Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. – Malachi 3:10
This is the only place in the bible where God actually challenges us to test him…in our tithes and offerings. Easy said…easy done? Not so much for everyone. It may be second nature to those of us who grew up in a Christian home, or maybe to those who felt like they had enough to go around. The idea here though is to give from the first fruits, and to give cheerfully.
For God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Cor. 9:7
In the bible, giving of the first fruits meant you were to give your first lamb. What if you didn’t get another?! It literally meant that you were faithful to God’s word, that you told Him, “God, I believe you are a big God, and that you will provide for me and my family. I give you my first Lamb to praise and bless you.” Thinking about tithing the way they did in the Bible can really put tithing in perspective for today. What if God asked for your whole pay check and you didn’t know where money was going to come from for your bills? Could you do it?
So, your blessings may be great or they may feel small, but God still asks for a portion. Getting into the reality of it, here are some ways to pay your tithe if it is tough to make it to church with your check. In talking to friends and family members, there are a variety of ways to keep this simple. Some people get the cash out immediately in order to have it available at church, you can put a paperclip on it and label it “God’s Money”. I use online banking to send a check as soon as I get paid, and don’t even have to pay for a stamp! This is right to do for the Lord, because, it is all His after all!!
For some however, committing to God that first 10% is committing far above and beyond what you see the bills are. I have a few suggestions for that.
- Examine your heart and ask God to give you the understanding of his word, and what that will mean to your finances.
- Reach out to Godly resources around you; pastor, friends, trusted websites (Crown Financial Ministries, DaveRamsey.com, Focus on the Family)
- Sit down and write out your income and expenses. If you are already in the red, you definitely need to examine where exactly your money is going. This might be another indication to perhaps take a finance class (there are many offered through churches) or read one of the many books out there on Godly finances.
- Commit to God your first 10%, and write the check as soon as you get paid.
Thinking about tithes, I have so many awesome testimonies about this. Be blessed, and know that there are many resources out there if you feel that you need support. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions!!