November is a popular time for giving thanks and stewardship campaigns in churches. I’ve heard that the attendance drops in churches during this month. People don’t want to hear about the many reasons they should give their money to church. I use to completely agree.
Money is a difficult topic to talk about. Some people live paycheck to paycheck. They think they don’t have anything to give. Other people have plenty. They feel they worked hard for it and won’t give it away with nothing in return.
2 Corinthians 8:12 says “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.” God knows what you have. As long as you are willing to give of what you have, and do, then it will be acceptable by God.
I do believe we should each give to the church. I don’t think we should give, tithe, just because the church, or pastor, tells us to. I think we should each pray about it. Ask God to reveal how much we should give. Yes, tithe means 10%. Again, don’t give 10% just because that’s what others are telling you to give. Ask God. Share with God your hesitations on giving. Ask God to prepare your heart to give the way He wishes you to. Then when you do hear from God, step out in faith by giving and trusting He will provide for all your needs and bless you in ways you could not imagine.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
A little over two years ago we were told Robert’s medical pay had run out. He was going to be medically retired and would only receive 50% of his salary. We were devastated! We had no idea how we were going to pay for everything each month.
Around the same time, God was calling us to increase our giving. We felt God was asking us to quadruple our giving. We weren’t giving much at the time, but quadrupling it when our income was being cut in half seemed insane. After praying and talking about it, we decided to increase our giving. We quadrupled our giving the next month. What we gave monthly was now what we gave weekly. We also decided not to worry about our finances. We told God we believed He would take care of our family’s needs.
Within about a month we started receiving unexpected checks in the mail. One because of a miscalculation on his retirement, another because his sick leave was used incorrectly. Then we were told we had paid into long term disability and were entitled to monthly checks to help with our monthly expenses. I know it sounds crazy, but its true!
God blessed us abundantly for being obedient and faithful. We weren’t filled with worry when we gave. We gave believing we would be taken care of. When God put it on our heart to quadruple our giving, it wasn’t 10%. God knew what we were able to give. The next year we did increase our giving. We now give 10%. Sometimes when extra expenses come up, I must confess, I do wonder how we will manage. Then I give it to God in prayer and anxiously wait to see how He will provide, because He always does.
My prayer for us today ~ Lord, thank you for the gifts and abilities you provide daily. I pray we are each the cheerful giver you created us to be, Amen.