Well I definitely did not want to write about this, but the Lord kept leading me back to it. So I'm going to say the word...
Wait, don't run away!
What if I use the word "giving"?
I hope you hear me out. This is not a post where I shake my finger at you and judge your "giving". It's simply a post where I encourage you by sharing my own story and how God has blessed my family through our giving of our time, talent and treasure...
When my hubby and I first began regularly attending a church we would throw $10-20 into the plate and feel great about it. I think I equated it to paying for entertainment. We would spend at least that much if we went to a movie right? So it was the least we could do.
Further into my walk with the Lord He showed me how tightly we were gripping our money, our possessions.
Were we finding our security in Him, or in our bank account?
I didn't like the answer.
I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to scheme, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
We just weren't there yet. We didn't understand that there is NO security in our bank accounts. We didn't understand everything we have He gave to us. That He doesn't need our money to complete His purpose. But we were missing out on a huge blessing.
We didn't even come to a place of obedience at the same time. It was difficult. In this I learned that I shouldn't fight with hubby over our tithe. There should never be strife in the home because of this issue.
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not relunctanty or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
True to His character, He doesn't compell us to give. We are called in Deuteronomy 14:22 to "set aside a tenth of all we produce". He asks that each give according to their ability and that we do it joyfully. I admit this took me some time to wrap my mind around.
I was explaining tithing to my oldest when he began earning allowance. I explained that if he has $10, God asks that he set aside $1 as an offering. You know what he said?
"That's a great deal! I get to keep $9?!"
Talk about a humbling moment.
There is an amazing peace in letting go of our money...His money. Of loosening the grip on what the world tells me will keep me safe and "comfortable".
I won't tell you we have been showered in money but we are more than provided for. Some months are harder than others but I am secure. Secure that God is my provider.
It blesses my family to give to our church and see what God will do with it. It blesses us to sponsor children oversees, give to local charities or teach Sunday school. It is our hearts that are filled by the small sacrifices of time and money.
I then heard two things that solidified my feelings. That felt like a little nod of the head from God.
1. I was listening to the radio and the pastor said, "Imagine God is an investor in your life. If He were to review how you've handled His investment, would He reward you with more resources?". I'm prayerful this will come to mind anytime we're making a decision involving our finances.
2. During a sermon on worship my Pastor stated very clearly that every part of our church service is a form of worship. Not just the singing. He explained that his teaching was worship. Teaching truth is worshipping God. Out tithes and offerings are a way we worship and praise God. Just one more way we thank Him.
I know this is a very personal issue. I'm hoping to encourage you to take a fresh look at it. Your time, talent and treasures. How might God use them to bless you and others?