Giving - The Key to The Cell Door

Posted by Dion Todd September 4th, 2015 4,429 Views 0 Comments

Giving - The Key to The Cell Door

To discuss giving is almost taboo today because some of God’s people have abused their position and lived in excess, but I see so many people every day bound by poverty, and my heart goes out to them. We have lived there ourselves, and we see the heart wrenching prayer requests and emails that come in. There is such a financial need in the body of Christ. I feel like the enemy has slipped in and made giving a taboo subject so that God’s people will remain bound in poverty forever.

Let me be very clear, I hate talking about money at all. I have seen the excess and begging from the pulpit and it makes me nauseous. I know that this will be a hard message for some, but I sincerely only want the best for you and I hope that you take the time to read the entire message, then make your decision about it. See what God tells you at the end of it.

The moment that I mention “Give” people are going to think that we want their money, so let me clear that up right now: I do not care if you give to us, but you need to learn to give to someone, somewhere, sometime and not spend 100% on yourself.

We help those that we can, but like the saying goes “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” I want to teach you to fish for yourself today and I will share what God has taught us about handling our own finances.

God’s laws did not change because people abused the system and His blessings are still available for those that want them. We have to bring all areas of our life under God’s control, a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1). Anything not surrendered to God will become a stumbling block in due course. Our habits, our attitudes, our sex life, our finances, He wants all of us. If You continue on with God, He will eventually put His finger on things that you wish that He would leave alone.

Everyone struggles in different areas, today we will discuss money. It is fine to have money, but it cannot have you. There is a law of sowing and reaping and it will continue as long as the earth stands (Gen. 8:22). The value of giving is something that every believer needs to learn in order to live a full and balanced life. The love of money is a root of all types of evil, and you do not have to have money, to love money. You can love someone for years, and never have them.

So many people today are living under a financial curse and wonder why every time they get a little ahead, something comes up to take it away. When it looks like they may finally have a little extra money, the car breaks down, a water pipe breaks, the washing machine quits, the rent goes up, a flat tire, there is never enough. While living week to week, they cannot afford to give anything. That has “The Devourer” written all over it and there are Biblical examples for us to look at.

Read the following scriptures and compare it to what I wrote above. Yes, it is the Old Testament, and we will cover that later. Humor me for now. This is what God told the people that neglected His house and were only concerned with their own:

“Consider your ways. You have sown much, and bring in little. You eat, but you don’t have enough. You drink, but you aren’t filled with drink. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm, and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes in it.” (Haggai 1:5–6 WEB). Sound familiar? I have had holes in my pockets before.

“Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, bring wood, and build the house. I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified,” says Yahweh. “You looked for much, and, behold, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says Yahweh of Hosts, “Because of my house that lies waste, while each of you is busy with his own house.” (Haggai 1:7–9 WEB). God says that He blew away what they brought home intentionally because they neglected His house, His work.

This is what God had to say about people that would not tithe: “Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me! But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with the curse; for you rob me, even this whole nation. Bring the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this,” says Yahweh of hosts, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for. I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before its time in the field,” says Yahweh of Hosts.” (Malachi 3:6–11 WEB).

God says that if we will tithe and take care of His house, that He will reverse the situation. He will pour out a blessing that we do not have room enough to receive, and that He would rebuke the devourer off of our lives. It is not scriptural to try and rebuke the devourer ourselves or to pray about it, scripture reads that God Himself will rebuke it when we do what He tells us. The devourer was allowed to come by God in the first place because of the people not tithing and for neglecting His house. It is worth noting that this is also the only place in the Bible where God dares us to test Him. He issued a dare with, “Test Me now with this, Try Me.”

Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived and He wrote: “Honor the Lord with your capital and sufficiency [from righteous labors] and with the firstfruits of all your income; So shall your storage places be filled with plenty, and your vats shall be overflowing with new wine.” (Proverbs 3:9–10 AMP)

Let us say that you do not believe in tithing, or for that matter, the Old Testament either and that everything that I have to written until now is garbage. That will still not exempt you from giving. If you are a Christian, then you should believe in Jesus and He said to give, and when you do, you will receive it back multiplied. It is an act of trust. By giving your money away, you are trusting God to give it back just as when you deposit your money in a bank, you expect them to give it back. You are trusting them to return it. Jesus said:

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

Jesus said that it is more blessed to give, than to receive (Acts 20:35). He also spoke about a man that was not rich toward God, and instead stored up all of his treasures for himself. His sin was that he was not rich toward God, not in having the wealth.

“He spoke a parable to them, saying, “The ground of a certain rich man brought forth abundantly. He reasoned within himself, saying, ‘What will I do, because I don’t have room to store my crops?’ He said, ‘This is what I will do. I will pull down my barns, and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. I will tell my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years. Take your ease, eat, drink, be merry.” But God said to him, ‘You foolish one, tonight your soul is required of you. The things which you have prepared—whose will they be?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:16–21 WEB).

So Jesus wants us to give, not hoard up for ourselves and He wants us to be rich toward God with our finances. It is interesting that Jesus sometimes sat opposite the treasury in the temple and watched the people give. One of these times, a poor widow came along and only had two small coins, and she gave them both, all that she had to live on. Jesus commended her to His disciples for doing that. She did not say, “I cannot afford to give anything” but instead trusted God to take care of her needs. In God’s eyes she gave more than all the others, a higher percentage of her wealth.

“Jesus sat down opposite the treasury, and saw how the multitude cast money into the treasury. Many who were rich cast in much. A poor widow came, and she cast in two small brass coins, which equal a quadrans coin. He called his disciples to himself, and said to them, “Most assuredly I tell you, this poor widow gave more than all those who are giving into the treasury, for they all gave out of their abundance, but she, out of her poverty, gave all that she had to live on.” (Mark 12:41–44 WEB).

God is a giver Himself. God loved, and then He gave. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16 WEB).

God loves a cheerful giver, one that is happy to give and not grudgingly. “Remember this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. He who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Let each man give according as he has determined in his heart; not grudgingly, or under compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:6–7 WEB).

Paul wrote that everyone was supposed to set something aside according to their means. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I commanded the assemblies of Galatia, you do likewise. On the first day of the week, let each one of you save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come. When I arrive, I will send whoever you approve with letters to carry your gracious gift to Jerusalem.” (1 Corinthians 16:1–3 WEB).

God has also decided that those who labor in the gospel, should get their living from the gospel. “What soldier ever serves at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard, and doesn’t eat of its fruit?” (1 Corinthians 9:7 WEB).

Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and in teaching. For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle the ox when it treads out the grain.” And, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.” (1 Timothy 5:17–18 WEB).

“If we sowed to you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we reap your fleshly things?” (1 Corinthians 9:11 WEB).

“Don’t you know that those who serve around sacred things eat from the things of the temple, and those who wait on the altar have their portion with the altar? Even so the Lord ordained that those who proclaim the gospel should live from the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:13–14 WEB).

Scripture summary: In the Old Testament, God said “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” (Malachi 3:10). In the New Testament, Jesus said “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will be given to you. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38. In both cases our action of giving something away, leads to His blessing us with more. We give, then we receive. The Old and New Testament both agree on this, and even if you disgree with tithing (giving the first 10% of your income), it does not exempt you from giving, and the percentage that you give determines what will come back to you. 10% is merely the minimum.

So that is enough scripture on giving, I could add so much more but this is getting long. Now I will share some personal testimonies with you from my own life.

A One Hundred Fold Return: Once a visiting speaker came to our church. He was young, poor and rode in on a bus. The church that he was supposed to speak at, canceled him, so he connected with our pastor. I picked him up and brought him to our church. When he was done speaking, the church took up an offering for him.

I lived week to week and had already paid my tithes for that week, but I looked in my wallet and I had forty dollars. So I pulled that out and put it in his offering basket. They prayed that all the gifts would be returned one hundred fold.

In less than a month, someone came up to me and gave me a check for four thousand dollars. It was a person that I had met by working on their house and they only said “I feel that we should help you.” It was exactly 100 times 40 = 4,000. Give and it will be given to you.

A Christmas Story: One year as Christmas approached, we felt like doing something special. Looking back, I am sure that it was the Holy Spirit prompting us because He wanted to bless us, and needed a reason. We needed to be givers for what was soon coming.

We owned a small computer business and it was really slow that year. We had a lot of spare parts and time, but very little money. So we came up with this idea that we would take all the spare parts that we could muster and build them into working computers. We then planned to find some widows without one and bless them. So we did just that.

We made a few people happy and everyone had a great Christmas. Then in January a client contacted us and gave us over $10,000 of new computer equipment. We got things that we would not have dreamed of buying. If you get the urge to bless someone, go with it. It is probably the Holy Spirit prompting you so He can in return bless you with something.

God could bless you anyway, but He did say give and it will be given to you. I didn’t write it, I read it. The reverse could read: “Don’t give and it will not be given to you.” Sowing and reaping works just as surely as farmers plant and then harvest. If you don’t plant something, the only things that reliably come up are the weeds.

Let’s cover some fundamentals about the types of giving and who, when, where, and why.

Tithing: The word tithe means “Tenth” and is considered the first ten percent of your income. “Honor Yahweh with your substance, 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). Abraham gave a tenth (Gen. 14:20). Jacob gave a tenth (Gen. 28:22).

We tithe ten percent of all our increase. In other words, if it comes into our house and increases our net worth, we tithe on it. We tithe after taxes. I know that some people tithe before taxes, but when the government takes 25% of my check away for taxes, I fail to see how that 25% increased my house at all. That said, if we were to ever get a refund, we will tithe on that because that would be an increase. So the tithe is 10% of all your increase. Alms is when you give above your tithe. It is smart to give a set percentage of your income or you will find yourself "tipping" God like He is a waiter. Make it intentional and disciplined, not a knee jerk reaction. This is a life style.

First Fruits: The tithe is always the first tenth of your income, not the last. It is best portion, the first of the first fruits that we are to bring into the house of God (Ex. 23:19, Ex. 34:26, Prov. 3:9, Ezek. 44:30). Abel brought the firstborn of His flock (Gen. 4:4). God gave us His very best, His firstborn Son (John 3:16). The first fruits are holy to the Lord (Num. 18:7, Ezek. 48:14, Ezek. 20:40, Num. 28:26, Lev. 23:20).

The first city that the Israelites came to when entering the promised land was Jericho, and all the loot from that city was to go into the treasury in the house God (Joshua 6:19,24). They crossed through the river (baptism), the first city to attack was Jericho (tithing). Achan stole some things from the city of Jericho and caused God to leave the camp. The Israelites lost the next battle at Ai, until Achan was dealt with (Joshua 7:11). You will not go on with God until you get past tithing, for He will not trust you with the true riches, until He can trust you with money (Luke 16:11).

In the book of Malachi the people and priests were offering God sacrifices with lame, torn, blind, animals with blemishes that could not be sold, so they offered them to God. Then they entreated the favor of God, “oh that He might be gracious to us” (Malachi 1:9). They did not get a pleasant response. He cursed their blessings.

“But the deceiver is cursed, who has in his flock a male, and vows, and sacrifices to the Lord a blemished thing; for I am a great King, says Yahweh of hosts, and my name is awesome among the nations. Now, you priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not listen, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory to my name, says Yahweh of Hosts, then will I send the curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Indeed, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart. Malachi 1:14–2:2 WEB).

When you say that you cannot afford to give, that automatically means that you are putting God last in your list, instead of first. I have people who smoke tell me that they cannot afford to tithe. That tells me that their bad habits are more important to them than obeying God. Please don’t think I have no compassion for poverty or for those under dependency, on the contrary. I have been poor for most of my life and I used to smoke. While it was a struggle, I still chose to honor God with my tithe and giving. It saddens me deeply to see people live under a curse unnecessarily. Don’t offer the Almighty God of the universe your leftovers. You would be better off to give nothing than to treat Him with disrespect. He is not stupid.

When you place God first in your life as He demands, you will never miss the tithe. What you have left will be blessed in such a way that it will go so much farther. There will always be enough. Emergencies will come less and you will find that you have more than you did before because God will rebuke the devourer off of your finances.

The simple fact is that if you will not tithe now with the little that you have, you will not tithe if He gave you one hundred times more. Jesus told us: “He who is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much. He who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much. If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?” (Luke 16:10–11 WEB).

Where: You really want to pray about this and put your seed into good ground that is making a difference in the kingdom of God. I used to give in every offering plate that passed until God corrected me one day. You do not just throw money to the wind. You ask Him where He wants you to plant your seed and He will guide you. I have found that when you involve Him in your finances, that He will help you make the right decisions.

We usually tithe where we are being fed spiritually, currently to our local church. When we did not have a church, we tithed to a missionary in Africa. I have heard it said that if you eat at McDonalds, you don’t pay Burger King. So if you attend a local church, they have to pay the electricity bill so that you can sit in a lighted area that is heated and cooled. Someone bought the chairs that you sit in, also the pastor needs to eat now and then.

All ministries have expenses and it is the same with this online church at We are working to spread the good news of Jesus around the world, but less than 1% of our readers give to this ministry. If you do wish to support Refreshing Hope Ministries you can by going here.

When: We tithed weekly for a long time, but now we often tithe monthly. You must discipline yourself so that when you set it aside, it is God’s and you do not spend it. If you have a problem tithing then you may want to do it right when you get paid so that it is over with and out of your hands.

A Giving Fund: Once I had five heavy duty but older computer servers that I no longer needed, so I put them on craigslist for some extra money. They sat there for a month and no one called about them.

My wife and I had been talking about establishing a giving fund for a while. Taking a set part of our income, after tithing, and using it to bless people. Our goal is tithing 10%, giving fund 10%. It is so nice when you come across people in need and you have stored up money exactly for that purpose, just to bless someone.

On the way to work that morning, we decided to commit to using a percentage of our income for a giving fund and then using it to bless others as God led us. When I got to work that day, someone called and bought all five servers. God rewarded our willingness to help others.

Financial Discipline: A difficult thing to learn for many is financial discipline. Delaying that purchase until you can pay cash for it. The Dave Ramsey course is one of the best financial courses that I have found and offers solid biblical advice on money. It covers setting up an emergency fund, getting out of debt, and much more in a good common sense way. Many churches offer this course today and it is a real eye opener.

We use a program called YNAB (You Need a Budget) to keep up with our finances and just love it. YNAB runs on our phones, tablets, computers and syncs everywhere. It allows you to set up categories to track separate expenses in and makes you live off what you have, instead of what you think is coming. You really only have what you have. What you think is coming, often does not.

So here is giving in a nutshell:

God wants us to give, and whether you believe in tithing or not does not exempt you from giving. Jesus said give and it will be given back to you and God loves a cheerful giver. He will rebuke the devourer off of your life so that your money goes farther and is not eaten up by the little things.

Everyone can give something, even the widow that only had two small coins was able to give. Saying that you cannot afford to give is agreeing with a lie from satan, because that is how he will keep you locked in a poverty prison as long as you believe that. You can agree with him, or you can agree with the word of God. We have tithed when we could not afford it and saw God bring in money from so many different sources to meet our needs.

There have been times when I would open my Bible and find a $100 bill in it. I have gone up to put my tithe in the basket at church and when I returned to my seat, find an envelope with $250 in cash in it. For a while, our pay was the smallest part of our income.

Pray about where to give before you begin. Know that when you start tithing, you will absolutely face a test. The enemy is going to come and try and discourage you in order to get you to stop. You can count on it. If you stick it out for a couple of months, it will pass and your finances will dramatically improve.

Giving is not a fix all and will not make up for years of bad spending habits instantly. If it took you ten years to get into that shape, give God some time to get you out of it. As you learn discipline, He will provide all that you have need of and you can begin to climb out of any situation. You really need to spend responsibly for God to be able to help you. Spending everything that you have coming before you even get it will keep you in a life of slavery. The borrower is a servant to the lender (Proverbs 22:7).

It is worth mentioning that there was a time in our life when God started drying up our computer business. He was moving us into full time ministry, though He did not tell us that. We prayed, fasted, gave, cried, begged, and nothing helped whatsoever. Finally the transition passed, we are in ministry, and our income returned. I just say that to let you know that there are times when nothing works, and you may be in a transition period.

Is Tithing is still relevant today: Jesus told us “When you pray” (Matt. 6:5), “When you give” (Matt. 6:2), and “When you fast” (Matt. 6:16). His disciples were expected to do all of these things. Today most Christians believe in praying, some believe in giving, even fewer believe in fasting.

I apologize for this section being so long but many people teach that the Old Testament is no longer relevant to Christians today, and I want to make clear what I believe to be the truth. They teach that the Old Testament was given to Jews long ago and that it is not for us today, but to me, that is a flood gate of deception. They tend to write off practices like tithing and fasting which were covered extensively there.

The cross of Jesus is the joining point of the Old and New Testament. Basic hermeneutics teaches that you interpret the Old Testament through the cross of Jesus. Some things are abolished, some things pass through unchanged, some things are changed to a higher order. If it changes, then the New Testament has to tell you about it. We do not have two completely separate Bibles, we have one Bible with an Old and New Testament authored by God and interpreted through the cross of Jesus. When something changes, then the New Testament has to tell us that it did, or else it did not change.

Some examples:

Sacrifice began in the Old Testament (Genesis 31:54) and was abolished at the cross by the perfect sacrifice of Jesus (Hebrews 10:12).

Circumcision (Gen. 17:10) began in the Old Testament, but at the cross, it was changed to circumcision of the heart (Romans 2:29) and Paul had to tell us that. It changed to a higher order.

There were many laws concerning food and unclean animals in the Old Testament (Lev. 11:4). That changed at the cross and Paul told us to eat what was set before us (1Cor. 10:27). When it changed, Paul wrote that it did.

In the Old Testament, the Holy of Holies was behind a thick veil and only the high priest could enter into God’s presence, and then only once a year. In the New Testament it tells us that this veil was torn in two from top to bottom, making a way for everyone to come into God’s presence (Matt. 27:51, Mark 15:38). Entering into the presence of God changed and the New Testament records that it did.

Praise and worship began in the Old Testament (2Sam. 6:14). David danced before God with all his might. It came through the cross unchanged. The New Testament is silent on it. Praising, worshiping, and dancing before the Lord with all of your heart is still the same, whether Old Testament or New.

Bestiality (sex with animals) was forbidden in the Old Testament (Lev. 18:23), but the New Testament is silent about it. (Yes I know that we include that under the blanket statement of sexual immorality, but the point is that it is not explicitly mentioned in the New Testament.) It came through the cross unchanged. There was enough said in the Old Testament that the New Testament did not need to go back and cover it again. Though Jesus removed the death sentence from such sins with “He who is without sin among you, let him throw the first stone at her” (John 8:7 WEB).

Tithing was established in the Old Testament before the law, and before the ten commandments were given (Genesis 14:18) when Abraham gave tithes to Melchizedek. The New Testament does not explicitly mention tithing at all, or record that it was changed or abolished, so it continues on unchanged. It is worth noting that Abraham (Gen. 14:20) and Jacob (Gen.28:22) gave God a tenth because they were thankful, not because He required it. It was hundreds of years later before tithing became a law.

Incest, having sex with your sister and immediate family members were prohibited under the Old Testament (Duet. 27:22) but the New Testament is largely silent on it. There are many references to the blanket statement of sexual immorality (porneia) but people choose what they want that to cover, usually every sexual sin but the one they like. Still, when Paul heard about a man that “had his father’s wife”, he became furious (1Cor. 5:1). Who said this was wrong? Where was it written? Paul knew the scriptures from the Old Testament. They were relevant then, they are relevant now. The rules about incest had not changed at the cross. It was still sin.

The New Testament writers believed that the Old Testament was authored by God as one book and that it still had meaning for their day and time. The authors of the New Testament referenced the Old Testament extensively when writing. The New Testament contains at least 343 quotations directly from the Old Testament, and at least 2,309 allusions. Every New Testament book except Philemon and 2nd and 3rd John contain references back to the Old Testament. It was written for our instruction (Romans 15:4) and is God breathed (2Tim. 3:16).

If we throw the Old Testament out, what about everyone’s favorite scriptures and blessings contained there? “For I know the plans that I have for you” (Jeremiah 29:11). “Delight yourself in Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalms 37:4). Psalm 91, Psalm 23, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15). What about the ten commandments? All these were ancient writings given to the Jews. Are you willing to throw all of that out and say that it is not relevant for Christians today, or can we just use the Bible like a buffet and pick and choose what we like?

Teaching that the Old Testament was given to the Jews and does not affect Christians today opens up a floodgate of hell and deception. You will run into things like “Jesus did not say that I couldn’t sleep with this animal, so it must be ok.” You pray about that and you will find out. It is my opinion that when you state that the Old Testament was given to the Jews and is not relevant to Christians today, you will instantly begin to slide away from “rightly dividing the word of God” (2Tim. 2:15). To me, there is no confusion here. The New Testament is an extension, not a replacement Bible. The Bible is one book authored by God and we are adopted into His family, grafted into the vine. Teaching that the Old Testament is not for today, is not sound doctrine.

I know that this will be a hard teaching for some, but I only want to help strengthen your walk with God. James said that not many should desire to be teachers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment (James 3:1). I am responsible for what I teach and what I have taught here is what I fully believe in my heart to be true and I practice it myself. Do what you will with it. May the Lord guide into all that He has for you, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

Join the discussion! Please sign in to comment, like, and share.

RHM Eco System Version: 0.379 © Refreshing Hope Ministries . Page rendered in 0.0544 seconds.
Theme Settings
Choose Layout
Color Scheme
Layout Mode
Topbar Color
Menu Color
Layout Position