Of course you don’t “have” to pay God anything, but if you want a blessing from Him, it’s another story. The principle of giving God 10% of your income goes back thousands of years. It was the way for Jews to support their religious system as well. But most of all, it was a blessing for the giver. Abraham started the tithe to God.
Hebrews 7:2-6 Now observe how great this man was to whom Abraham, the patriarch, gave a tenth of the choicest spoils.
And when you bless God, He blesses you back. Many Christians are only half-happy (or 90% unhappy) living without blessings. Maybe this has something to do with it? Furthermore, not giving God His due carries with it a curse.
Malachi 3:8“ Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, ‘ In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings.
God has no blessings for robbers. In addition, the money given to God’s work must be His work. This is called, in scripture, the storehouse. A storehouse holds seed grain. The seed is the word.
Luke 8:11 “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.
That is your requirement too – that what you give to God will involve His Word, not just any ‘ole charity. (Not everything that is tax deductible glorifies God.)
Years ago I left a church. I felt a sense of loss – I had some fine friends there but God told me, “I cannot bless you because I WILL NOT bless them.” There was no Word of God going out from that church. It was all social work and social work is man’s work. It was not a storehouse.
Here is the storehouse passage.
Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD 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 to receive it.
Finally, there is the issue of a good conscience. Sometimes we just do things because we want to be able to respond to God when He asks us – did we do everything we could when we were alive? These are called ordinances – we don’t do them in order to be saved. We do them because they are part of the witness of a Christian life. Your friends see it, your employees, your children, your neighbors. It shows you, God and others that you are serious about obeying God. In this passage, we are baptized in water occasionaly because we want the answer of a good conscience.
1 Peter 3:21-22 You know, even though God waited patiently all the days that Noah built his ship, only a few were saved then, eight to be exact—saved from the water by the water. The waters of baptism do that for you, not by washing away dirt from your skin but by presenting you through Jesus’ resurrection before God with a clear conscience. Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies. He’s standing right alongside God, and what he says goes.
[from The Message version of the New Testament.]
Experiment with God. Give a tithe and see if you don’t see a change. And what do you have to lose anyway? You can pump up your faith and learn about His Kingdom at the same time.