“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.'” – Mark 12:41-44, ESV
This is an excellent story and principle in scripture. With it, Jesus uses it to explain to his disciples the true meaning of tithes and offerings.
It is assumed in the Christian community that everyone knows about tithing – that tithing is a principle and a commandment from God, given to Moses and God’s people in the Old Testament.
Let’s look into the origins of this commandment to tithe, found in Leviticus:
“Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord.” – Leviticus 27:30, ESV
This was the commandment God gave to Moses to give to his people. God originally ordained and gave commandments to his people to tithe.
This principle found in The Old Testament was later adopted and integrated into the New Testament, but in a more spiritually connected way – a way that showed relationship with God.
In the days of Moses, God instructed his people to tithe in obedience to him. It was the law and order to give a tenth of your land (your wealth) to God . This was what God had commanded.
In the days of Jesus Christ, people tithed out of reverence and sacrifice to God. There was a personal connection between the tithe-giver and God (worship).
This is what God desires.
When we as believers tithe to the church, we are practicing obedience to God’s will and learning how to worship God through sacrificial giving.
The story of the widow in the book of Mark was significant, because Jesus used it to teach his disciples what it meant to give sacrificially.
Jesus explained to his disciples, how the offerings given to the church by the widow made more of an impact on his heart than those given to the church by the rich.
This scene in Mark was highlighted for a reason.
Jesus wanted to show us how the widow practiced and participated in worship through sacrificial giving. We understand this truth, because after the widow’s sacrifice, Jesus says,
“Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box.” – Mark 12:43, ESV
Jesus was saying here, that sacrificial giving is what he desires the most (heart posture).
God desires a close and intimate relationship with us. We express our commitment to his will, and to his word, by paying our tithes and offerings to his church.
God does not need our money. He uses what we give him, in love and sacrifice, to bless others and advance the works of the kingdom.
Paying tithes is not a ritual that all Christians must do and obey in order to get into heaven. It is instead, a personal commitment to God’s will and to his church.
This principle is why it is extremely important for both you and I to always practice discernment when sowing into church grounds, and to always “check the soil.”
Not all soil is good soil.
Use discernment and wisdom when choosing a church home for you and your family. Church is meant to communicate the word of God, to make disciples, and to edify the people of God, that they may go out into the world and preach the gospel.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” – Matthew 28:19, ESV
If you believe God has called you to a church home to plant seeds and to grow roots, give to his kingdom in love and sacrifice through tithing.
This is God’s will, that his children will follow in his ways by advancing the kingdom through service, fellowship with man, love and sacrifice.
When we show God our commitment to him and to his church through tithing, God pays us back. Now, I am not saying that by giving money to God, God gives it back to us, but what I am saying is that by showing God love, honor and worship through tithing, we open ourselves up to a deeper relationship with him, his church, and his will for our lives.
Grace and peace fam.