The scripture for today, September 7, is 2nd Corinthians 9:7 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
There are many religious leaders who insist that Christians tithe. But that was part of the Law of Moses, and Jesus nailed that written law to the cross (Colossians 2:14).
Actually, the Jews were required to give more than a tenth. (1) Deuteronomy 26:12 said the Jews had to give an extra tithe every three years for their welfare program. So, if someone tithed $900 a year, s/he would have to tithe an average of $300 more per year for the welfare program, equaling $1,200 year. If the yearly income was $9000, this would take it up to 13.3% a year.
(2) Also, according to Leviticus 27, they had to pay for their vows, which in many cases were really special prayer requests. (3) They also had to buy animals for sacrifices for intentional sins, unintentional sins and sins requiring restitution. (4) If they wanted to thank God for anything, they had to buy grain for a sacrifice (Leviticus 1-5). If they didn’t have to buy the animals or grain, they had to take them out of their own supply, thus depleting their own “pa check.” (5) And every time one of their flocks or herds had a first-born, they had to sacrifice it ~ another depleting of the “paycheck.”
So the good Jew under the Law of Moses did not just tithe. He ended up giving about one-third of his income. Galatians 5:3 says that, if we keep one part of the Law, we have to keep all of it. There were over 600 burdensome commandments in the Law of Moses!
In today’s scripture, Christians are being released from this burden. Instead, they are being told to decide in their own heart. Christians are released from serving and giving through obligation and set free to serve and give through love.