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What is a tithe and how is it different from an offering?
The word, "tithe" literally means tenth or 10%. A tithe is the first 10% of your income. An offering is anything you give above and beyond the 10%.
Why do we tithe?
The Bible says, The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives. (Deuteronomy 14:23 TLB) Tithing is a reminder that God is the supplier of everything we have. It is also God's personal invitation to an outpouring of his blessing in your life.
In Malachi 3:10 (NLT), God says this: "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it." This is the only place in Scripture where God tells us to put him to the test. In other words, he's saying, "Go ahead. I dare you. See if you can out-give me."
Is God wise? Do you trust him?
These are two fundamental questions behind the act of giving. If God is wise, then you should listen to what he says about financial stewardship. If you trust him, then you should trust him with all aspects of your life, including your finances. So go ahead. Accept God's invitation to put him to the test. Start tithing faithfully and watch what he does in and through your life.