$$ Getting it Right! $$

Concerning our finances:

Lying in bed this morning trying to decide whether I should get up or try to finish my dream…I heard this story from my radio. A preacher was telling us that he was having a hard time figuring out the best way to illustrate his sermon one morning. After a time of prayer he entered the Sanctuary and asked one of his deacons to do him a favor. The pastor handed him a hundred dollar bill and said, “Now when I ask you for this during the service, don’t say anything, just get up and bring it to me.” He strode to the pulpit and began to preach. Soon he said, “Sue and I are expecting company tomorrow and we would like to take them to a nice restaurant for dinner. Would anybody want to give us a hundred dollars? The fellow already spoken to, jumped up and handed the pastor the money. He thanked him and continued his sermon. Naturally, everyone was amazed and wondering what in the world was going on!

After a few minutes, the pastor said, with a twinkle in his eye, “Well, I see you are all wondering what is happening here!” He told them they had surely noticed how quickly the deacon had responded to his plea and how easily he had handed over the money. Then he told them what he had transpired. The deacon had no problem giving up the money – it was, after all, the pastor’s anyway!

The sermon was on tithing and the pastor was trying to help his Congregation understand that ALL they have belongs to G-d anyway. It’s not a question of giving up money – it’s a question of Lordship. To whom do you belong? Whose money is it? It could be a question of “Why do I get to keep any of it at all?” If everything belongs to G-d – what’s the problem? It’s not a question of 10% – it’s a question of 100%!

When we realize who we are and who we belong to, it makes it very easy to give. In Bible days the people gave more like 23%. Ten percent is not even a good tip at a restaurant anymore. Surely G-d is more important than a tip!!?

Let’s begin to consider these things and make our decision of who we want to be Lord of our life – us or Him. I believe what you give back to G-d is your own personal choice. And I believe it is far more than money that is involved here. We owe G-d our time and our talents as well as our money. As you begin to pray about these things, please ask the Lord to really let you know what He expects of you and tell Him you will be willing to live and give in obedience to His will and His Word. That makes it easier to “give it up”. It’s His anyway!

What about kids? Should they tithe? When should they start? I always told mine, “If you receive a gift of money, it’s ALL yours. You wouldn’t receive a shirt and cut off a sleeve to give to G-d. A gift is a gift. BUT if you WORK and EARN some money – 10 percent or more, if you wish, goes back to G-d. It should also go to the place where you do! Other ministries should receive over and above the amount you give to your own fellowship. That radio preacher said this morning, that only 5% of church members tithe! No wonder we have financial difficulties from time to time. What if only 5% of employers paid their employees? Wouldn’t THAT be a fright?! I understand American people spend more on dog food than they do on Missions. What do you think of that?

Our Scriptures tell us to give with a cheerful heart and to take care of the poor and needy. I hope we continue to be such people that we become known for our generosity. We can’t out-give G-d and He has blessed us over and over. Remember – make it cheerful giving!

Maybe I’ll finish that dream after all!

See you next time!
Shalom, Sharaka
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