I have heard so much recently in people talking about the church finances, “We don’t have the money.” And then I wonder, “Why don’t we have the money?” The answer may be in this page from a generosity devotional booklet.
Declaring who is #1 in your life:
Deuteronomy 14:23 “The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.”
Pastor James MacDonald once wrote:
“First things belong to God. The first day of the week belongs to God. The first hour of the day belongs to God. The first portion of your income belongs to God. When you make God first, he will help you.”
While we should all realize 100% of our lives, time, and resources belong to God, there is something about systematically honoring him first that brings God’s order to all of our finances. In the Old Testament, tithing (giving 10%) was a way for people to declare to God he had the first place in their life and finances. In the New Testament, we are instructed to seek first the kingdom of God, and the things necessary for life will be added to us. When it comes to starting each day, it is wise to spend time in devotions and prayer.
When it comes to our week, it is wise to join together with the family of God at church for worship, service, and fellowship. When it comes to our financial blessings and provisions, it is wise to give 10% or more to the Lord’s work. With each of these actions, we are declaring to God, ourselves, and to anyone watching our lives that following God is the most important thing in the world to us. And when we do this, we find God guides us, provides for us, protects us, and watches over us.
Reading God’s Word, praying, worshipping, serving, and giving aren’t to be sporadic things in our lives. Instead they are to be a systematic part of what we do and how we live. Declaring God #1 is not just about lip service, but about life service – living for God and honoring God day by day and week by week with all we are and all we have.
D.L. Moody, evangelist said, “What makes the Dead Sea dead? It is always taking in, but never giving out.”
As I write this I’m not speaking to everyone. There are a few generous people in our congregation but not enough.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us to live for you each day and each week by giving you first place in our calendar and finances.
Amen. God bless!