THE SEASON FOR GIVING
By Deborah M. Piccurelli
At this time of year, many of us concern ourselves with donating to the less fortunate, and that’s okay. We might give a little extra at church, hoping it’s used to help a family have an enjoyable Christmas. We might give a little something to various charities that we trust will use it for Kingdom work. But a question has come to my mind this year: Are we giving to God?
Yes, that’s something we hopefully do all year long. But Christmas time is when we should go the extra mile. It is, after all, when we celebrate Jesus’ birthday. That would be considered “offerings.”
And what about tithing? I know many of us find it difficult to tithe a full 10% with the way the economy has tanked, but I venture to say some of us may not understand what the tithe actually is. Everything we have belongs to God. He expects us to be good stewards of what He has entrusted to us. We are free to use 90% for living expenses, and whatever else we desire—within reason, but the first 10% we are to return to Him. These are our “first fruits.” When we give our first fruits to the Lord, it demonstrates to Him that we put Him first in our lives. And that should be in any area, not just finances. For instance, it’s why we should spend time with Him in prayer, or just talking to Him, and reading Scripture first thing in the morning. Giving Him our first part of the day is, again, demonstrating that He is first in our lives. But I’ve gotten off-subject.
I’m sure you’ve read Malachi 3:9-10:
Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be a meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
I think many people don’t understand what God is trying to do here. He doesn’t want our money. He doesn’t need our money. As I stated earlier, it all belongs to Him, anyway. This is a law He established (and He never changes), so that when we are obedient to His Word, the blessings will be poured out upon us. God our Father is trying to get increase to us, His children.
So we can see, that giving to God results in receiving back again from Him, many times over. Isn’t that wonderful of Him? What a Father we have in Heaven!
I don’t know about you, but in our house, we always make sure our first fruits are immediately given to the Lord. We don’t want to refuse anything He has for us.
On that note, I wish everyone a blessed.