As we were discussing the “Know It” message, Peggy pointed out that children can be told and told and told, but they never really learn until they try something. That is how you really know something. You can say the oven is hot, but nothing teaches as well as experience, actually touching the oven.
Today’s passage is a lesson in learning too, but in a positive way. Yet, we will not trust, it seems.
What is God’s accusation? How do people rob God? What is the result? What is the solution?
This passage was printed on the giving envelopes at our previous church. I remember being a child of about ten to twelve and seeing the passage. I read it over and over again, and I believed it completely.
There have been a few lapses in my life, a few months early in our marriage when, as the person in charge of our finances, I did not tithe. But for the most part, for the past 35 + years I have tithed. Contrary to what prosperity gospel believers preach, I have never been a millionaire. I have never really been wealthy at all. But God has certainly opened the floodgates of heaven in my life and poured out abundant blessings. I just haven’t always been aware of them.
No matter what has happened, what jobs, what circumstances, even unemployment, we have always been blessed by having what we need when we need it.
People try to rob God by getting out of the obligation God has set up. God requires a tithe – ten percent. But that number intimidates and frightens so many. They try to work it down by citing other passages. 2 Corinthians 9 says we should give whatever we determine in our hearts, just give gladly. Some of us give, but the gladness is missing. We are robbing God of that communal experience, that exchange of gratitude and blessings, of joy and gift and love.
I believe and adhere to ten percent. You may determine a different number. What is essential, however, is that you are faithful in your giving, that your gift is sacrificial, and that your gift is done in gladness. Then you will be blessed.
But the only way to learn that lesson is to actually do it. I can preach it, but until you step out in faith and give faithfully, sacrificially and gladly, you will never really know that God indeed will keep His promise. The floodgates of heaven will be opened to pour out blessings.
DAILY CHALLENGE: What do you consider your tithe to be? Can you give it faithfully and gladly?