Again, I'm late on this whole blogging thing. Maybe I need to give up the days of the week part and just write? Nah, I like this even if I'm always late. It fits the rest of my life. Ha!
God has been working on my heart with regards to tithing lately. A lot. He's been dealing with me and money in general, but especially tithing. Basically, I feel like God has been saying "Trust Me." and I've been saying, "yeah, I do. But we have two kids, only one income, a house payment, a car payment, hospital bills, and so on." God replies again with "Trust Me." "yeah, yeah, yeah, I do. Really, I trust You with my life, my kids, everything. But just let me deal with the money part right now..." Arguing with God never works (and I am not saying that God verbally talks to me like I'm writing it out. But He DEFINITELY has been "telling" me this) When J and I first married, we had nothing. Literally. We didn't even have jobs (some might think we were young and stupid... we were :) and looking back I wouldn't change a thing!). But we always made sure to give God first. Of course we quickly found jobs, even if they were only part time. We didn't need much back then. But even with very little, we tithed first. And God took care of us! Somewhere along the line, things changed. While we still tithed, it wasn't necessarily with our "first fruits" and more from what was left over. God doesn't want my left overs. He wants the first pick! Everything I have comes from Him and He doesn't ask for much in return. So J and I have decided that we need to start tithing more, to give God first and trust Him with the rest. A friend once said that this is an area where God tells us to test Him, so we are. Who should we tithe to? Well I feel like that's a very personal question that we each need to decide for ourselves. Our family goes to a church with some wealthy people. The church prints out the financial needs and how much has been given and more often than not, the church's needs are met. I don't always feel led to give to them, although I know others who strongly believe you should tithe to the church. I have lots of missionary friends, whether short or long term missions. I absolutely and completely love to give to missions! I have also enjoyed putting our money toward those who don't have much. For example, at Christmas time we like to "adopt" a child to buy presents for. As the kids get older, I'd like to have them really involved with this; maybe I'll let each kid pick out a child they want to buy presents for and then have them pick everthing out (we buy clothes, toys, and wintery things like hats and gloves). The past couple of weeks, I've felt like God has been placing on my heart to give to the homeless ministry at our church, so that's what we're going to do with a good portion of next month's tithes. I haven't decided yet if I should buy the things I think they need or just donate the money to the guy who heads that ministry, since he knows their exact needs better than I (side note: did you know that homeless people do not like to keep a lot of foods on hand? Even canned and non perishables. Seemed stupid to me at first, until I learned that if they have food, even in storage containers, squirrles come and eat it. Apparently squirrles can chew through almost anything!!! Even coolers. Crazy. But if you decide to go buy tons of stuff for homeless men and women, keep that in mind :))
So now that you've read what I have to say, let's look at what God has to say. Are you tired of reading yet? Lol, I told you that God has been working on me in this area! It's given me a lot to say! I did not gather these verses on my own. I googled it and just c&p from another site to my blog :) It's cheating I know, and probably a little bit of plagerism. Here's the site I got this from :http://www.squidoo.com/biblescripturesaboutmoney
Honor the Lord from your wealth and from the first of all your produce; so your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will overflow with new wine.
You shall bring the choice first fruits of your soil into the house of the Lord your God You are not to boil a young goat in the milk of its mother.
The first of all the first fruits of every kind and every contribution of every kind, from all your contributions, shall be for the priests; you shall also give to the priest the first of your dough to cause a blessing to rest on your house.
Then Jacob made a vow, saying, "If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take, and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, and I return to my father's house in safety, then the Lord will be my God. "This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You."
Will a man rob God Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You ' In tithes and offerings. "You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, the whole nation of you! Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Sell your possessions and give to charity; make yourselves money belts which do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
There is one who scatters, and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap