Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Genesis 14:17-24, Part 2

Now, I figure, since I’m not a pastor or a televangelist raising funds for my latest project, that I can speak straight to you about money without offending anyone too much! :) I wanted to revisit these verses today, because it’s in this section that we first read about tithing, so it seems to be the institution of the tithe, a tenth of everything. (vs 26) People get really nervous when pastors bring up this subject. In fact, some get downright angry and storm out, never to return! However, a pastor who refused to preach on tithing is not only doing a huge disservice to his congregation but, in fact, would be guilty of not teaching the whole counsel of God. Jesus spoke more about money than he did about heaven. Why? Because our attitude about money speaks volumes about our heart towards God. Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Matt 6:21).

I love what Jon Courson says about this subject in his commentary: God is not broke, gang... God doesn’t need our money. Therefore, tithing is not His way of raising cash, but His way of raising kids. Tithing is not God’s way of getting money, but His way of developing maturity.

Courson quotes Dwight L. Moody, who said, “I can tell more about the spirituality of a man by looking at his checkbook than I can by looking at his prayerbook.” Where we spend our money is a good indication of what we value. It is tied directly to our priorities. If our priorities are material wealth, and we view our money as what we’ve earned by the sweat of our brows, then we tend to hold on tight to it or use it to build our surroundings. And the ironic thing is that the tighter we try to hold onto it or grab more of it, the less it fills us up. It reminds me of those money booths that used to be on game shows, in which a man would try to grab onto as much money as possible that was being blown all around him in the booth. As he reached for more bills, he’d lose the ones he already had grabbed. In Haggai 1:5-6, God describes the condition of those who have this desire to grab onto more money:

Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

God challenges us to test him in the area of giving. In Malachi 3: 8-12, he accused the Israelites of robbing Him and bringing a curse on themselves because of it:

“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. 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 there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the LORD Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the LORD Almighty.

When we lack the trust to tithe, we bring a curse on ourselves! There never seems to be enough money. We run out of money before the end of the month! But when we acknowledge that all we have is from God, and we trust Him with our money, step out in faith and give Him the first tenth of what we make, we will find that we run out of month first. There will be enough for all we need and more!

How does this work practically? Well, I can only tell you from our personal experience. When we failed to give first, we ended up spending more on trinkets that vanished - it truly was like there was a hole in our pocket. We ended up fearful, because there was not enough. But when we decided to obey God in this, we were amazed at how He provided! When you begin tithing, it requires some determined budgeting, and this just leads to better stewardship overall of the money He’s given you. We find there is more for the extra offerings, too, and that we have developed a much better spirit of generosity, because we clearly see that it is not OUR money, but HIS.  Let me know about YOUR experiences in this area!

If you have not yet tried tithing - do it! Trust that our God, who owns the cattle on a thousand hills (Psalm 50:10), doesn’t want your money, but He does want your heart! He is so faithful! He will keep his promise to pour out so much blessing that there will bot be room enough to store it. Go ahead - test Him on this!


1 comment:

  1. Nice to meet you Sally, I found your blog via the She Speaks site. I am on a mission to meet as many Christian women with a heart for God that I can. Enjoyed you post.
    Wishing you luck and blessings and hoping God will provide a way for both of us to go.
    I hope you will stop by and get to know me too.