BE$T Return On Your Money
About 15 years ago a lady at my church asked my husband, Mike, to help her make some decisions about her finances. Mike recommended a Christian friend who owned a mortgage company and Mike offered to go with her. Mike said the first thing our friend was asked was if she tithed! The broker explained to her that that was the first thing she needed to do!
As long as I remember tithing has been an uncomfortable topic. So uncomfortable that if people know finances are going to be talked about they do not attend church that Sunday! Many ministers will not preach on tithing. I have to say that once I started tithing I realized it is a blessing not a burden! Give generously, and you will receive in like measure! There is no other investment that can claim this! Even through a bad market!
I cannot tell you how many times during our marriage we owed something and did not have the money and all of a sudden a check would come for that exact amount. It still gives me chills. This is God! He says He will give us just what we need! And the checks that would come would be so bizarre like an over payment from a year ago, an insurance payment that they just "found." Some kind of rebate you knew nothing about! And there were times during our early marriage that we should not have made it but we did. On paper we should not have made it but God got us through.
And tithing is the only thing that God says we can test Him on. So test Him! Malachi 3: 10, "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"
Tithing is not just for some people. II Corinthians 9: 7, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." The beauty is that everyone can tithe. God commands that all people everywhere should tithe. Deuteronomy 14: 22, "Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year." I have discovered that ninety cents will go further if God gets the tithe than the whole dollar will go if God does not get anything. He may not give you more dollars but he can sure stretch a dollar! The apostle Paul also tells us that we receive according to the way we give. "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
Your tithe belongs to God. You have not given anything to the Lord until you give above your tithe. Malachi 3: 8, "Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How are we robbing you?' In tithes and offerings." Don't ask "how can I afford to tithe?" Ask, "how can I afford not to tithe?" No one ever starved to death because he paid his tithes. No child has ever suffered because God's tenth was faithfully given. You cannot afford not to tithe!
I believe that negative cash flows at churches have nothing to do with the economy, Yes, there are people who have lost their jobs and cannot give what they once gave. BUT God is bigger than this. If we all give what we are supposed to give - not generously - just the tenth that already belongs to God - no church would have a financial burden! I think it is a heart problem instead of a financial problem.
Prayerfully consider what you give back to the storehouse for God. Luke 6: 38, "Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap."
Think of this. What would your church be like if everyone gave what you give every month?