This is going to be hopefully short because the concept, that Jesus himself even tried to share, is that it is all without exception knowing who you are, your true identity, as a son of God through the finished works of Jesus. Tithing in any form denies this status of sonship and demotes one to a servant mindset. A son does not earn from our Father but a servant tries to. In general many look at all the scriptures in the books of the Old Testament, and much like the Pharisees of Jesus day, they pour over them trying to make a principal work instead of seeing Jesus in them.
During the days of Jesus’ ministry, training the disciples, he never spoke to them about finances in the form of tithing. Why? Because he considered them to be sons of God as himself with himself. Interestingly you never see Jesus, who we are all predestined to conform to be in the image of, tithe himself. It was just not an issue that he was at all concerned with. Again one may ask why, and the reason simply was he knew that our Father would supply all his needs. Another way of looking at this is there is only one reason that anyone ever needs money and that is so they can buy something that is of this natural world from another person. So what did Jesus actually teach about our physical needs. Matthew 6:19-31. Jesus is pretty clear here in stating that treasure comes in more than one form. If your treasure is in finances, such as verse 19, then you will lose it at some point in some way. As the old adage goes, “You can’t take it with you.” But your treasure can be in the things of God, which has absolutely nothing to do with finances but people. And as Jesus noted if your treasure is money then your heart, your life, will always be influenced by money. If your treasure is in the things of God, then your heart will always be influenced by God.
By the way in the verses above it talks about someone having a good eye and a bad eye. Many misinterpret this thinking that is has something to do with beliefs or teaching or any other thing outside of finances, but there is a good reason why this is in the middle of this discussion. Having a good eye is an idiom for being generous, so if you have a good eye you give to help others out. On the contrary if you have a dark or evil eye then you are stingy and a hoarder and do not freely give. I can just imagine what some of these individuals would think of the idiom it was raining cats and dogs? Quite possibly some new plague was coming out of the heavens falling on the earth. This is not an idiom that one needs to learn of outside of scriptures as some may think because there are many proverbs that share it. Proverbs 22:9 KJV, Proverbs 23:6 KJV, Proverbs 28:22 KJV
So money is a way to acquire things that we either need or may want to have, but it is not to be our god. In the same versus then mentioned above, Jesus states that it is the pagans, those who are outside the covenant, that seek these things, but our Father already knows we need them, meaning we do not even need to ask or pray for them, but we are to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. What does that mean? Simply put we need to know who we truly our in the big picture which is a son of God equal in the Father’s eye to Jesus. There’s a zinger, how many times have you thought of yourself equal to Jesus himself? If you can’t accept this truth then there lies a big issue with an identity crisis. How can one be like Jesus and conform to his image, which is the desire of our Father not for His sake but so that we can walk in the reality of our identities, if we do not even believe that we are equal to him? I am not getting off topic because the point is the mentality that most believers have is that they feel the need to give money or something in order to receive more or be blessed. Meaning they as believers do not recognize that we give because there is a need, not in our lives but in others, and never to receive. God has already given us all things. How much more than all can He give?
There is no doubt that people gave to Jesus to aid in his ministry but that point had no value in it, and we know this because it is never brought up in any of the gospels. Judas, who was the thief (John 12:6) and the same one who betrayed Jesus, was in charge of their financial affairs in that he would buy whatever was not already provided and then give to the poor as well. Ironically Paul, who never walked with Jesus as a believer during this time, lived the same way. He rejoiced when his needs were met by people, but he would never take anything if he felt it would compromise the very message he was sharing. We see examples of him working at times to have his needs met so that he could then spend the rest of his time sharing the gospel. This does not mean that I think pastors need to have multiple jobs in order to operate in ministry. On the contrary a pastor is most effective by spending the majority of their time with our Father, being taught by Holy Spirit, so he can pour into the lives of those he shepherds.
When we look at giving to a specific group of believers and their pastor, we need to look at it from the correct perspective. That group can do what they do to the degree that they can because of financial contributions just like any other organization. We should support those who we believe are sharing the gospel that Jesus preached. Not necessarily everything that we hear is that gospel, but that is a different subject all together. The reality is though as with almost all organizations, they can function to meet their purpose only if funding is not an issue. So as we give, what we can when we can we should know that we are giving because we believe in the message and want to be a part of enabling that message to carry on.
There is an identity crisis in one’s belief system when they feel compelled to give in order to receive. Jesus expressly taught giving and then expecting nothing in return because he taught out of love. True love is a giver and it exists only for giving. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whosoever believes shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Our Father gave us Jesus because He loved us and wanted what was best for us. He did not do it for Himself, nor even with the expectation that this would cause everyone to return to Him. He gave all for us, I hope this is really sinking in, not so that He could have sons but so that we could have a Father. It has never been about our Father’s need but just about expressing His love for His sons, including his only begotten Jesus.
In our true identity then of being a son of God we do not want to incorporate scripture out of context to molding our identity into something else. For instance Jesus said that the birds neither sow nor reap yet our Father provides for them. And when Jesus talked about sowing it was the Word itself and only that. Why? Because only the Word can give life by producing fruit. Even Paul talked about sowing and reaping in 2Cor 9:6 but the context was giving to the poor in Jerusalem to reap treasures in heaven. If sowing and reaping worked the way that many try to make it work then it would have been more prudent for the poor in Jerusalem to sow what they had to Corinth in order to receive more. Again the Corinthians, who were already wealthy, were sowing into the lives of those who had need, none of this money even went towards Paul or the ministry itself but totally to those in need, so those who were in need could experience the love of God in action.
Jesus said that if we could not grasp the small concept, the least, which was money then how would we understand the greater things which are unseen. Based on who we truly believe we are we either walk in the truth or we can receive the truth. As an example lets look at health in the life of a believer. As believers we are to never be in need of healing but walk everyday in perfect health because Jesus already provided that for everyone, not just believers. Now if a believer does not walk in perfect health does this mean that the sacrifice of Jesus was not good enough? Absolutely not, so then why doesn’t one walk in perfect health. Simply because there is something that they believe about themself that will not allow them to walk in their true identity and therefore they do not experience the benefits. Even in thisbelief though this same person could easily be around another believer who releases healing into them and they would be healed. This is because the person receiving healing from a believer does not even need to believe in God or healing and could even hate you for breathing their air but yet as a believer you can still totally heal them because Jesus’ sacrifice already paid for it. Jesus told us to heal the sick and raise the dead because he gave us the ability to do it. It is part of our identity now as believers. Something to think about was did Jesus heal people in his earthly ministry because of a sacrifice that had been made or because of another reason. I am not belittling the great suffering he went through for all of us but I am trying to open up your heart to recognize who you really are according to our Father.
So what does health have to do with finances? Because both are influenced by who you have accepted to be in relationship to your true identity with our Father. If I accept, believe and walk in my true identity as a son of God, then prosperity is a part of my being not something to attain. Just like walking in divine or perfect health is something a believer walks in not something to attain. If we are in lack of any promise from God then it is only related to who we see ourselves as, and not something to obtain. Everyone needs health and provision in general to function in this world, but they are not the things that need to be obtained in life if they are lacking, because the only reality is one needs to attain the truth in their identity so that are health and provision, which is from God, is a part of their being. Another way of putting it is if I need healing as a believer, then what I am missing is not health or healing but something in my idenity as a son of God, because as a son of God I am always to be in perfect health as a gift through the sacrifice of Jesus. Once I believe the truth about my identity then I will walk in the gift that has already been provided as part of being a son.
In any physical or natural provision then since Jesus aready sacrificed himself for all of humanity, including financially (2Co 8:9), then the truth is if we simply be who we are in Jesus we should never experience lack but abundance to share with those in need. I absolutely do not mean that once anyone believes to receive eternal life that they will not need to work in order to have money. On the contrary even Paul taught that we are to work so that we can even help out those who are in need, but even when we go to work, who we are should flow from us and that enviroment should just be a part of sharing thelove of God. As we receive the love of God and it just flows through us, part of just being who you are is the love you experience for every single person, just as our Father does, which means being a light to those around you. If your are employed then your employer should be blessed just because you are there and as a son you should be one of the best, if not the best, employee they have. As well if you are an owner your employees should be blessed working for you well beyond just financially.