I Can’t Afford To

18 02 2011

I remember as a young couple, Susie asked me one day, “We are tithing, right?”  It was my job to pay the bills, balance the check book and write the tithe check.  My answer, “Kind of!”  Not a good answer.  You cannot “kind of” tithe.  She required further explanation.  “Well, we have been tithing, but this month we ran out of money and we will have to get back to tithing next month.”  Still a bad answer.  I think what pierced my heart most was that I knew what I should be doing and so did she, but I was not.

David is leading his people by example.  He is demonstrating sacrificial, joyful giving.  In reality he is not demonstrating tithing but giving an offering, which is above the tithe.  You see, he wants to build a Temple for God.  He wants the Temple to be the very best possible.  If God is going to live there it has got to be brilliantly, fantastically awesome.  So David gives all of his personal treasure of gold and silver.  And the people follow his example.

Now there are several ways to go from here.  Your body is the Temple, so there is that angle.  We could talk about the offering or building programs.  But we are going to focus on the faithful stewardship of giving the tithe.  The Bible often reminds us to not put the LORD your God to the test.  I am reminded of when Satan was tempting Jesus to test God!  But the one exception that comes to mind is tithing.  In Malachi the Bible says, ‘test me in this’ in referring to the tithe.  God actually says that when it comes to the tithe, put Him to the test.  The most common excuse for not tithing: I CAN”T AFFORD TO.  My experience has taught me that you can give God what is due Him, or He will extract it through other means.  Tithing is a way of showing God your dependence upon Him.  To not tithe is to say to God, ‘I’m going it without you!’

You see God does not need your money.  I promise if you never give a dime to the church, God will still take care of His bride.  But if you don’t tithe, you miss the blessings God has for you.  Malachi goes on to say, ‘test me is this and see if I will not throw open the windows of heaven and pour you out a blessing so large that you will not have room enough to receive it,’  (I did that from memory so if you double-check me, that was the Phillip’s translation).

Many are going through financial struggle during this tough economy.  Don’t stop tithing.  Remember the parable of the talents?  Don’t dig a hole and try to hang on to it.  I hope if my boys know anything about following Christ, they know that everything they have is a blessing from God and they MUST acknowledge His goodness, faithfulness and generosity by giving back to the LORD.

I must stop because this is becoming a sermon.  Tithe!  Can’t afford to?  You can’t afford not to!

1 Chronicles 29

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