What should we be doing in terms of giving to the King’s work and blessing His servants by offering them financial assistance? First, consider that in a Kingdom, everything belongs to the King. If something is in someone else’s possession, it is because the King is entrusting it to them at that time. They are just stewards of it, and He will require of them a return on His investment in them.
This makes “the tithe belongs to the Lord,” a bit of a 90% understatement of the fact for us. “The earth is the LORD’s, and the fullness thereof, the world, and they who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1) Everything is God’s. You have heard the old joke that no hearse is ever pulling a “U-haul” trailer. If every person on the earth died today, Who would still be around, owning everything?
Because He is a King, and we want to please Him in all our ways, we should ask Him, “What do You want me to do with the valuable things that You have put in my hands?” Jesus told His followers one day that unless their righteousness exceeded that of the scribes and Pharisees, they would not enter the Kingdom. This does not mean that they would not go to Heaven. Their right to Heaven is not related to their being better people than the Pharisees were. It means that they would not be part of what the King is doing by ruling.
Just as He taught in chapters 5 and 6 of Matthew, it is in our hearts that we reveal our inclinations, and it is in our hearts where we are judged guilty or innocent. If our righteousness is based on our attempts to keep rules instead of being in love with the Ruler, we are not entitled to Heaven, because our righteousness is like dirty rags. If our righteousness is based on having a relationship with the King of Righteousness, we will shine like the sun at noon as we do the works He did and even greater things under His authority in the throne.
The path to God’s provision is found by seeking first His Kingdom, and His righteousness. His Kingdom is a place where saving your life will cause you to lose it. Keeping something for this life will cause you to lose it in the next. If you give with the purpose in your heart of receiving, you have never turned the gift loose, and cannot call it a gift. You have simply tried to give it to yourself, or to trade something small for something big.
If you give to those who cannot repay, with the intent of blessing Him and His people, you have given something away. Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, not on the earth – in heaven, they do not rot or fade or end up missing due to theft as they do on earth. If you give with no expectation that you will ever see some gift again, He sees in your heart Kingdom giving, and rewards it bountifully. He will then be near enough for you to receive manna from His breath and life from His heart and light from His eyes.