"Ten percent of everything you harvest is holy and belongs to me, whether it grows in your fields or on your fruit trees." - Leviticus 27:30 CEV
Thoughts for Today
Besides money set aside for monthly bills and the necessities of life, the tithe (ten percent of income) should be included in any budget. People who have chosen to make Jesus the Lord of their life should recognize that ten percent of their income belongs to Him. Giving back to God is a habit that even young children can learn.
Sometimes when financial hardship begins to appear, the tithe is the first thing dropped from the budget. "I can't afford to tithe right now. I'll do it again when I have more money." But the truth is--we cannot afford NOT to tithe. The tithe comes first; it belongs to God. If you plan to pay your tithe out of money left over at the end of the month, you will discover that often not enough remains. Pay your tithe first and trust Him to help you manage the rest appropriately. At the same time, don't forget that we live in New Covenant times. As Christians, we have received the covenant of grace and should not give to God because of legalism. We should want to give because He has loved us and blessed us, not to receive blessings.
Consider this …
If you have never tithed--or have stopped tithing--be encouraged to begin. God said we rob Him when we don't tithe (Malachi 3:8). Jesus said, "You should tithe" (Matthew 23:23 NLT). Every blessing we have comes from God. Out of love and appreciation, we should want to give ten percent--and even more--back to Him.
Although our motive for giving should not be to get, Jesus promised blessing when we give freely from a grateful heart. The blessing may be financial or another type of kindness. "Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back" (Luke 6:38 NLT).
Father, I know that all my blessings--financial and otherwise--come from you. Thank you for all you do. Help me to be faithful to tithe and give from a grateful heart. In Jesus' name …
These thoughts were drawn from …The Single Christian: Living as One in a World of Twos by Dr. Elizabeth Holland. In a world where everyone seems to have a mate, it is difficult to live life as a single person. Whether you have never been married, are divorced or are widowed, this study is for you. In The Single Christian, Dr. Holland examines many of the different facets of singleness, from rejection; bitterness and unforgiveness; loneliness; to dating; single parenting and the positives of being single. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals.
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