Introduction – In the month of October 2010, the LORD was talking to us at The-Awakening Ministries fellowship about a renewal of the foundational truths we need to practice and teach others to teach others that we may build his spiritual house.  Tithes and offerings are still in God’s plan, a must, and here’s why…from two other ministers knowledgeable in this truth… written for our edification.                          God bless you.        Rev. Lynne McHarry

Everything in life starts with a seed—including the things we receive by faith. In Genesis 8:22, God says, “While the earth remains, seed time and harvest . . . shall not cease.” The eternal law of seed time and harvest, planting and reaping, giving and receiving will not change as long as the earth remains. Jesus compared faith to a seed being planted to get a result: “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you” (Mat.17:20).

When we put our faith in God’s hands like a seed we plant, we are giving God something to work with, and He will send the miracle we need. No matter how small our faith seems to be, it will meet needs and solve problems that appear as impossible to move as mountains. This is because each act of faith is a seed planted and will be multiplied many times.

The Seed-Faith principle that we find in the Bible contains three keys:

1.   Recognize that God is our Source.
Philippians 4:19 says, “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” God will supply all our needs according to His riches, His love for us, His power to help us, and His wisdom to guide us. He may use many different instruments—a job, gifts, doctors, friends, family—to meet our need. But He alone is the Source, and He alone cannot fail.

2.   Give first, so that it may be given unto us.  Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it shall be given unto you.” We must first plant a seed of faith so that God can multiply it back to meet our need. Jesus is talking about giving in the deepest sense of the word—the giving of ourselves to God. This includes anything we can give—love, time, patience, forgiveness, finances, prayer, whatever we have. Our giving reflects our trust in God and our thankfulness. It links us to God’s inexhaustible resources for our every need.

There is no way we can give to God without receiving something back from Him, multiplied!

3.   Expect a miracle.
Mark 11:24 says, “Whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” The moment we ask God for something—the moment we do our part and plant our seed of faith—we should believe God that the answer is on its way. It is important to expect our miracle so we can recognize it and reach forth to take it when it comes. And it’s also important to remember that God controls the time and method He will use to give back to us. We must keep trusting God and expecting our miracle, no matter how long it takes to reach us.

So, give God something to work with. No matter how little you think you have, sow it in joy and faith, knowing in your heart that you are sowing seed so you may reap miracles. Then start expecting all kinds of miracles! Remember, God always sends the right answer at the right time, in the right way. His timing and methods are always exactly right for our lives!

The Tithe Is Your Seed

God is blessed by your tithe as an expression of your love and obedience to Him, yet tithing is primarily for your own benefit so that God can bless you. There is a universal law that God has placed in both the natural and spiritual realms. This is the law of sowing and reaping. “…God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Gal. 6:7). The tithe is “seed” that you plant in God that will bring the harvest of prosperity.

All farmers understand God’s law of sowing and reaping. After a harvest in Bible times, before the farmer would use any of the grain as food for his family or livestock, he would first go through the harvest grain and pick out a percentage that exhibited the best qualities of size, weight, color, and set this aside as seed for the next season’s crop planting. This early form of genetic selection helped assure that the next generation of crops would produce higher yields and greater quality.

This illustrates our tithe, why it cannot be the 10% that is left over after we pay everything else. The part that God claims and uses as seed is the first and best 10% of your increase, called the first fruits. “Honor the LORD with your possessions, And with the first fruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine” (Proverbs 3:9-10).

Don’t “eat your seed grain.” Do not use the Lord’s tithe for anything else! Because if you don’t sow, you can’t reap.

How We Receive From God

The tithe is God’s property that we are required to return to Him, however an “offering” is that which we give voluntarily out of our own property after the tithe has been subtracted. As we give our tithes, and give offerings above our tithe to God, He will continue to bless us and multiply our return in proportion to our investment in Him      (2 Cor. 9:6).

I challenge you to become a thither and a giver to God, and “prove” His promise to bless you, just as He invites you to do in Malachi 3:10. Give to God in faith, expecting Him to bless your return (Mark 11:24), and give cheerfully, expressing joy and confidence in giving to God (2 Cor. 9:7). The same proportion that you open your faith to give to Him, He will use that same proportion as His measurement to bring blessing back to you!

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).

Some quotes from Lester Zimmerman and his study on Financial Freedom and Planting Seeds . . .

God doesn’t want us living in any type of bondage in our lives and that includes financial bondage.

When we look at the ownership question, we discover that we are but managers of God’s money. It all belongs to him.  So as stewards of it, we see the importance of having a good financial budgeting plan, without a plan, our money will disappear.

Next we look at investing our money, not just in natural investments, but in spiritual ways and for the generations to come.

Planting financial seeds is another very important principle to look at.
This principle is found in 2 Corinthians 9:6-15   READ:

1. Sowing is a biblical principle for blessing.
Vs 6 -  Remember this – “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”
Sowing is a principle in every area of life and it is for “whoever”, people of every nation, rich or poor, young or old.

The principle is that whatever you sow will come back to you. Sow kindness – it will come back and bless you, Sow judgment – it will come back and hurt you.
If you give someone a smile and a compliment it will usually return back to you.
If you are critical and complaining you will get the same back to you.
Spiritually if you sow sinful thoughts and actions, the fruit of that will eventually return. You can’t get around it. God holds us accountable for whatever we sow –good or bad.

Gal.6:7 -  Do not be deceived:  God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (NIV)

The principle of sowing is also true in the area of finances. When you give, it is like planting a seed in the ground that will grow and produce a harvest, it will eventually come back to bless you.
If you give in a stingy way you will get little back. If you give generously you will receive a generous blessing in return.

If a farmer decides one year to plant only half the seed he did the previous year, he already knows he would only get half the crop as last year.
This principle is the same in both the natural and spiritual realm…the more seed we plant the bigger the return will be.

Yes, this principle has been misused, but let’s not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Seed planting is not just a gimmick some TV evangelist uses to get people to give.

Apostle Paul writes this is a Biblical principle for financial freedom. God designed it to work this way – it is one of the kingdom keys to our financial freedom.

2. Vs.7 – Generous giving is the flu shot for greed.  This time of year (winter) a lot of people are sick with the flu. One way people use to avoid the flu (hopefully) is to get a flu shot. It’s supposed to help build immunity against the virus.

Greed is like a virus that gets into your system. God’s remedy for that virus is to learn to become generous givers and do it consistently..

2Cor. 9:7  Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (NIV)
God doesn’t want us to give because we must or out of guilt but with a willing heart, as unto Him.
When you come to the place where you enjoy tithing and you enjoy giving, then you know that your heart is free from greed. Generous giving from the heart keeps you cheerful and happy in a world of discontent and greed.

3. Vs.8-10  Sowing is an issue of trust.  SEED TO YOUR NEED
When a farmer sets aside some of his seed and plants it instead of selling it, he is trusting that his investment in planting that seed is going to pay off.  If he thought it would just rot in the ground, he wouldn’t plant it. It is a step of faith for him to plant it instead of selling it for an immediate profit.

The real question is …can we trust God in our giving? Will he meet our needs if we tithe?  Paul answers this in vs.8 & 10.
2Cor. 9:8,10 – And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work…. and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

If we will trust God in our giving, he will increase our store of seed and see that we have all that we need. You can trust God with your giving. In fact in the book of Malachi 3, God even challenges us to test him with our tithe.
Some struggle with giving their tithe each week. But the fact is if you don’t give your tithe, you are eating your seed and you are cutting off your future harvest. Tithing is sowing seed.
It is the same as a farmer feeding all the seed to the cattle and not planting for next year’s crop. If you don’t tithe and give to God’s work you are not only robbing God you are undermining your own blessings.

What is the tithe? The tithe is 10% of your paycheck before taxes. A simple way to figure out your tithe is to move the decimal point one space to the left. God says if you will plant your tithe seed faithfully each pay period, he will multiply your seed. He will rebuke the devourer who comes to steal your finances and he will open the storehouse of his bounty and bless you.
Now that is what your Father, the great creator says…we need to decide if we trust him or not. To not tithe is to say, God I don’t know if I can trust you in this area of my life.

There are many aspects to financial freedom and money management, but I believe the first step in getting your financial house in order is to begin tithing. Begin planting some seed into the ground so God can bless it.
This is not because God needs your money. It’s because you need to get this principle up and operating in your life so you can be blessed. It is planting seed for tomorrow’s harvest even though there might be a temporary discomfort.  BELIEVE GOD WILL DO IT !

Tithing is more for your benefit then anyone else’s. I know it’s hard if you have not learned this discipline.  Your mental reaction says the preacher just wants your money. But trust God on this.

The tithe is to be given to support the local ministry in their service to God and the people. Out of the tithe, the house of God, ministry or church also gives to missionaries, donates to food pantries and other needy people.  The tithe, (depending on size of the local church) also provides various programs to assist with the needs of a family in the fellowship, the community and children with various needs.  In other words, when you tithe you are supporting many ministries.

The Bible encourages us to be generous givers. When you begin to give above your tithe, which the Bible calls offerings, you are becoming a generous giver. Offerings and alms above your tithe can be used to support other programs and ministries beyond the local church.
Your tithe is to be given to the local ministry (or church) from whom you are fed and it goes into the Treasury of that ministry. In Malachi God asks us to bring our whole tithe into the storehouse. (3:10)  When we begin to do things God’s way, we begin to see God’s blessings released into our lives.

4.  Vs.11-12 – The motivation for sowing is to have more to give to see others helped and blessed.  Some say you should not give with the expectation of getting something back because it’s wrong to give with the expectation that God must in turn, bless you.
Well that is only partially true. It is true God does not have to do anything. He is not obligated to us. But scriptures clearly teach that we are to give with the EXPECTATION that our giving will be blessed. The whole concept of sowing in the Bible has to do with intentional giving with expectation of a return.
A farmer sows expecting a return. So it is Biblical to tithe and to give with an expectation that God would have us prosper financially, be in health, and spiritually. Expectation in giving is focused on God, the Source, not each other! We give freely to each other not expecting something in return from those we help. We give because we care and God wants us to give!
The real issue of sowing seed is that of motivation. It is OK to expect your seed to produce a return, but not if it’s sown with a greed motivation, that is wrong.
If we are sowing because we want to be able to be more generous then we are giving for the right reason.
2Cor. 9:11 – You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (NIV)   Notice – The desire to gain wealth or be rich is not wrong….if it helps us to be more generous.

5. Faith and obedience are the rain and sunshine that make the seed grow.

2Cor. 9:13 – Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. (NIV)

After a farmer plants the seed, he needs rain and sunshine to help it grow. In the same way, when we tithe and give our money, we are RELEASING faith and obedience which God honors.

Seed doesn’t bear fruit over night and tithing and giving doesn’t always bear fruit overnight either but if we will be faithful we will reap a harvest.
Gal 6:9 – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

God is pleased when we sow in obedience to his word, and put our faith in him who is our Father and will take care of us because he is alive and continuously active in our lives!.

I’m reminded of the widow woman who gave her last loaf of bread, in simple faith and obedience to feed Elijah, God’s prophet, and was blessed of God. by reaping the harvest from planting her seed faith.

· Or – the little boy who gave his five loaves and two fish and God blessed his generosity to feed 5,000 hungry people.

And – the “Widow’s Mite”, is mighty in POWER, to the tearing down of strongholds.  Mark 12:41-44
When God asks us to do something, it doesn’t always make sense, but he honors our faith and obedience with the miracle of his provision.  Intellectually that’s hard to understand, but let this truth get into your inner perception first before you get it into your mind and your understanding.  Then you will know that this is a word from God to obey and walk in faith.

Conclusion:

LOOK TO GOD ALONE and MAKE HIM YOUR SOURCE OF TOTAL SUPPLY.  “SEEK YOU FIRST the Kingdom of God and his right way…and all the things [he has promised] shall be added unto you.”

OPEN UP TO GOD and YOU PUT (give) SOMETHING OF YOURSELF IN AS A SEED and EXPECT A MIRACLE.  No matter how small you feel, or how big your need is, how difficult your problem is, or how severe the shortages are in your life.  You start giving of your total self and God’s Law of the Harvest does the rest.  It reproduces a miraculous harvest in your life.

This principle of sowing our seed applies to all parts of our lies including forgiveness, reconciliation, giving (help with needs of the poor, downtrodden, orphans, widows, handicapped, healing and personal finances, to name a few.

At the point of your need, give your best to God, THE SOURCE of meeting your need.  Talk to Him about it like you would talk to your dearest friend.  He’s not far off, he is inside you.  This is why there is no distance in prayer.  Then sow your seed in Faith.  Keep EXPECTING your harvest.  God will multiply the seed and cause man to give to you..

God’s heart is to bring us into a place of financial freedom in our lives. The Bible contains the wisdom and principles for finances. If we will follow them, we will come into the place of freedom and peace in this area of our lives.
Blessing:  May God bless you and meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ.

May God grant you the faith to embrace His promises, and as you do, may He throw open the floodgates of his spirit and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.  May you experience financial freedom and a spirit of generosity in your life.  And as it says in Psalm 25 – as you obey Him, may every path He guides you on be fragrant with His loving-kindness and His Truth.
“Faith is when the spirit of God supernaturally empties you of doubt, and fills you with a knowing so in that moment you cannot doubt.”  Oral Roberts

Shared truths:

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Write:  The Awakeningintl Fellowship at:  P.O. Box 626, McMinnville, TN 37111

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