“Then he said to them, ‘Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.’” -Matthew 22:21b

If you don’t know the background of this verse, let me take a minute to explain it to you. The Pharisees were trying to get Jesus to commit a sin so that they had a basis for arresting Him. They went up to Him one day and asked Him if it was right to pay taxes. Jesus, being the super smart guy He was, knew what they were trying to do (of course) and asked them to show Him a coin. Jesus then asked the Pharisees whose face was on the coin; they of course replied with “Caesar’s,” because that’s whose face was on it. Jesus then said the statement found in verse 21 (stated above). The Pharisees attempt to catch Jesus sinning was foiled to say the least, and they left amazed at His answer.

When most of us read this passage, the thing that jumps to the forefront of our mind is tithing money. Jesus talks a lot in the New Testament about tithing and giving some of what we have back to Him. Most Christians think of the typical 10 percent tithing rule: we make money, cut 10 percent out and write a check to our home church, and do with the rest both what is necessity and desire. However, there are more things to tithe than simply money; we can tithe our time, talents, and abilities as well. While in this Advent season I’d like to think of tithing in a different light.

This year Advent is 28 days; 28 days is not even 10 percent of our year. I’d like to challenge you to give this Advent season to God. What do I mean by “give this season to God?” Well, this will look very different for each one of you. Say you’re new to Christianity; perhaps doing daily devotionals or committing to praying once or twice a day (and before meals doesn’t quite cut it) is a good way you can take an active step to commit this time to God. Now what if you’re a spiritual pro; I’m talking daily devotionals every day, praying all the time, I mean you and Jesus are tight! Then I want to challenge you to really set aside this Advent season to focus on Jesus’ humanity. Spend extra time in prayer and thought over why Jesus really came to earth – for messed up people just like you and me. But my challenge to each and every one of you is not to get so wrapped up in the Christmas shopping, Santa pictures and Christmas cards, decorating the house, learning all the words to every Christmas song ever written, and everything else that comes with the Christmas season; but instead tithe this Advent season to God and let Him use this time for His purpose.

Sarah Herman is a former camper, frequent volunteer at camp and a student at Eastern University.

5 thoughts on “Advent Devotion: Tithing Advent

  1. Truth is, Jesus says very little about tithing in the New Testament. There is only once instance when Jesus mentions tithing, and that is recorded in Matthew 23:23. Even there, Jesus refers to tithing as “matters of the law.”

    The ONLY place in the Bible, after Calvary, that tithing appears is in Hebrews 7. In the first nine verses of Hebrews 7 the words tenth or tithes appears SEVEN TIMES.

    Hebrews 7:5 (KJV) “And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham:”

    Verse 5 is the first occurrence of the words TITHES, COMMANDMENT and LAW.

    Hebrews 7:12 (KJV) “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.”

    Hebrews 7:18 (KJV) “For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.”

    The word COMMANDMENT in verse 18 must be referring to the word COMMANDMENT in verse 5 which is referring to the tithe.

    Therefore, the COMMANDMENT to TITHE was disannulled.

  2. Just to clear up any confusion:

    I didn’t mean the literal word “tithing” mentioned, or the fact of the 10% “rule” being mentioned in the Bible. When I made the statement, “Jesus talks a lot in the New Testament about tithing and giving back some of what we have to Him,” I was thinking in particular to the stories in Mark 12 of the parable of the tenants and the the widow giving all she had. I particularly said the fact of us giving back some of what we have to Him, and not just “we should tithe 10%,” because where in the Bible does it say that? It doesn’t. I just wanted to highlight this passage and bring in the modern day church’s view on tithing into a different light with a specific view on Advent.

    I appreciate your concern; I probably could have worded that sentence a little differently in order to clear up my intent. I really admire your knowledge of the Bible. I hope this made clear my purpose and meaning.

    In Christ,
    -Sarah Herman

  3. Thank you Sarah for posting this devotion for us and challenging me and others I’m sure in how we view our tithes and offerings to God.

    It is true that the specific tithing principal is an OT commandment and we are not under the law anymore. The foundation of giving in the NT is to do so cheerfully and to surrender it ALL to Him. I tell people that when talking about giving money to God 10% is a wonderful place to start but God is a lot more concerned with our heart than with the percentage. The NT teaches to give 100%. So in actuality 10% would be “easier”.

    Thanks again Sarah!

    1. @Sarah,

      The NT teaches to give 100% of us, not our money.

      Proverbs 3:9 (KJV) “Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:”

      2 Timothy 2:6 (KJV) “The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.”

      1 Timothy 5:8 (KJV) “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

      The New Testament makes it clear that we are to use the FIRST of our income to take care of ourselves and our family. We are talking about needs, here, not just anything we want. Then we should give generously from what is left.

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