Psalm 112:1-9 (NKJV)
Praise the Lord! How joyful are those who fear the Lord and delight in obeying his commands. Their children will be successful everywhere; an entire generation of godly people will be blessed. They themselves will be wealthy, and their good deeds will last forever. Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor.
What have you given to the Lord lately? More importantly, what have you given to God without a single expectation in return? We live in a culture of reciprocation. People have developed a sense of entitlement and selfishness that the “world” owes them something. Such a mentality is quite oppressive because it creates desperation driven by a fear of lack, so they refuse to give becoming hoarders. To fear the Lord and “delight” in obeying his commandments means to be a generation of generous and joyous givers. Psalm 112 describes such people as generous, compassionate and righteous. Obedience means dedicating your life to God generously which produces joy, success, blessing, wealth, good, confidence and eternal influence in the life of the faithful. There is confidence for those who give generously with no expectation from people because their faith is in the Lord. When money, time and everything else associated with this life begins to outweigh the treasure stored in our heart which is Jesus Christ it becomes an idol. Tithing is one of the most unpopular pulpit topics that cause silence and squirming when God asks for faithfulness in “returning” just one tenth of what He has provided. People look away uncomfortably as the Spirit gently prods for just a moment of time to help another. We long for Jesus to be our everything yet refuse to give our all to God! The perverse economy in which we live is failing. Babylon is falling. To receive a generous outpouring from the Lord that will satisfy our heart, soul and mind, one must become a generous giver beginning with the obvious and moving into righteousness. Jesus Christ will never satisfy a soul that longs for the things of this world. There is no contentment for those who dwell in the society driven by consumerism and supply-and-demand materialism. There will always be want. God longs to satisfy your soul. Jesus will bring contentment where greed once eroded your heart. What are you willing to give to God for such influence and honor as living in the Peace of God through Jesus Christ?
Job 41:11 (NLT)
Who has given me anything that I need to pay back? Everything under heaven is mine.
Straight from the mouth of God to His People, “who has given me anything that I need to give back”? Everything under heaven belongs to God. Therefore He has the right to grant you the freedom of choice which God does. There is nothing in service to the Lord that requires the Lord to bless you. His Promises are a gift. You cannot earn them only make room for them in your life. When we give to God or to others in obedience to Him, we make room for the Lord to bless us and activate the cycle of sowing and reaping in our life. However, as in life, we try to work the system getting something for nothing. God does not need anything from you. However, that does not exempt you from your end of salvation. Obedience cultivated in love and appreciation for the Lord will promote giving in our life. But we must empty our life of the idols standing in the way. Many people draw a line between God and their finances and natural means. They will use verses such as this twisting them for their own purpose to some way validate their lack of faith in God and excuse profound disobedience. Make no mistake God wants all of you beginning with your heart.
Deuteronomy 26:17-18 (NLT)
You have declared today that the Lord is your God. And you have promised to walk in his ways, and to obey his decrees, commands, and regulations, and to do everything he tells you. The Lord has declared today that you are his people, his own special treasure, just as he promised, and that you must obey all his commands.
Have you confessed that Jesus is your Savior and the Lord is your God! Excellent beginning! By doing so, you have promised to walk in His Ways, obey His Regulations and do EVERYTHING He tells you. Omission is a lie. You cannot claim ignorance as an excuse for disobedience. God has carefully and meticulously laid before you a life plan in His Word that is very easy to discern and follow with the assistance of the Holy Spirit who lives inside of you. The Lord has called you His Own Special Treasure. Jesus has declared you His Prized Possession. (James1:18) What is the Lord to you? Most people have spent little if no time digging in the Word of God looking for ways to serve and obey the Lord living in “blissful” ignorance that is actually deadly. (Hosea 4:6) You have a responsibility to establish residency in Heaven and live according to the Word of God just as when traveling to another state or country you are bound by the authoritative guidelines of each district. What do you know about God’s Word and His Law? It is your responsibility to know and obey? By cultivating your love relationship with the God, not only will you be His Treasure, but He will be yours. Jesus will be your most prized possession and worldly wealth and ways will become nothing to you making it easy to give it all to the Lord.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NLT)
“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”
The desires of your heart will reveal your treasure. Treasure that is found on the earth will not satisfy your heart and soul but rather temporarily sustain it until it loses its shine or something bigger and better comes out. The things once thought to be “treasure” once attained we find it to be just another thing or stuff cluttering our life. Continuously dissatisfied, people blame God for not blessing them like He promised. However, when our treasure is of the earth it cannot be preserved. Only treasure in Heaven is eternal. It is the only prize safe from depreciation and worthy of His Glory. The desires of your heart must be aligned with the Kingdom of God to ever find satisfaction and many times it requires giving it all away to make room for the Lord’s Treasure.
Deuteronomy 14:22-23 (NLT)
“You must set aside a tithe of your crops—one-tenth of all the crops you harvest each year. Bring this tithe to the designated place of worship—the place the Lord your God chooses for his name to be honored—and eat it there in his presence. This applies to your tithes of grain, new wine, olive oil, and the firstborn males of your flocks and herds. Doing this will teach you always to fear the Lord your God.”
Not being one to ignore the pink elephant in the room, it would seem that tithing is how most people recognize giving. One-tenth of all you harvest in a year belongs to God. Each year you live on this earth produces many harvests in your life. Primary for most is income. The monetary exchange in your life consists of ninety percent of what you actually earn in a year. The other ten percent is God’s whether you choose to give it to the Lord or not. If the Word of God is completely true from Genesis to Revelation, then one cannot exclude tithing. One of the first things that my husband and I decided to do early in our marriage and return to the Lord was to tithe. It was an easy plan to follow with nothing to discern. You give God ten-percent of every single dollar you earn. So we tried it. At first, it was scary. We had very little income and many mouths to feed but we did it anyway and have continued nonstop. God has provided every single need in our life without question. He has opened the windows of Heaven and blessed us. Tithing has become easy it is just what we do. The testimonies are endless and too lengthy for this but I will share you the most recent one. About a month ago, I sat down to conquer the bills from our son’s cancer treatment. Thank you Jesus for health insurance! But when you begin to see tallies of $65,000 for this surgery and $85,000 for that treatment, co-pays begin to add up. I calculated the total sum of his treatment and calculated what we owed and the numbers seemed off. After doing the math three times, I discovered that although our insurance pays 90% after the deductible is met that somehow it had paid over 98% of his bills. Glory to God in the highest! It may be more as I also found several bills that were never actually billed to the insurance company further reducing the obligation. But you see it didn’t matter what it cost because God healed our son! Now I share this not to loosen your wallet, but to tempt you to trust the Lord. I did not look at those bills while our boy was sick because it really didn’t matter to me as long as he was healed. God healed him and that’s all we asked, but then He paid the bills, too. God has a way of softening our heart as we empty it of stuff. Salvation is a matter of life or death. By choosing Jesus, we choose life. For such a gift, no price is too high. You will have eternal life because of the sacrifice Jesus made. By realizing the full potential of life and the real implication of death, it should change our heart to be generous now that there is nothing to lose. Our heart can turn to the Lord and experience all of His Goodness because stuff becomes unimportant. Instead of worshiping with our mouth, God is calling us to worship with our heart. Can you give God your heart? He must have dominion in your life to do so.
But tithing is not only pertaining to dollars because truthfully you harvest more than that. Each year yields 31,536,000 seconds in a year. One-tenth of your day equates to 2.4 hours that belongs to God. Is He getting His Fair Share? When the average person prays three minutes a day before falling asleep, it is probably a sure bet that not many people yield to God what He requires much less generously which would mean above and beyond what is expected. When we read God’s Word concerning the tithe and giving, each time God reveals that it is not what we give but what He gives back that is important. For example in this verse, God says, “Doing this will teach you.” Giving opens our life to receiving from the Lord, but it is not always a monetary return. The Word of God says that wisdom is more precious than silver or gold. (Proverbs 16:16) Remember we are changing from the world’s economy to God’s abundance in giving. It starts with money because that is the treasure most recognized and coveted by humanity yielding power and influence in this world. If you cannot bear to part with your money in obedience to God’s Word, how will you ever give Jesus your heart and life? Faith begins in giving because it creates dependency on God. Trust is evident in dependency. Do you trust God? Those who do choose to give the Lord what He requires of their resources not because they have it but because God requires it.
Joel 2:12-13 (NLT)
That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts.
Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.
When beginning to trust the Lord in your everyday transactions, your heart will be inclined to trust the Lord with more important things. His Blessings are found in obedience. What will you give to God today? Your heart is His Desire. A heart turned to the Lord will see His Merciful, Compassionate and Unfailing Love. No longer do you have to divide your life between the world and God but the Lord is worthy of your heart and all of its contents. How far will you go in giving to God? There are various comfort levels in life that can become like the Church of Laodicea or the place of complacency. Don’t tear your clothing…the things you can touch…but tear your heart before God. If God looked in your heart today what would He see? How much trust would he find? Is there enough faith to give God your stuff? How about your time? Well, now that you have servanthood, service and giving working in your life? What about the ones you love? Do you trust God with them? Abraham walked up the side of a mountain not knowing whether he would come down the other side with Isaac or not, but He knew God was faithful. Obedience carried Abraham up that hill. God’s faithfulness would bring him dancing and rejoicing with Isaac down the other side. A heart given to God will trust Him with the lives of those contained in their heart no matter what the outcome. Such a heart has decided that God is worthy of giving their whole heart and all that remains inside to the One who loves them most. Clear away the clutter of this world until only one thing remains. Love should be all that is in a heart worthy of God. Now give that generously, too. To everyone you meet. Patience will be required which is giving up your wants and ambition. Forgiveness is giving you up for others. Compassion reveals a god-filled inclination that puts others in front of us. Knead your heart until all that remains is love.
Matthew 16:24-26 (NLT)
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul?Is anything worth more than your soul?”
The only thing of worth to God is your soul. Nothing else will make the transition. What if we tithed our time, energy and resources to become a true follower of Jesus Christ? Giving everything away beginning with the natural will open your life, heart and soul to Jesus Christ. It begins with one thing shown faithful and God will bless it. Then you can try something else, soon you will begin to look for parts of your life to “give generously” for the Lord. His Blessing will bring peace and joy to your life no matter what you have or do not have. There will be relief in the release from financial and material bondage. Most often, you will look around to find that you have more than you realized when it is not your treasure. You are God’s Treasure. He will love, protect and preserve that which is precious to Him. That is you! You can never take care of yourself as well as the Lord cares for you so stop trying. Say today, “I will give _____ to the Lord today.” You fill in the blank and let God fill that part of your life with His Blessing and Favor. When you have overcome fear with this then move on and fill in the blank with something else and so on and so on. Piece by piece relocate from this world into the Kingdom of God and live in the supernatural blessings of God all because you chose to give your life away! You have nothing to lose because outside of Jesus Christ there really isn’t much to it anyway. It is a win-win situation for those who are saved by Grace!
Luke 6:37-38 (NLT)
“Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn others, or it will all come back against you. Forgive others, and you will be forgiven. Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”
Only you can decide what to give God today or it would not be a gift. What can you afford to sacrifice to God? What do you need? It is usually the best place to start. Don’t worry about what others think but give what your heart is holding the tightest to lest it becomes an idol standing between you and God. When you think of giving what do you fear most? Give it. Then you will receive God’s Answer that conquers all fear. You are not emptying your life as a sacrifice because Jesus did that. You are simply making room for the Blessing of God to fill your life to overflowing with His Abundance reserved just for you! Say with me, “I will give ________ today!” In no time, you will change your tune from “What Have You Done for Me Lately” to “Look What the Lord Has Done!”