Monday, April 16, 2012

Tithes

"Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' In tithes and offerings... 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 heavens and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it!" Malachi 3:8, 10

This verse has been on my mind for a few weeks. I kept wondering what God has for me in this verse... I thought to myself, "well, Ryan and I have our tithe set up on a bank draft so we can't forget it, so I don't think that God is saying I am robbing from him..." Then the thought occurred that maybe it was not about a weekly tithe, or even about money at all. God doesn't just ask for our money, but also our time, energy, and attitudes. My offering to him is not limited to money, but it is all about living a life of service that pleases HIM. God wants my time. He wants my friendship. He wants me to desire to serve Him. And sometimes, I just get focused on myself and my own problems, that often seem bigger than they really are. As I sat in an auto traveling to a poor part of my city to help with a B study, I was tired and worn out by the stresses of living in this culture, and I frustratedly wanted to shake my fists and ask, "How much more are you going to make me go through, Lord? Seriously, I don't know how much more I have to give?!" He gently reminded me that if I bring an offering of my life and service and leave it before his throne, He wants to show me HIS blessings... straight from the FLOODGATES of HEAVEN! WOW! God wants his blessings to be poured out on this WHOLE city, country and world... but he tells us to test Him... to give him our best and through this, He can teach us what HIS blessings really are. The blessings He gives may not look like material blessings, just like the tithe is not only material things. But He tells us to test Him... so I really want to do it! Then I thought about robbing God. Does He really need my money, or energy, or time? Are we robbing Him by not giving Him things, OR are we robbing Him of His opportunity to be proven TRUE by our service and HIS pouring out of HIS blessings! Again WOW! I know as a teacher, I couldn't give students special treats unless they showed me they were making right choices... And parenting is the same way. You hate taking away privileges because they did not do what they were told, but you know that it is necessary. If we really believed that God has the floodgates of HEAVEN waiting for to be poured over us, would we change the way we view our everyday life?

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