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Pastor Chris DeGreen

Today is: Friday, December 23, 2016


“Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
__Malachi 3:10

photo of Pastor ChrisGood morning! How ya doin'? Can we have an objective chat? Maybe over a cup of coffee? I understand that the issue in today's verse is a sensitive one. The issue of tithing. So I promise not to get all excited. Let's just have a little chat. Can we? Thanks.

I remember how I got started. I was in high school. I'd experienced some challenges that even then, I knew, had stirred a deeper hunger and thirst for God in my heart. I had been drawn to read my Bible. And when I came across an encouraging verse, I'd write it on an index card and tack it on my desk top or bulletin board.

I was drawn in by God's promise in Malachi 3:10 (today's verse). At the time, I didn't know that this verse is the only verse where God invites us to test him. I did know that Jesus tells us not to test God. So I was curious why God would invite us to test him and also promise to pour out unimaginable blessings through the act of tithing.

I did know that God means "give 10%" of what you receive when God, in the Bible, says to tithe. I came to see later that 10% is a starting point that goes hand-in-hand with both spontaneous giving and also planned thank offerings beyond 10%.

But through it all, I've discovered that, while there are indeed many blessings that God pours out with tithing, there are two that I value the most: detachment and thankfulness.

Yes, there have been times when I've been surprised by "unexpected money from heaven." But I no longer see that money as a reward from God in heaven. Such "surprise money" seems to happen to everyone, so it's not necessarily connected to tithing. Besides, it seems strange to me that, if God wants my heart and wants me to have his heart, then why would God tempt my heart to tithe money so I could set my heart on getting "surprise money"? That seems backwards to the ways of God. So I don't see getting money as one of God's blessings for giving money through the tithe.

So let me just wrap up here by saying a few words about the blessings of detachment and thankfulness that God always does give through tithing.

Detachment is simply this. I am able to see money and the things I can get with money for what they are. They are not my life or happiness. God is my life and happiness. Let's say I give 4%. (And it is give 4%, not tithe 4%, because that would be like saying that I 10% 4%. Tithe means 10%. So I tithe 10%. I give 4%.) Ok say let's say I give 4%. That means I'm not giving 6%. If I make, $50,000, that means I'm not giving $3,000.

photo Advent candlesMy conclusion has always been that $3,000, or the things I can get with it, are not going to secure my life or my happiness. It may "hurt" my budget to give that $3,000, but what it does even moreso is detaches me from the $3,000 and the stuff I might buy with it, and it nurtures an even greater trust in God, which is exactly what my heart is hungry for--a greater trust in God. So tithing hurts my budget, but it feeds my heart by detaching me from the money and the things it might buy, therefore driving me closer to God. Detachment is always a blessing.

And since my heart is nurtured, it feels greater peace, so my heart wants to say "thank you" to someone. And the obvious one to give thanks to is God. It's as plain as that. My heart is freed from things that will always wear out and freed for the God who never fails. Thankfulness is a blessing that God always gives through tithing.

There's so much more. But that's enough for today. Thanks for sharing a cup of coffee.


(For an archive of "Day of Praise", please visit my daughter Calley's website at http://dayofpraisepc.blogspot.com/?m=1)

Link to "The Daily Bible" on Amazon (may be purchased elsewhere)