Going beyond the tithe – the call to radical generosity

We’ve covered a lot of arguments both for and against tithing in our discourse on the topic of giving. One thing we have clearly established is that a Christian’s money and possessions cannot be separated from his pursuit of and obedience to God.

Randy Alcorn, a popular American author and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries, a non-profit Christian organization, writes:

“Fifteen percent of everything Jesus said is related to money and possessions. Our Lord made more reference to money and possessions than to either prayer or faith. He spoke about money and possessions more than heaven and hell combined.

Why? Because the Scriptures make it clear that there is a fundamental connection between a person’s spiritual life and his attitudes and actions concerning money and possessions. Often we divorce the two—Christ sees them as essentially related to one another.”

Tithing does not mean we have paid God what we owe him and that’s it, obligation done! God requires his people to give not because he needs our money but because he wants to bless us more! Giving allows us to become part of a greater, more selfless act of being a blessing to others.

God prospers us not to raise our standard of living but to raise our standard of giving. God gives us more money than we need so we can give—generously.

Alex Cook, founder of ChristianWealth.com explains the greater purpose of tithing and generous giving quite eloquently and very mathematically.

“One of the great biblical concepts that is so often overlooked is God’s multiplication. You see, we serve a God of multiplication. In the beginning, God told mankind ‘be fruitful and multiply’ and whilst in this context it is in relation to population growth, we find the concept of multiplication littered throughout the bible.

In Acts we read:

Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. Acts 6:1

The early Church was exploding with new believers, so much so that in the distribution of food, some people were missing it out. Wouldn’t it be amazing if we also saw the same growth in our churches today, the number of people becoming Christians exploding with multiplication? Notice the word used is multiplication, not addition.

I believe that if Christians tithed properly and beyond then we would see the harvest multiply. I don’t believe you stop at the tithe; it is merely the starting point. However, we need to understand this principle, so that when we give we understand the power that God can put behind it.

If we want to win the lost we need to learn how we are going to multiply the number of believers:

Consider this example:

• You win 5 people for Christ. 1 x 5 = 5
• They win 5 people each for Christ. 5 x 5 = 25
• Those 25 people each win 5 more for Christ. 25 x 5 = 125
• Those 125 people each win 5 more for Christ. 125 x 5 = 625
• Those 625 people each win 5 more for Christ. 625 x 5 = 3125
• Those 3125 people each win 5 more for Christ. 3125 x 5 = 15,625
• Those 15,625 people each win 5 more for Christ. 15,625 x 5 = 78,125
• Those 78,125 people each win 5 more for Christ. 78,125 x 5 = 390,625
• Those 390,625 each win 5 more for Christ. 390,625 x 5 = 1,953,125
• Those 1,953,125 each win 5 more for Christ. 1,953,125 x 5 = 9,765,625

Why don’t we now apply this concept to eradicating poverty:

• You help 6 people out of Poverty. 1 x 6 = 6
• Those 6 each help 6 new people out of Poverty. 6 x 6 = 36
• Those 36 each help 6 new people out of Poverty. 36 x 6 = 216
• Those 216 each help 6 new people out of Poverty. 216 x 6 = 1,296
• Those 1,296 each help 6 new people out of Poverty. 1,296 x 6 = 7,776
• Those 7,776 each help 6 new people out of Poverty. 7,776 x 6 = 46,656
• Those 46,656 each help 6 new people out of Poverty. 46,656 x 6 = 279,936
• Those 279,936 each help 6 new people out of Poverty. 279,936 x 6 = 1,679,616
• Those 1,679,616 each help 6 new people out of Poverty. 1,679,616 x 6 = 10,077,696
• Those 10,077,696 each help 6 new people out of Poverty. 10,077,696 x 6 = 60,466,176

Isn’t this remarkable, if you help and teach people out of poverty and encourage them to do the same? If this process continues to multiply, within 10 years you will have contributed to more than 60million people leaving poverty. If Christians embrace this concept we can eradicate poverty from this nation. If Christians tithed and multiplied with it, poverty would not exist.”

Lastly, let’s see what Jesus himself says about multiplication in Mark 4:1-8:

Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, some a hundred times.”

God is the one that supplies the seed to the sower. All we have to do is sow it. He will multiply the seed we have sown. When we tithe we are sowing a seed. God has supplied us with our finances, our job, our income and assets, and when we tithe and go beyond that, we place these resources back into the hands of God. By sowing into his kingdom, we will see him multiply through us.

We are God’s chosen instruments! He uses us to achieve and accomplish his purposes. We are part of something much bigger than ourselves. This is true generosity and how our giving should be.


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