I finally allowed Christ to have his rightful place on the throne of my life 39 years ago. However, it was not until thirteen years ago that I gave my first tithe. Throughout those first 26 years, the Holy Spirit consistently placed on my heart the verse from Matthew 6:21: “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
My conscience was bothered by this verse because I struggled to trust God with my finances. I would make excuses and ignore it because in all honesty, I couldn’t let go of the false sense of security I associated with “my” money. The consequence? I was missing out on the full life that God had for me.
Then one day, my husband announced we were going bankrupt. We had two mortgages and $126,000 in credit card debt. Now THAT was a wakeup call. It was frightening and overwhelming, but with the help of the Holy Spirit, I gained knowledge, wisdom, and discipline and lost my stony, stubborn heart as it pertained to finances.
As a result, we decided to tithe while still deep in debt. The Lord chose the day after we wrote our first tithe check to have the owners of a company my husband no longer worked for turn up to give him a $10,000 bonus check they had wrongfully withheld from him in 2002. We wept, we laughed, and then we tithed 10% of that bonus check before putting the rest toward our now shrinking debt. Faith really does mean letting go of self and giving ourselves over to God’s care.
More important than the windfall of money (because we do not give as a means to get) was how we continuously experienced, every day, and in every situation, that this one small step of obedience had unfettered our hearts and brought us into a closer, deeper relationship with God through prayer and Bible study.
Now, thirteen years later, joy and spiritual growth continue in my life. God is good. You can’t out-give God, but you can grow that “tender responsive heart” we receive at the moment of salvation by thanking him for all his blessings and by using your finances to serve him.
What does the Bible say about the blessings that come from obedience?
Has fear ever kept you from giving generously of your finances?
Check out these verses and commentary by Bob Lotich, founder of SeedTime.com.
Pray that God will help you see your habits and sins honestly and show you the way to obedience and provision.
Lord, thank you for loving me so much that you sent your only begotten Son to save me from condemnation and to open the way for me to love and serve you. I pray you will fill me to overflowing with a generous heart as we, your church, strive to help others and introduce them to you. I pray this in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen.
This post was written by Martha Preckler and the LIO team. Martha loves Jesus and growing closer to him every day. She loves serving on the Sparkle Team and Greeter Team, as a Landing Leader, GrowthTrack hostess, and fill-in writer for LIO. Martha is the grateful mother of two grown sons and one daughter-in-law. Both sons are good writers, but one is a published urban fantasy writer and self-proclaimed grammar dictator, which he swears he picked up from his mother. She has been a Toledo Business Journal contributor, speech writer, as well as creator of dozens of promotional pieces for seniors’ events and programming offer by the YMCA and JCC of Greater Toledo.
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