First, I do believe you should live your life as a gift to the Lord.
A believer should support his church financially as the Lord has blessed him. You cannot out give the Lord.
My 1st pastor, after I was saved, preached tithing, but emphasized that it was not only money. He was fond of saying that the Lord desires 10% of your Time, Talent and Treasure.
However, I personally place no special significance to a particular value or percentage (tithe).
Part of my reasoning is that it is part of the old law. Under the Law, following all those rules letter by letter was to teach us righteousness. It is like teaching my sons to be good men by giving them specific rules. But as they matured, I expected them to look past the rules, and know that being good was not so much following all those rules as it was building character to judge right and wrong, even in situations where no rules had specifically been set. Its not that the rules are repealed, as much as they are made irrelevant.
So it is with giving to the church. The Old Testament rules about sacrificing and giving to the Lord were to teach us that we are to support our Lords ministry in our area. It’s not that at 9% you are lacking, but at 10% you are fulfilling all the Lord’s desires. In my case, giving 10% would not be sacrificial enough; while someone that is having trouble feeding their family should not be given an additional burden if they accept charitable assistance.
There are believers who start by debating whether it could be 10% of their gross income (first fruits) or 10% of their take-home pay or some other basis. If they are doing this kind of math, they are not really cheerful givers.
Under grace, the hardline rules are not really gone, but generalized into the Law of Love. Love of God, Love of neighbor, and Love of self (proper love, not narcissistic).
Beyond monetary giving to the church, I am increasing aware of those around me that have a much harder time making ends meet than I. Most of my working life, I only helped sporadically, but in my retirement I am making much greater efforts to spending time and effort in the aid of those around me.
I posted this some time back and thought it might help some one now.
There seems to be a lot of confusion about Biblical Giving and the Tithe.
Tithing was around from the beginning, even before the law of Moses.
Being redeemed from the curse of the law or not being under the law Does Not Excuse, Throw out or destroy the Tithe.
The tithe has Not Ever been apart of the law.
Now with that said, I am going to clear the air as they say and Distinguish the Different Biblical Giving.
3. First Fruits
1. Tithe has and always will be 10 percent of your earnings, and should be from the Gross Pay.
Mark 12:17 And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marvelled at him.
The tithe carries a different promise with it. Malachi 3:10-12
2. Offerings are an additional form of giving and have nothing to do with the tithe.
Offerings carry different promise all together separate from the Tithe Promise.
Such As Luke 6:38
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Scriptures such as 2 Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
This Does Not Say Anything about Taking away the tithe nor Does it Say It is Ok to Determine if you want to give 10 percent or not.
This is Dealing With Offerings
However........Giving Tithe out of duty or a heart grumbling is Not Acceptable either.
3. First Fruits.
This is Not the tithe as many believe
No the First Fruits are to be Given Once A Year. It is of your Increase.
Starting January 1st you are getting a 1 dollar an hour Raise.
So on a given 40 hour work week you would now be making 40 dollars more each paycheck.
First Fruit is simply taking the First Extra 40 Dollars (just once) and Adding it with your giving that week.
This does not cancel out your tithe.
Folks act like this is too much.
Let's think about this for a moment,
For the prior 52 weeks you lived with out the extra 40 dollars a week.
So why would one more week hurt you?
The next 51 weeks you keep the 40 extra dollars each week.
The thing I want you to see is this.
Do You Love and Respect God so much that You Will Keep Him First in your life including Your Finances.
If you think God does Not Notice.....
You are not thinking correctly.
This is totally separate from the other three and Is The Only One You Are Giving To Man. The other three are unto God.
Example giving to some one in need.
Helping out some one etc.
But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth:
This is the only Giving where God tells us to keep it quiet and do not make a big show of it.
It's not about the giver but Protecting the ones in need. Why draw attention to them or their need.
This is only a simple example of True Biblical Giving. One can dig deep into this.
Being a generous giver would be a giver who gives joyfully and from the heart and is not concerned with Their Own Needs first. Does not put dollar amount over giving but gives freely without holding back.
I pray this has helped some and brought a clearer understanding of True Biblical Giving.