“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. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.” Malachi 3:10-12 (NIV).
People who attend church regularly usually have heard of the word “tithe” and have a general idea that it means to give God the first 10% of your paycheck, or money you receive, before using the rest as you decide. It is a sign of honor, respect, and obedience to our Heavenly Father. It shows Him you acknowledge He has given you all things, that it’s all His to begin with. To give Him back 10% of His own riches is a sign of trust. In essence, we’re telling God we trust Him to take care of our needs.
The above verse is a promise from God that if we indeed do give Him the whole 10%, He will richly bless our lives. I was challenged recently by a devotion I read to think about giving God not just the first 10% of my paycheck, but in every area of my life. That got me thinking. If I were to do that, what exactly would it look like?
What if I received good news about some unexpected money and chose to thank God for the blessing of that gift before sharing my good news with my husband, friend, or mom? What if I started worrying about our finances and chose instead to take that worry and give it to God, trusting that He has my back, instead of picking up the phone and calling someone else and spending thirty minutes complaining and growing an ulcer? What if I got up early every morning, including weekends, before the rest of my family woke up, and gave God the first of my day? My time? My energy? My food?
I’m thinking my response would be nothing short of the “so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” If I’m thanking God every time I receive good news, I’m going to be on the lookout for ways that He keeps blessing me daily, which will naturally help me to be a person with a more positive outlook on life. If I’m giving God my worries instead of obsessing about how to solve them on my own, then I’m going to live a life freer of stress-related issues like heartburn, insomnia, irritability, and depression (or that dreaded ulcer from above). If I’m waking up early every morning and starting my day reading His Word, spending time in prayer for my attitudes and others concerns, then I’m going to be other-focused, have more good thoughts, and probably issues that would normally negatively affect me won’t have as much of a chance to penetrate my happiness. If I ask Him what He wants me to do with my time, my energy, and my food, it’s been my experience in the past that He naturally multiples all of those areas of my life and I’m given more to share with others, passing on the happiness that’s contagious in my life.
I love serving the One True God! It pleases Him when I choose to search out ways to take the gifts He gives, turning around and sharing them with others. That’s another way He multiples the blessings in my life and I find I’m the happiest. Come back next time and I’ll talk about how when He multiplies my giving to others it further blesses me.
Copyright: 2013 Cheri Swalwell