We must be committed to the Work of God in supporting its effort to preach and publish the gospel of the kingdom of God in all the world as a witness. The gospel is a message of good news from the God Family, including the fact that God’s government will be established on the earth at the return of Christ. We manifest our financial commitment to God not only by tithing to the Work, but also by additional financial means. Tithing is required; but if we only carry out our duty, then we are rendered unprofitable servants. Luke 17:7-10 makes this very clear, quoting Christ’s words as follows:
“And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’? But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’? Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not. So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”
A much better way of telling how deep our commitment to God and His Work is, is by focusing on our offerings to God. They will show where our heart is, and where we want our treasure to be. Matthew 6:21 tells us: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
We are commanded to tithe, and we are commanded to give offerings. The amount of the tithe—ten percent of our increase or earnings—is pre-determined. The amount of our free-will offerings is not. And how we determine these amounts is indicative of where our heart really is.
In fact, there are two types of offerings mentioned in Scripture. The first category refers to the annual Holy Day offerings which we are commanded to give on each of the seven Holy Days. Deuteronomy 16:16-17, referring to the three Holy Day seasons (in the spring, in the beginning of summer and in the autumn), states:
“Three times a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Tabernacles; and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you.”
In order to give an offering which is pleasing to God, we need to think about it and plan for it ahead of time. If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.
The other type of offering refers to those kinds of additional occasional contributions which we might decide to give to the Work of God throughout the year, apart from the bi-weekly or monthly tithe and the seven annual Holy Day offerings. These also show to God where a person’s heart really is.
What is interesting to note again is that no fixed amount is mentioned in the Bible as to how much we give for offerings. The criteria we are to use are how much we are blessed, not only in the physical sense, but also in the spiritual food and knowledge that one receives from God through His servants. This is something on which one cannot put a price tag. Rather, it is like the famous pearl of great price.
Of course, when we pay God’s tithe and give Him an offering, we are not to boast about it, but we are doing it quietly, discreetly, and from the heart. God can and will, in His due time, bless us openly when we behave with a right attitude. Remember, God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).