Alright people. I'm going to do it. I'm going to blog about the "t" word. It's a word that makes many Christians cringe. It's a word that many churches would prefer to murmur. Can you guess what it is? The "t" word...
giving a portion of the abundance you have been given.
Jesus preached a whole lot about money. Some biblical scholars say He had more to say about this than many, if not all, other topics. A biblical scholar I am not, but I certainly have some thoughts on the matter. It boils down to this:
In our little corner of the world, that "t" word is directly tied to another "t" word.... testimony.
Let me preface this by saying, we have NEVER been without. Not even close. We are Americans. It's not possible.
A few months ago I started a page in my journal titled "Manna from Heaven." It was sort of a joke, as one day my hubby and I were in the midst of a bathroom re-do and had to make yet another trip to Menards. Before doing so, he climbed into the attic and found baseboards... which is what we were about to go and buy. As he passed them down the fold-up ladder to me standing in our garage I said, "It looks like manna falling from Heaven!" It was that much less money we had to spend at a store I was beginning to feel like we should have part ownership of!
Have you ever realized that when you want something you see more of it around you? Example: You decide you want a new, black Volkswagon. Everywhere you go, it's there. Grocery. Interstate. Church parking lot. (And with that you're like, really God? Even here!?) Well, the same has gone for my "Manna" page in my journal. I'm seeing God's provision over and over and over and over again.
There are the little things: Threw a birthday gathering for a friend. Had no extra grocery money in my budget that week. Got a $15 giftcard in the mail. Ran to the grocery to grab only what I needed. Grocery total was $14.94.
And then the big things: Water coming into our basement window. $450 repair bill from waterproofing company. Got a notice from our mortgage holder than our escrow account had a balance of $442, which was being refunded to us.
It's no coincidence. My list goes on, and on, and on. How many have I missed?
My cup runneth over? Not even close! My jug runneth over. My barrel runneth over. There's no container that's big enough for God to keep from overflowing.
So, here's my testimony. TITHE! I'm not going to get legalistic and put a number to it. God will tell you. It's in His Word. It's placed in your heart by His Spirit. Here's what we've done:
We give until it hurts. We give, even if it means giving something up. (Yes, the local news guy does not have cable in his own home.) Does this make us saints? No! We play to an audience of One. We're doing what WE need to do. It's between He and us. But the JOY that comes and the provision that we're given over, and over, and over again is Undeniable. Be encouraged, dear friends. God will provide. God always provides. Just recall His standpoint before you start shaking your fists and shouting "where are you, God!" He provides out of knowledge of our NEEDS.
I have sooooo many more thoughts and comments on this topic. But I'll spare you... for now...
Ironically (or not) I heard this song this afternoon as I went to pick up The Hubby from work. Today we had the joy of being released from one of the biggest financial mistakes of our life, thus far. Our leased car has been returned, and we are no longer slaves to a car payment.
Freedom. Thank you, Father.
"Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness!"
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
"Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!