#521 – Give Generously (Numbers 18:25–26)

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“And the Lord spake to Moses, saying, “Moreover, you shall speak and say to the Levites, ‘When you take from the people of Israel the tithe that I have given you from them for your inheritance, then you shall present a contribution from it to the Lord, a tithe of the tithe.'”
(Numbers 18:25–26)

This is a great picture of giving and the principle, the hard principle behind it in the Old Testament. God has commanded His people to give a tithe for the support of the Levites. In part, tithes were used in a variety of different ways, but in part for the support of the Levites, so the Levites would receive this tithe. Then God says, “And you Levites need to tithe.” In other words, you need to take a contribution from the tithe given to you, and give it to the Lord. This practice of tithing was for all of God’s people even the Levites, who were receiving the tithe. Inherent in being anyone of God’s people was recognizing that everything belongs to the Lord, so the first thing we do with what He entrusts to us is to offer it to Him in surrender.

All Christians are to give sacrificially and generously for the building up of the church and the spread of the gospel.

Think about this in your life, every one of our lives whether we’re a member of the church, pastor of the church, every follower of Christ we tithe. Meaning we give, and we can spend a lot more time discussing what that looks like. The short of it is, I would say that based on teaching in the New Testament, tithing, like giving a tenth, is far more a floor for giving than it is a ceiling for giving. Meaning it’s where we should start in the new covenant with a tenth, it’s what we see in the literal translation of tithe. Regardless, so not getting into how much at this point, the reality is every single follower of Jesus our first impulse when we have been given resources is to give the first fruits of those resources, off the top to the work of God, to the purposes of God. That is what drives all of us.

Pastors, even though pastors are oftentimes supported by tithes from other people like pastors, leaders in the church should absolutely automatically give off the top. Give generously, sacrificially from the overflow of that which has been given. Followers of Christ in the church, members of the church should be giving. This is a part of the Christian life, to give generously, sacrificially for the building of the church, the spread of the gospel, the support of the poor, the mission of making disciples among the nations. We all give to the purposes of God, the plans of God, for the spread of the Word, and the glory of God.

God, we pray especially I’m thinking about the culture I’m a part of, the country where I live we are so wealthy. You have given us so much for which we give thanks. We praise You for the privilege of being some of the wealthiest people to walk the planet Earth, for all the good things You’ve given us to enjoy, and the ways You’ve provided for us far beyond what we could ask, or imagine that we sometimes take for granted. All the more so, oh God we pray, help us to give generously and sacrificially, all of us. May the first impulse of our hearts with what we have been given may it be to give, to give overflowing in ways that resound to Your glory, in Your church, and in the world. God, please make me so. In every pastor and church leaders’ heart, every member, every follower of Christ’s heart may this impulse drive our finances we pray in Jesus name, amen.

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David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and president of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.
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