows us that the smallest willing offerings of the poor, if given from a heart of love, are as acceptable as the largest donations of the rich.

"In the balances of the sanctuary the gifts of the poor, made from love to Christ, are not estimated according to the amount given, but according to the love which prompts the sacrifice. The promises of Jesus will as surely be realized by the liberal poor man, who has but little to offer, but who gives that little freely, as by the wealthy man who gives of his abundance. The poor man makes a sacrifice of his little, which he really feels. He really denies himself of some things that he needs for his own comfort, while the wealthy man gives of his abundance, and feels no want, denies himself nothing that he really needs. Therefore there is a sacredness in the poor man's offering that is not found in the rich man's gift, for the rich give of their abundance. God's providence has arranged the entire plan of systematic benevolence for the benefit of man. His providence never stands still. If God's servants follow His opening providence, all will be active workers." --Testimonies to the Church, Volume 3, Pages 398-399.

If I remember correctly the title of a story I read years ago and saved in my files is: Miss Clancey and the Dimes. For some reasons, I couldn't find it to include it in this document. The story is about an elderly widow who first learned about tithing at a campmeeting she attended years ago. Her means were very modest based on the standard of that time, but she believed the scriptures, and set out in faith to practice it. Although it appeared that by giving a tithe from her very small income (an allowance from her son-in-law), she would be impoverished, but God's miraculous intervention supplied her over and above her needs every month without fail. It was as if the windows of heaven were literally opened and showered her blessings they could hardly be contained.

Miss Clancey and the Dimes  is an incredible story of God's promises in Malachi 3:10-11 coming to fruition when one is a faithful steward: Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Click here for a touching story on sacrificial giving: Fifty-seven Cents

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Trust, Try, and Prove Me

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse,
All your money, talents, time and love;
Consecrate them all upon the altar;
While your Saviour from above speaks sweetly,


Trust Me, try Me, prove Me, saith the Lord of hosts, and see
If a blessing, unmeasured blessing, I will not pour out on thee.

When my wavering faith in trials falter,
When His guiding hand I cannot see,
Then in wondrous love and tender mercy,
Through His Word He says to me, My child, just


Trust Me, try Me, prove Me, saith the Lord of hosts, and see
If a blessing, unmeasured blessing, I will not pour out on thee.

I have yielded Him my life forever,
All I am, or have, or hope to be;
Naught on earth my hold on Him can sever,
While I hear Him say to me, My child, just


Trust Me, try Me, prove Me, saith the Lord of hosts, and see
If a blessing, unmeasured blessing, I will not pour out on thee.

--Lida Shivers Leech

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