Something happened to me last week at church that changed my heart. I would like to tell you that it was something that the pastor said or maybe a song that was played, but it wasn't. It wasn't a testimony of God's forgiveness or healing. It wasn't a praise for an answered prayer. It wasn't because someone rededicated their life to Christ or got baptized. It was none of those things. Something happened during church that was seen by only my husband and I.
My son... my sweet son, JD, pulled a dollar bill out of his pocket during offering and placed it in the offering bag. He was not told to do this and he did not ask me for money, it was his own. He didn't give his dollar because someone was watching or because he wanted praise, he didn't even know that we saw him do it. After the service he didn't brag about it or ridicule someone else who he noticed had not given. He gave his own money out of his own penny bank, it was probably the only dollar in there or maybe the only one he could reach with his little fingers. None-the-less, I was proud and ashamed all at the same time.
See, he didn't learn that from me because I am not an obedient giver. I tell myself that *next* week there will be some money left over to tithe, I'll give *next* week. I tell God that when the checking account looks better then I'll start giving regularly. As soon as the school clothes are purchased, then I'll be able to budget in my 10% tithes. I tell God that I'll do some volunteer work-that will be my tithes and offerings. The truth is that I tithe only when I have extra money, only when it is convenient for me. Only when I have no other obligations.
This lack of obedience is a testament to how weak my faith is. On the 'Cardboard Testimonies' video from my previous post, there was an older gentleman that held up a sign that said "God Robber". I felt a lump in my throat, that was ME...along with several other signs that I saw. I am robbing God, I am stealing from Him. He gifts me with so many blessings EVERYDAY and I have the nerve to sit in church and give him nothing in return, and he asks for so little-I don't even given him the few pennies on the dollar that he asks for.
God promises that he will take care of us if we tithe! He promises that by sacrificing our hard earned money (that just doesn't seem to go as far as it needs to) he will pour out the blessings. Listen to God's own words...
"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 many blessings that you will not have room enough for them." Malachi 3:10
I try to be a living example for my children, but last Sunday my son was the example for me. God told JD to give his own money for an offering and JD obeyed without question, without need for praise or attention, without placing judgement on others...God told him to do something-JD obeyed. That command had to come from God, because that was not the example that I had set for him.
Tomorrow in church I will be tithing. I will follow the example that my son has set for me.
Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 18:3 and 4
Yes Lord, I hear you loud and clear.