Our theme for this month: “A New Year, A New Beginning”
Our Bible verse for today: “Honor the Lord with your possessions and with the first produce of your entire harvest; then your barns will be completely filled, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Tithe and be generous.”
As we continue to consider possible New Year’s resolutions that will improve some area of our lives, we’re currently thinking about how we handle our money. Most Americans, including most Christians, need to do a better job of this. I believe that the most important thing you can do to clean-up your finances is to tithe to your church and to be generous with those in need.
Seems counterintuitive, right? You’re going to be better off financially if you give some of your money away? Well, strangely, yes, in the long run you will end up better off if you give, than if you don’t give. Let’s explore that idea a little.
The word “tithe” means “a tenth”. It’s an Old Testament standard that God established for the Jews. They were required to give the first tenth of everything they earned to the Temple (church), and then live on the other 90%. God promised them that they would live better on 90% with His blessing than they would on 100% without His blessing (read Malachi 3:8-10). Beyond that, once they have given the first 10% to be used to finance God’s work, out of the remaining 90% they were also to be generous with those in need around them – and the same principle of blessing would apply. Essentially God said, “You bless others and I will bless you.”
Although tithing was established in the Old Testament for the Jews of that day, historically the overwhelming majority of New Testament Christians have always taught and practiced it as well. And, those who do tithe have discovered that the promises associated with this kind of faithful and generous giving are just as true for us as they were for the Jews of old. You will indeed live better on 90% with God’s blessing than you ever could on 100% without His blessing.
Those of us who have learned to live this way, and who have repeatedly experienced the reciprocal blessings from God as a result, often can’t even explain how it turned out to be true that we now live better on 90% than 100%, all we know is that it is true. Somehow, in a hundred subtle ways (and sometimes not so subtle), God orchestrated things so that we are better off for having been faithful and generous than we were before.
We will continue to explore this subject tomorrow but for now, it’s enough to know that the most important step you can take for getting your finances in order is to give God that first spot on your prioritized budget list. Tithe and be generous, then trust God for the rest.