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GIVING MORE THAN CAN AFFORD...

Updated: Dec 15, 2022

We’re happy to talk about Elon Musk’s money, or the money of our neighbors, or the Federal Government’s money, but we shy away from talking about our own money. But looking at someone’s bank account, check book, credit card bill sometime tells a lot about their hearts and priorities in life than a verbal testimonial. So ask yourself this question: Do you tithe/donate to the Lord’s work and do you have charitable compassion on those in need? Where should you tithe or donate? To the places God’s work is being done and where you are being fed. In my opinion, tithing to the American Red Cross or the Cancer society, or paying for your child’s education does not have anything to do with a tithe.

But here’s what God says:

“People should not steal things from God, but you stole things from me. “You say, 'What did we steal from you? ' “You should have given me one-tenth of your things. You should have given me special gifts. 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 heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it Malachi 3:8-10 ERV

He makes no consideration of if you can “afford” to tithe or not—-He says that 10% belongs to Him; He gave you the hands, feet, minds and gifts to work and earn an income. He blessed you with where you born and to those special things that have come your way that you don’t deserve. The question here is simply this: Do you trust God to bless the 90% if you give the 10%?

In the New Testament, here’s what Paul said:

"In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability." (2 Corinthians 8:2-3)

Now ask yourself, do you? Are you giving to God’s work in a manner that mirrors the widow’s mite—-that is, giving perhaps more than you should? Lewis said this: “I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”

Most believers gather together on Sundays, the first day of the week, to worship and to make their gifts. We’re told” "On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made." (1 Corinthians 16:2). “Keeping with your income”, obviously suggests a percentage, or a tithe, based upon how you’ve been blessed.

Charles Spurgeon wrote, “Giving is true loving.” Paul felt joyful about offering his whole life to serve others physically and spiritually, and reminds us that tithing should come out of a humble and hopeful heart. Our tributes need to be driven not by guilt, attention-seeking, or any other reason but a true desire to show God’s mercy. "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7). Amen! But is that how you give?

I read that there is actually scientific evidence that proves God created us to give. He, by His very nature gives and gave us the greatest gift of all 2000 years ago==and He expects the same from us—-to give to those in need——simply became they have a need and we have the resources!

Consider this:

1. Giving helps others.

Duh, but if you're blessed with the means to hear this message or read this, you have the ability to give. People depend upon the loving-kindness of Christian charity .When you give to the homeless or the poor, you add to their lives - and by adding to theirs, you add to yours too.

2. Giving inspires giving.

People who have been on the receiving end of kindness tend to give to others even when they have hardly anything to give.Perpetuating the cycle of giving makes the world a better, more humane place to live in. Be a good role-model for people around you, especially the young who are feeling entitled to receive whatever they want.

3. Giving teaches financial discipline and restraint.

When you give, you may have to make sacrifices.If you feel the urge to donate to a desperate cause regardless of your own financial standing, you learn how to do without certain things so that you can make the donation. You’ll find true peace by living within a budget! You’ll be forced to watch your spending habits, and you'll be more frugal for the month. And you'll realize you don't need that much in your life to be happy.

4. Giving cultivates self-worth.

Maybe you start off giving for a selfish reason - it makes you feel good about yourself. Even so, the effects of your kindness on others are purely positive and you can both bask in the joy that giving brings to those you've helped. Giving makes you happy. Seeing the smiles, gratitude and expressions of hope on the faces of those you are kind to makes the act of giving worthwhile. Research proves that giving leads to greater happiness for the giver. Scientists have found that those who spent money on others even though they had the option to spend the money on themselves were happier.

We live in a world where not everyone is as fortunate as their neighbour. GIVE!

-You’ll contribute to making the world a nicer place.

-You’ll make the lives of the less fortunate better.

-And you’ll brighten your own soul too.

Chesterton said: “I happen to think the whole modern Christian attitude towards those that beg for help is entirely heathen and inhuman. I should be prepared to maintain, as a matter of general morality, that it is intrinsically indefensible to punish human beings for asking for human assistance, i.e. begging. I should say that it is intrinsically insane to urge people to be charitable and then forbid people to accept charity…Everyone would be expected to help a man to save his life in a shipwreck; so why not help a man who has suffered a shipwreck of his life?

And yet we look down upon those begging for food or money, don’t we? We’re annoyed with people that don’t have much and are always asking for help. And of course many people are quick to remind us that Paul said, “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat”. But we must have compassion on those that cannot work or cannot find enough food. Some of the laws of this nation and nations in Europe reward people for being lazy or out of work. No one chooses poverty—-anymore than anyone chooses to be come a drug addict—-it happens, often slowly, by a series of bad choices.

But friends, we were all ship-wrecked until we came to Jesus Christ! Praise God that He had pity upon on us. And that’s what I am referencing the you and I see some poor soul begging at the traffic lights in town—-have pity upon them! You do not know their hearts or what they’ve gone through that now has lead them to the humiliating place of begging for money or food. Be careful how you dismiss them as frauds (and there are charlatans out there) or look down upon them. Jesus said that when we show compassion to the least we’re showing compassion to Him. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). The question for each of us is will we succumb to society’s expectations or imitate our Savior for the shipwrecked lives around us?

So in terms of charity and tithing: are you giving? And if not, it’s probably because:

1- You don’t believe in it. Well, then it’s between you can God. But you can’t tell Him that no one ever told you that you ought to be tithing and giving to those in need. I am telling you now that Christ clearly taught us to be charitable and to give. Re-read the parable of the Good Samaritan…

2- You think you can’t afford it. Then it’s because you doubt God can fill your wallet or purse if you are faithful… or perhaps you’re not willing to give up a few of your indulgence to be a blessing to others.

3- You just don’t want to. But if that’s the case, don’t ask why God’s been withholding His blessings from you! “Test Me” is what He said. Test Him and see if you are not blessed in heart and your livelihood because you give generously and out of love.

I challenge you this coming year:

1 Start tithing to the work of the Lord in 2023.

2. Keep some extra change or dollars in your pocket to help those that you come across next week that are in need. God looks at the intentions of your heart—-not perfect discretion of if that person’s needs are real or an act. Give freely, as He has given freely to you.

3. Watch and see how He blesses you and how good you feel about your decision to trust Him to bless your faithfulness.


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