My name is Jay Baldwin, and I’m a seed. I’m also a tither. What does that mean? The word “tithe” literally means “tenth.” That means that every dollar God puts in my hand, I give Him back 10%. Actually, this year, I’ve given back more. And there’s a reason for that, which I’ll touch on a little later.
You see… God has determined that everything He does in the earth, He will do through a seed. The Scriptures say, “a seed shall serve Him” (Psalm 22:30) and, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease” (Genesis 8:22). From the foundations of the earth, God has ordained this way that His will should be accomplished. Then He made man in the image of Himself – to understand and uphold His principle of the seed.
My Pastor frequently points out that you can count the number of seeds in an apple. Get a knife, cut it down the middle, cut it again… One, two, three, four… and you can go on only long enough to count the last seed. Once you’re done with that, you’re done. To count more seeds, you have to slice into another apple.
But what about the inverse of this? How many apples are in a seed? How many trees will a planted and fertilized seed produce? Exactly one, right? Well, for starters, that’s true. But that tree will bear apples. Not just once, but year after year – in the appointed season. Those apples will have seeds, which will in turn bear their own trees. Those trees will bear apples, and so on. You could literally do this forever.
Now you could eat the seeds, but that won’t give you a tree or any more apples. You could also save them in your pocket or throw them away. But the only way that you can get a tree is if you plant it in good soil in the proper season. The Scriptures say “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit” (John 12:24).
So is it with money. I can count the number of pennies in a dollar. I can count the number of dollars in my bank account. Suppose I didn’t tithe? I can use that money to eat, spend it on stupid things, entertainment, etc. But if I do that, I will only see exactly the thing that I got in exchange for it. It’ll never produce anything more.
Malachi 3:8 inquires of the Lord how a man can steal from Him. And the Lord responds, “Yet you have robbed me in tithes and in offerings!” He even expands that we are cursed because we have robbed Him in tithes and offerings.
Then He provides an instruction, simple to understand. (Oh how I’m moved by how easy it is that we should come to Him!) He says, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house.” The concept here is that God desired the Hebrew people to bring in a tenth of their crops, or a tenth of their livelihoods, and it should be the livelihood of the priests, who were the servants of God, and to minister to the people and the nation. It was called the offering of “first fruits.” Today, we don’t operate in such a system, so we are to extract the principle of giving God a tenth of our livelihood, as an offering of worship, believing God will receive it and sanctify the other nine-tenths.
Every dollar placed in your hands is God’s, after all. He made the earth, and the gold your dollar used to represent! The scriptures say that the whole earth is the Lord’s and all therein. It describes God as owning “the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50). The Lord commanded an offering. Now you can believe that God is money-hungry, or you can believe the truth – that God owns everything, and that He has a plan and a purpose that is fueled by information He knows that you may not. How does He work out these plans in your life? According to your obedience.
God doesn’t need your money. He needs to bless you. But He’s chosen to do that with the seed. For “a seed shall serve Him.”
You can count the number of pennies in a dollar. But you could never count the number of dollars in a penny given as unto the Lord. You can’t count that penny’s dollars, joy, peace, blessing, protection… the list goes on and on. You simply can’t count that. These are things you can’t buy – only God can give them.
You may be thinking, “It sounds like you’re trying to tell me that giving money to God can buy me a blessing.” No, I’m not. Only your faith can do that. Your faith that God is who He says He is and will do all He says He will do. And He says that if you are obedient, He will bless you. See, Malachi 3 doesn’t stop with the command to “bring all the tithes into the store house.” The Lord continues. He says, “Test me in this!” That’s right – this is the only place in the Scripture where, with His permission, we can put God to the test. He continues, “and see if I won’t open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing for you such that there is not room sufficient enough to receive it.” So God didn’t just say that you could test Him this way for a blessing. He says you can test him for a blessing… from heaven – such a blessing that there is not room sufficient to receive!
In fact, these words “open the windows of heaven” are only use one other time in Scripture. They were used when God “opened the windows of heaven” for the waters of the great Genesis flood. In that flood, God had commanded His servant Noah to build an ark which God would fill with animals and Noah’s family in order to preserve life on the earth. In that flood, there was no room for the waters – and everything but what was on the ark (and in the sea) perished. That’s the magnitude of the blessing God will pour into your life. His blessing as a result of your obedience will change everything! But God first requires your seed.
I heard a great speaker one time say, “When you remove from your seed expectation, you’re turning God into a taker instead of a giver.” Nothing could be truer. Expect something when you give as unto the Lord! Expect the Lord to open the windows of heaven! Expect the Lord to pour out a blessing such that there’s not room sufficient to receive it! Next time you sow your seed, thank the Lord for providing it. Thank the Lord and tell Him that you know full and well, this seed could change everything! This seed could change your life, or even the world… forever.
Not only this, but the scriptures tell us that God will also protect us, and our things, as a result of our obedience. Malachi 3 goes on to say “I will rebuke the devourer on your behalf, so that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground, nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field.” What He’s saying is, when the enemy comes against you, God Himself will stand up and scream “You! Stop! Don’t come one step closer! Back up!” This is an incredible blessing! Everywhere else in Scripture, the Lord gives you power to rebuke the devourer, if you are vigilant enough to recognize Him, and are watching. He says “I’ll help you do it, but I won’t do it for you.” However, if you are obedient to the Malachi 3 command, God says, “I will rebuke the devourer for you… all you have to do is believe, obey, and expect.” And no devourer can sneak past the watchful eye of an Almighty and Everlasting God.
Additionally, He’ll cause “the vine” in your life to bear fruit for you! That means the Lord will bless the work of your hands. It means that whatever you set your mind to will be blessed and favored of the Lord. How amazing!
This isn’t just with regard to your income. I mentioned earlier I give more than 10%. Malachi 3:8 specifically suggested that we rob from God “in tithes and offerings.” That means that there is a value above the tithe that God also commands. Specifically, the Hebrew people were to bring an offering to the house of the Lord three times a year. The offering? It was to be equal to or above the tithe. These were to celebrate specific instances where the Lord had rescued the Hebrew people in the past, and praise Him for being a God that would rescue them in the future. In exchange for obedience, God promised to bless them 100 fold. If they missed one of the special offerings, they would be blessed 60 fold. Missing two dropped to 30.
But it doesn’t have to stop here. I remember my life before God taught me the concept of seedtime and harvest. I remember times where I’ve felt attacked on every side, before I was a tither, and I needed to be rescued in an unbelievable way. The Lord took me back in my mind and showed me how each time I needed Him He delivered me. But the magnitude of my delivery was always according to my obedience. For the big moments of awe where God seemed to step out of heaven and into my life to make changes on my behalf, He showed me it was as a result of a seed He had gently asked of me. And my obedience to Him in faith activated His miracle in my life. Was my seed always money? Not always. Sometimes it was an instruction the Lord gave me. But there was always a seed – there was always something God requested of me which would be used to activate my faith.
Is there turmoil in your life? Sow a seed. Is there difficulty in your family? Sow a seed. Is there a need or desire in your life that you cannot seem to fill? Sow a seed. He who sows a seed in faith, will reap a plentiful harvest.
Be sure that when you sow your seed, you are sowing into good soil. How many know that you could put apple seed into concrete, and it won't grow a tree? You could throw seed on a rocky road, and also, it won't produce a tree. You have to put your seed into good soil. Giving unto the Lord, it has to be a place the Lord has determined to use in a way that God can use it according to His will.
Someone asked me recently why I tithe and give offerings in this manner – in the literal sense of the scriptures. (As an act of worship and obedience, I give a tithe of my gross income, because I love God more than the government.) My response was simple. “I run out of numbers trying to count the reasons I do. The Lord commanded it and I love the Lord. Besides… it hasn’t stopped working yet.” And that’s the truth. It hasn’t stopped working. And it never will. Because He declared within Himself and blessed me with the knowledge that “a seed shall serve Him.” This is just one way the Lord makes me a seed… and as a seed, I aspire to serve Him.
Today, I have a need. Today, I have a desire. I have a request from heaven. So I’m going to believe God. I’m going to sow a seed. And because God is good, faithful, and always hears my prayer… and because of my faith in God activated by the seed God gave me to sow, I know I will reap a plentiful harvest. And I give God the glory for it.
I’m thankful God taught me these essential principles. I’m thankful He gave me a church and a pastor that would teach these principles (among many others) wholly according to the Scripture. Most of the words I've used in this article, and even the phrasing, came from what God taught me through the spiritual leadership He's placed in my life. But these principles are everlasting truth, rooted in the foundations of the eternal Word of God. This seed God’s planted in my life has changed my life forever.