Key Verse: Malachi 3:6-18
All I heard in my head was “thief, thief, thief” over and over again. I felt like I was just the worst person. Such conviction as I read a passage I had read many times before. I had opened my favorite Bible, the one with all the handwritten little notes to self, that morning to learn deeper and I left with a huge lesson in tithe and giving.
It has been a rough couple years for our family financially. There just never seemed to be enough, in our minds at least. Let’s face it, none of us likes to live paycheck to paycheck while working a job (or jobs in my case) that we really are not passionate about. Ok, well, maybe I am the only one, but I am sure most of you know exactly what I am talking about here and have been there.
The sub title of the book I opened to that morning was Robbing God. Oh yes, talk about immediate conviction. I knew it was right what God wanted to teach me with a pierce like that. All I saw was that title pounding from the page in big bold letters.
I had been the one in charge of the family finances the past two years and because I did not have enough faith and trust, I had not been tithing our income as I should have. It’s really not a lot to ask for; just ten percent. David and I really don’t make a lot so our tithe isn’t much to give, but God asks for it anyways. Malachi 3:6-18 lays it out like this, “…But you ask, ‘How do we rob you?’ In Tithes and offerings. You are under a curse-the whole nation of you-because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house.” Heart – really – hurting – here. Nothing like the sting of honesty in an unexpected moment. Ugh! BUT GOD goes on to say this, “Test me in this 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.” This is where God started to ease my sting and bring my heart back to His. How very lovely He is. He just knows the perfect words and timing.
I had been completely heartbroken in realizing that I was robbing God of what was rightfully His. I really felt like a thief. My stomach turns at the thought still. I read the verses a few times, wrote them on an index card to put with the financial log, and prayed. Oh boy did I pray; a prayer to ask God to forgive me for stealing what was not mine to keep. And then I was challenged. First, I was challenged to read these verses again and circle every blessing that is listed out (you can do this too). It is amazing! He did this for a reason, you know. He LOVES to bless His children – that’s us!!! Second, I was challenged to give out of a heart full of love and compassion. This is where I decided to do an experiment of sorts. I am going to write a small series so you too can see how God blesses abundantly when we completely trust it all to Him.
While getting back to tithing and giving, I am writing of every blessing God sends to us. That may not mean just financially, though we would gladly take extra abundance in that are and then tithe on it. I am just expecting to see God more in our family, in ministry and all around. All of this is His, after all. I am absolutely elated to see what God is going to do and I hope that you will join along in this challenge (make it our own) and see God bless His children.
Lord, out of a human sin nature I have neglected the fact that this is all Yours. I am sorry. Please forgive me and guide me in making a more conscious choice to give it back with a heart full of love. I trust You more than money. In Your name, amen.