Putting God to the Test: The Importance of Tithing

One time I met a gentleman at The Journey who was a self-professed agnostic. Let’s call him Ben. Ben happened to be visiting with a friend one fall Sunday when I laid out this tithe challenge. Ben was a little older than our average attenders, and he was in the midst of a successful career as an air traffic controller.

After the service, Ben came over to me and said, “Okay, I’m going to test God. I want to take this ‘tithe challenge’ and dispel all his foolishness. I’m going to prove to you that God doesn’t exist.”

So he and I sat down and figured out what 10 percent of his income would be and divided that out over the next four months. He came to church a couple of times during the course of the challenge but not regularly. His tithing, however, was like clockwork. Can you guess what happened?

God shows up in people's lives when they honor him. He has obligated himself to do so. Click To Tweet

God worked in Ben’s life in amazing ways. He began being blessed, both tangibly and intangibly. To make a long story short, Ben came back to me after those four months fully convinced of God’s existence. Of course, as usually happens when someone takes the tithe challenge, he has continued to tithe.

Ben is not an exception to the rule. I have seen this scenario play out time and time again. God shows up in people’s lives when they honor him. He has obligated himself to do so. God’s promise about tithing is an if/then promise. “If you honor me with your firstfruits, then I will pour out my blessing in your life.”

God’s promise of blessing crosses over into the New Testament. Recall Jesus’s “of course you should tithe” comment in Matthew 23:23. Paul follows that up in 2 Corinthians 8:7: “Since you excel in so many ways–in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love for us–I want you to excel also in the gracious act of giving.” As we excel in grace, we should excel in giving.

God's promise of blessing crosses over into the New Testament. Click To Tweet

–Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson

The above excerpt is from pgs. 61-62 of The Generosity Ladder: Your Next Step to Financial Peace.

Help your people find financial peace with my best-selling book, The Generosity Ladder. Imagine a life in which you don’t struggle to make ends meet each month–a life with no debt, a healthy savings account, and solid plans for retirement. Imagine being able to help people in need and give to causes much bigger than your own concerns. This is how God wants everyone to live. And it is attainable. With the help of this practical and insightful book, your people will uncover their true level of financial health and discover a step-by-step plan to save, spend, and invest money in a responsible, godly way. Click here for more information on ordering in bulk for your church.

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About Nelson Searcy

Nelson Searcy is an experienced church planter, coach and church growth strategist, working with churches in over 45 denominations. Nelson is also the Founding and Lead Pastor of The Journey Church, with locations across New York City and in San Francisco and Boca Raton, FL. He first developed the Assimilation System 10 years ago at the Journey Church and has since implemented and improved these strategies with over 3,000 churches across all sizes and denominations. He started coaching pastors in 2006 and has personally coached over 2100+ senior pastors, helping them break common growth barriers like 125, 250, 500, 1000 and beyond, all while maintaining personal life and ministry balance. As founder of Church Leader Insights and the Renegade Pastors Network, he has trained more than 50,000 church leaders (3,000+ church planters). He is the author of over 85 church growth resources and 17+ books, including Fusion: Turning First-Time Guests Into Fully-Engaged Members of Your Church and The Renegade Pastor: Abandoning Average in Your Life and Ministry. His continued mission is to help church leaders around the world cooperate with God in creating healthy, thriving churches. Nelson is married to Kelley and together they have one son, Alexander.

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