VEHICLE No. 5 [GIVING]
Theologian Martin Luther once said, “There are three conversions a person needs to experience: The conversion of the head, the conversion of the heart, and the conversion of the pocketbook.” The Bible offers about 500 verses on prayer, fewer than 500 verses on faith, and more than 2,000 verses on money. God knew how much money would be tied to our hearts, and how much effort and discipline it would take for us to handle money God’s way. The Old Testament makes some serious comments on handling our money today.
“I the LORD do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the LORD Almighty. “But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’ 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.” Malachi 3:6-10 (NIV)
This is heavy stuff, and if the concept of tithing is brand new to you, you might be hyperventilating right now. Relax. The upside of all this is entirely to your benefit.
To “tithe” is to give 10 percent of your income back to God. In the New Testament of our Bibles, we’re challenged to take this giving a step further and be willing to give it all, if God so asks. Since we live under grace today, the 10% giving amount is no longer a law issue, but a heart issue. There may come a time in your life when you designate far more than 10% of your finances to go back to God, but if you’re just starting this journey, the tithe (10%) is a great place to start.
When you read that you are to bring the tithe to the storehouse, that simply means you should give your tithe to the local church that you attend. Tithing is a simple but critical component of your faith. And God doesn’t mess around; He says, “Test Me in this.”
It’s as if God knew that taking this vehicle of GIVING out on the road— especially for the first time—was going to be difficult for us all. So, He said just take it for a test drive, and watch what it will do! Someone once said God can do more with our 10 percent than we could ever do with 100 percent. You will find this to be true. When we tithe, we are acting in faith, obeying God with our finances, and He says, “Don’t worry, I’ll bless you in ways you can’t even imagine.”
Movement Day 25
- Pray today that God would give you the courage to begin trusting Him in this area of your life.
- Get practical today. Add tithing into your budget and make changes in other areas if necessary so this can become a reality.
- Tell at least one person about your decision to trust and obey God in this area and ask them to hold you accountable.
- MATTHEW 25
- PROVERBS 25
- Write down one thought.
You are trusting God with your eternal life. You can certainly trust Him with your finances too! God is so serious about this vehicle that He dares you to take it out for a test drive! And you’ve got to know this—when we get serious about trusting God with our money, He gets serious about bringing us closer to Him and blessing us like crazy! This is a very real thrill ride you’re about to take. Hold on!