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GRATITUDE – The First Motivation of Tithing

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GRATITUDE – The First Motivation of Tithing

God wants us to tithe with passion. One of the greatest promises God ever made about tithing is in found in Malachi 3, “I will rebuke the devourer!”

Lot’s story, told in Genesis 14 is a perfect picture of this very promise. Lot, Abraham’s nephew lived in Sodom. He chose to live there. He didn’t realize how dangerous it was to live in sin. (This story is also a picture of what happens to us in Sodom or sin. Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy.)[1] That’s Satan’s game, but Jesus comes to give life, to deliver us.

God gave Abraham total victory over the enemy. So the four kings took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah, as well as all their food, and left. They also took Abram’s nephew Lot and his possessions since he was living in Sodom. Then a soldier who had escaped came and told Abram the Hebrew what had happened. He was living next to the oak trees belonging to Mamre the Amorite, a brother of Eshcol and Aner. (These men were Abram’s allies.) When Abram heard that his nephew had been captured, he armed[a] his 318 trained men, born in his own household, and pursued the four kings all the way to Dan. He split up his men to attack them at night. He defeated them, pursuing them all the way to Hobah, which is north of Damascus. He brought back everything they had, including women and soldiers. He also brought back his relative Lot and his possessions.[2]

God used Abraham to deliver Lot. Notice Abraham’s response to God’s deliverance – After Abram came back from defeating Chedorlaomer and his allies, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Shaveh Valley (that is, the King’s Valley). Then King Melchizedek of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of God Most High. He blessed Abram, and said, “Blessed is Abram by God Most High, maker of heaven and earth. Blessed is God Most High, who has handed your enemies over to you.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.[3]

Where did this reaction come from? I think it came from two places. First, I believe Abraham was taught to tithe. Second, it came from a place of extreme gratitude.

When we’re truly thankful for all God has done for us, that’s when giving becomes exciting.

We tithe, not because we have to, but because we long to tithe. And that’s when our giving becomes pleasing to God. You shouldn’t give if you don’t want to. You shouldn’t give because you are forced to.

God loves a cheerful giver.

This story is the story of your salvation and mine. Every one of us had been carried away as captives, by the Devil, to do his will. But God, in His mercy and grace, came and delivered us from the jaws of Satan!

Abraham lived 400 years before Moses and the Law. Some say tithing is not for today because it was brought into being under the law. I believe tithing was something God taught Adam and Eve, who in turn, taught their sons Cain and Abel to bring their first-fruits to the Lord. Tithing has always been important to God. He still blesses it!

The response of Abraham seemed to be totally spontaneous to the blessing God had given him. There was no law that he had to tithe. Abraham’s tithe to God came from a place of gratitude for God’s deliverance.

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give. You shouldn’t give if you don’t want to. You shouldn’t give because you are forced to. God loves a cheerful giver.[4]


Listen to this full message by our podcast at


[1] John 10:10

[2] Genesis 14:11-16 GW

[3] Genesis 14:17-20 GW

[4] 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIRV


About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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