By Suvy Koshy Thomas
As True Christians by deeds, we have to understand the importance of tithes from our earnings and giving from our wealth to the needy. We often think that, if we give from our hard earned money, that will be lost, which we could have used for some kind of purpose, profitable for us alone. But according to the Bible, there is a real need for all the Christians (not by name alone, but by deeds) to bring forth the tithes for helping the poor and the needy and also for the Gospel of Christ. Then there will be some questions like, “Where in the Bible it says to Give, To whom we should give, How we should give, Is there any amount specified, Where we can keep our treasures, what is the reward for all these good deeds.” etc.
Bible says through prophet Malachi in 3:10-12 “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse , that there may be food in my house, and try me now in this, says the Lord, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field, says the Lord. And all nations will call you blessed, for you will be a delightful land, says the Lord. Again in Hebrews 13:16 says but do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. James 4:17 says therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin. From these versus, it is clear that there is a real need for bringing forth the tithes and offer our giving to the needy. And God says to test him through this.
By saying all the tithes, it is sure that not only money is involved in this, it can be a portion of the reap from our fields also. Who is a Cheerful Giver? Bible gives an answer through 2 Corinth 9:6-15. He who sows sparingly will reap sparingly, he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all Grace abound toward you, that you, always having sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
As it is written, he has dispersed abroad, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever .For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is a abounding through many thanksgivings to God. To whom we should give? What is the assurance that what we give is reasonable before the eyes of the Lord? Matthew 25:40 says assuredly I say unto you, in as much as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me. Matthew 5:7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” It is our duty to find out who is the needy among us and help him. We should make sure that the help reaches the poor, and not the middle men.
Also it is important to help the people who are working as missionaries and messengers of Christ. Who else will help their living, if we Christians are not helping? How we should give and how much? Romans12:8 he who gives, with liberality, he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. (And the willingness to give to the poor and the needy is a gift of the holy spirit). 2 Thessalonians 3:13 says but as for you brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. Bible says about the rating for giving by people is not by the amount what they give but by the wholeheartedness.
Jesus sat opposite to the treasury of the temple and saw how people put money into it. And many who were rich put in much. A poor widow came and threw two mites. Jesus called his disciples and said ”Assuredly I say unto you, that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury. For they all put in out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, put in all that she had, her whole livelihood”. (Mark 12:44). Matthew 6:1. Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your father in heaven. So for a perfect reward in heaven, we should do our charity deeds in secret and not to show off before men.
Also if we give out of scarcity, there is a greater blessing. There is a Perspective of the rich given in James 1:9-11. As a flower of the field he will pass away. For no sooner has the sun risen with a burning heat than it withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So the rich man will also fade away in his pursuits. It is like, you will heap the wealth, grab what all you can, and admire yourself in the great ways you achieved your wealth, but at the end, it could not be used for your good, same in the case of many gulf returnees who loose their money in businesses and cheated by others. So what kind of wealth we can be proud of and where we should keep the wealth? Answer is in Mathew 6:19-21. it says, do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in steal for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. So it is very clear that all our works will be in vain and worldly wealth will be useless without God’. So keep your treasures in heaven, i.e., our aim should be to reach the eternal home, and acquire the heavenly wealth, nothing other than a place in the heaven. How can we achieve this goal? Micah.6:8. He has shown to you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
And what is the reward from God for all these good deeds? Ephesians 6:10 says “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not loose heart.” 2 Timothy 4:7,8 Apostle Paul says” I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally there is laid up for me the Crown of Righteousness , which the Lord, the Righteous Judge , will give to me on that day, and not to me only , but also to all who have loved his appearing”.
May God bless all of us to share the Crown of Righteousness.