Jill Jarrell Newsome
Giving To God
Years ago I was in the grocery store and the gentleman in front of me could not get his debit card to work. He had three items and was holding up the check out line. He got out of line to make a call. I told the cashier to ring his things up on my bill so he could go ahead and leave. She kept asking me if I was sure and then asked me why I would do that. I told her about someone who had helped me recently. She had tears in her eyes when I left. The gentleman waited for me and told me he owned a business selling Christian items for fundraising. I mentioned my daughter and I were getting ready to go on a mission trip to Antigua. He went to his car and came back with Christian car magnets for us to sell. He donated 15! I could not leave without going in and telling that cashier! I walked up and she immediately wanted to know what had happened. I told her that the ten dollars I had spent had already turned to $150 for our mission trip. Again, she teared up and hugged me for sharing. God is so good and why do I always seem so surprised at things like this?
All of our possessions, including money, ultimately belong to God. Deuteronomy 14: 22, “Be sure to set aside a tenth of all that your fields produce each year.” Over 1300 times God talks about finances. How we hand our money affects our relationship with God. As He says, we can only serve one Master. I like the saying that you can either handle your money or it will handle you. We are to be good stewards of our money. Stewards were servants of a large household who were entrusted with administering the affairs on behalf of the owner. Is this not what God is calling us to be? We can tithe no matter what our financial status is. Do not let financial hardships stand in the way. No one has ever become poor by giving.
Tithing is all about trusting God. It is about giving regularly and cheerfully. Scripture does not give God’s people an alternative to tithing. We tithe because it keeps God at the top of our priority list. We are to give God the first and best of what we earn, not our leftovers. If we give first to God it shows what we value most. Giving to God first helps us to rise above greed, helps us manage His resources wisely and opens us up to receive God’s blessings.
Money is not evil. It is the love of money that is evil. 1 Timothy 6: 10, “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Our love of God is shown by what we are willing to do for Him., When we are a cheerful giver we are giving because we want to. This helps develop a heart of giving. 2 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.” When we go out to eat, we tip the waitress a minimum of twenty percent of the bill, yet sometimes we have a difficult time when God asks for a tenth of the goods we receive from Him. Tithing is not another bill, it is a way to thank God. Tithing is being obedient to God. Tithing shows that God is our top priority.
Just like that $10 I gave turned into $150 for our mission trip, we cannot out give 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. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Remember we can test God with our tithing. When I began tithing I sat back and watched my finances always work out, even when it did not make sense on paper. It was God and I was learning to trust Him. Malachi 3: 10, “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.’” Billy Graham said, “If a person gets his attitude toward money straight, it will help straighten out almost every other area in his life.”