I recently read a story that completely stopped me in my tracks. The story went something like this…
A man had a terrible dream. He recounts, “I dreamed that the Lord took my Sunday tithe and multiplied it by ten. This sum became my weekly income. In the blink of an eye, I lost my big-screen TV, my new car was repossessed, and I couldn’t make my house payment. After all, what can a guy do with only $10 a week?”
Truth time, if your income depended upon what you gave to the Lord how many of us would be homeless?
Finances are a touchy subject, but a critical one; so much so, the Bible references money and possessions 2,350 times!
Where do you stand on the subject?
Do you give God your best or does He get your leftovers?
Your response matters because we are called as Christians to tithe the first 10% of our income. Failing to do so undermines the Scriptural principles of providing for Christ’s mission, giving to those in need and laying up treasures in heaven. (Yes, what you do on this Earth has ramifications now & later!)
Throughout Scripture, we are encouraged to give the first of our resources to God as an expression of honor and gratitude.
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.”
I’m not a big fan of the “prosperity gospel” that many churches preach; however, I do believe that God is good all the time and that He wants to be kind and generous to us. All He asks in return is that we recognize that all good things come from His hands and that we trust Him with our possessions and future.
It is in our response to His requests that our heart and obedience are measured.
God cares about hearts and knows that the best measure is looking at how we see and handle money. He wants us to be a faithful giver- just as He is a faithful giver.
Jesus highlights a beautiful picture of what trusting in God’s provision looks like in recognition of the widow who gave out of her poverty:
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” ~Mark 12:41-44
Don’t overlook that Jesus went out of his way to observe people bringing their tithes and offerings to the Synagogue.
God pays attention to our giving habits and recognizes how our faith is revealed in our actions.
What does your giving habits reveal about your faith?
Does God deserve your best or is He worthy of only leftovers?
Lord, thank you for your goodness and the provisions and blessings you provide in our lives. May we always recognize that all good things come from your hands and we ask that you give us generous hearts to respond to you with our first and best.
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” ~ Acts 20:35