Lead Pastor Ben Snyder shared a personal story of the time he was robbed. The act against him felt personal because the deliberate intent to take from him wasn’t done from far away, but right within his presence.
When we tithe, we give back what isn’t ours to begin with. At times, we selfishly think it was all ours or don’t believe that we have enough to give. I’ve been guilty of that before, and I haven’t always thought about the personal implications of my actions—the idea of victimizing God doesn’t seem possible.
The easiest way for me to explain this concept is to relate it to the relationship between a parent and child. Children should be raised to love God and respect life. They should be protected and nurtured so that they may grow strong and go out into the world to pursue and live out their purpose. Kids are a trusted gift, a true blessing from God. But they aren’t ours to keep.
It’s heartbreaking when a parent doesn’t realize the responsibility God has entrusted to them. It’s personal for the child. (I know it was for me.) A deliberate show of not wanting their child to be around turns the child into a victim, but holding on too tight does the same. In both instances, the child is being robbed.
Tithing is personal to God because he loves the local church. It is his BRIDE (Ephesians 1:22-23, Ephesians 5:31-33). The church is his idea and his plan to reach the lost world. What we have and what we’ve earned was given to us from God, and God trusts that we acknowledge that truth. But when we don’t, we limit our own blessings.
I am reminded of some song lyrics:
“Blessings” by Chance the Rapper
I, made it through, made it through, made it through
And, everything I gave to you, I gave to you, I gave to you
You got it, you got it, you got it, it’s comin’.
So are you ready?
Are you ready for your blessing?
Are you ready, are you ready, for your miracle?
We tithe to show that we are ready to trust in God, that we’re ready for our blessing … for our miracle.
Have you experienced a personal or emotional robbery? Are there times when you don’t trust God? Do you see tithing differently than before?
Trust goes both ways, so start giving God your firsts to show that you’re ready to trust. Seek guidance if this is your first time taking that step. Once you experience blessings, offer more of yourself to help others experience God’s truth. Pray when your trust starts to drift.
21 Days of Prayer:
Day 19 Focus – My Freedom (Galatians 5:1)
Thank you, God, for freeing me! You have freed me from sin and from shame. You have freed me from the law and from striving to earn salvation. You have freed me from death itself! For all those things and more, I praise you. Help me to live as someone who is free. Don’t let me fall back into old ways of thinking or the behaviors of my past. Don’t allow me to fall back into serving the things that used to control me. I want to serve you alone. You bought my freedom and loyalty at a high price on the cross and I am grateful.
Day 20 Focus – My Growth (Ephesians 4:15)
Heavenly Father, I am not who I was before I met you—and it’s all because of you. Thank you for the growth I have already experienced, but I’m grateful you’re not finished with me yet! Teach me to be more and more like your Son every day. Help me to submit humbly to the situations you use to keep growing my trust in you, even when I wouldn’t choose them for myself. Above all else, may I grow in love for you and for others. In Jesus’ name I pray.
Day 21 Focus – My Life (Luke 9:23)
God, there is great purpose for me in loving you and others. You have given me specific gifts, passions, and talents so that I can show others who you are and love them like you do. You have also placed me right where I am to love you and love others. Help me to see that no matter what I face, this is how I live a life of purpose. I am dedicated to you and what you say is most important. Give me this vision for all of my days.
This post was written by Jaron Camp, a regular contributor to the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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