Does God see you as a robber or a faithful worshipper?
I had just turned 3 years old when my father was killed in a logging accident leaving my citified mother with me and my 3 month old sister alone with no income on a little farm 100 miles from her relatives. The daughter of a preacher, she believed God would take care of her and she felt strongly that her biggest responsibility was to raise her children. So, with the farm generating just enough income to pay its expenses and a meager stipend from Social Security, she began her new life.
The local church did not get a lot of money from our family—but my sister and I learned from my mother that all that we have belongs to God. He lets us take care of it and we get the privilege to give a portion back to Him. We also learned there is more to giving than money. When the church doors were open we were there; when someone had a need, we helped; when a missionary visited our church they often stayed at our house. My mother must have been a magician as a money manager. We could not afford the latest and greatest of anything, but we did have clean clothes and nutritious food to eat.
While Pastor Chad pointed out that the Malachi 3:10-12 was primarily directed at the Hebrew people, I personally saw how God protected our little family–kept us healthy, allowed tools, toys, clothes, machinery, etc., to last beyond normal terms, and we could still give to God and others. We learned that what we did at church, for people in our community and missionaries around the world, we were building on our account in heaven as well as worshipping God. And, that God would always provide for us, not always what we wanted but what we needed at the time. One of the tougher lessons I learned was actually giving money to God. It was easy when I just had little bits of money so giving nickels and dimes and an occasional dollar was not too hard. By the age of 10 I was able to do odd jobs for local farmers. A broken arm that summer (falling out of a tree at church) limited me a little but from then on I was in full swing doing the chores on our farm and also being able to work for others. A dollar an hour was big money back then. I think I was 11 when I got my first big check, $700, a lot of sweat and hard work that summer. Then my mother asked me what I was going to do with that money. Well, first, I put it in that secret place in the top of her closet for safe keeping. But then I knew I should give some to the church—but $70!?!? I knew it was the right thing for me to do. Actually, after just a little thought it really was not that hard to do…and that one act of obedience set the stage for my giving habits for the rest of my life. While I believe 10% is a minimum and there is room for offerings above that, each of us, individually, needs to personally seek what God wants us to do.
While I am by no means perfect and unfortunately fail God to often, He has never failed me. He has had to teach me some tough and sometimes painful lessons. I have learned that robbing God is not a good thing. He has given me all I have and He can take some or all of it at anytime—He has made that very clear in my life, several times. He has also shown me that He is pleased when I worship Him by giving to Him.
Have you asked God what He wants you to give?[bra_list style=’arrow-list’]
- Your time?
- Your abilities?
- Your money?[/bra_list]
What does your account in heaven look like? Are you adding to it on a regular basis?
Are your giving grudgingly or out of guilt OR are you joyous and worshipful?
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