Some of you reading my blog today may quickly move on to something else when you see that I am blogging about giving. It is a touchy subject to deal with. It can cause a lot of folks to become offended. People will think that all we preachers are alike. But, I honestly feel that the Holy Spirit is directing me to address this subject. So, if you do move on that’s fine. But, if you will stick with me for just a few moments and read through what I am putting down today it may just change your life forever.
Recently while setting at a restaurant in the city which I live the waitress brought me our ticket as my wife and I were having a meal out. The service was good. The waitress had a great attitude. My glass of water which I drank was constantly being filled. And the meal was delicious. With my ticket in hand I told my wife that my tip would be larger than normal because of the service we received that day. As I paid and turn to walk out inside my heart I began to hear a sound which I knew was the Spirit of God speaking to my heart. I was in for a lesson. As in most congregations we pass buckets during the service for people to give of their tithes and offerings. Both are a biblical concept. Both are a step of faith. Both open the windows of heaven over our lives. Both are God’s prescribed way of causing His body to flourish and function with heaven’s blessings. But, on this particular occasion I could sense God saying to me, “It isdangerous for you to tip me as you have done this waitress”. He was not scolding me. He was instructing me in the art of giving.
This economy in which you and I are part of has hurt many a congregation in their finances. People tend to draw back in a down economy and give less and rebound in a good economy. Churches are facing foreclosure all across America because of the lack of funds. Staff are being let go because the money is just not there. Programs have been cut back. “These are tough timesand I just can’t afford to give like I once did”, I have heard people say. Let me ask you a question. The Spirit of God asked the prophet Isaiah this very thing when addressing His man. God asked, “Whose report will you believe?” Perhaps we need to be asked the same. Fox News, NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, the Wall Street Journal? Will we as faith people take our cues from the Babylonian system? Or, will we believe God? Solomon, with the wisdom of heaven in his heart could write thousands of years ago a profound thought by saying to our generation, “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap”(Ecclesiastes 11:4 KJV).
Can I ask a personal question? I’m honestly not trying to pry into your finances, and only you know the answer. Neither am I trying to coerce you, entice you or even cause you to feel guilty. I want you blessed. I want to see you walk in victory and health. I want to observe heaven opening up over your life and pouring out more than you can even contain. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? It all starts through giving. That’s right. It is God’s method of release to our side from His side.
Listen, I have looked closely at my checkbook and become greatly concerned at times. I could hear the lies of the serpent hissing into my ear as I stepped out in faith and obeyed God. But, I have seen God do some absolutely phenomenal things in my life and the life of my wife as together we walk this road of giving into the Kingdom of God. God has poured out blessings on us. Not because I have “tipped” Him as the basket or plate has been passed, but because I have taken His word serious, stopped looking at circumstances and simply believed that as I release my gifts by faith that He will release blessings back into my life.
Well, if you are still reading this blog I challenge you to serious consider obeying God’s word in this principle of sowing and reaping. Your tithe, I believe belongs in the storehouse from whence you are being fed. Your giving can go into various ministries that are producing good fruit. But I say by the word of the Lord, “it is time to stop tipping and start giving and watch our HeavenlyFather begin to show Himself strong in our behalf”. The choice is ours obviously. The waitress that day taught me a valuable lesson. I’m glad she did. I will continue to give no matter what the economy does!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!