Transforming from Obligation to Faith
Posted in Stewardship/Giving
Scripture: ”’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 there will not be room enough to store it.’” – Malachi 3:10
My husband and I are both lifelong church members, and I would say both of us were present any time the doors were open. We both watched our parents’ tithe and serve our churches dutifully throughout our childhoods, but of course, at that time it was difficult for us to fully grasp the concept of their actions.
As we began our own careers and our marriage, we knew what was expected of us in terms of tithing, but opening that grip on our financial blessings has not always come naturally. Acknowledging that these were blessings from God and not the result of our own hard work was difficult. In fact, we tried to resist this calling early on in our adult lives. Initially, we started to give out of obligation; it was what we knew we were supposed to be doing, so we began to tithe regularly more out of legality than faith.
Over the years, both of our relationships with Jesus Christ have deepened and our faith has been strengthened. These deepened relationships have transformed our understanding of tithing from an obligation to joyful giving. We are able to give faithfully as a response to God’s faithfulness in our lives. We have come to know the source of our gifts and, in turn, we are able to give of our time and resources as we honor His faithfulness.
Watching God use Eastminster Presbyterian Church to impact not only the lives of this congregation, but also the lives of individuals beyond the congregation — both locally and globally — has encouraged us to continue in this giving.
I love the imagery in the verse above, the idea of God literally “opening the floodgates of heaven” and raining down blessings on our church and those we serve in response to our testing him by bringing our whole tithes to him. What an impact we could have!
Prayer: Father, thank you for your blessings on our lives. Help us to continue to recognize that you are the source of these gifts. We pray that you will continue to multiply these gifts, throw open the floodgates of heaven, and pour out so much blessing on Eastminster and the individuals we serve. Amen.
Submitted by Rebecca Breland