Deuteronomy 16:17 Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.
This is an important principle that is also picked up in the New Testament. In fact, Jesus spoke to His disciples about it very pointedly as they were watching people give offerings at the temple. (Mark 12: 41-44) Paul also addressed the issue specifically when he said, “If the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.” (2 Corinthians 8:12) It’s all a matter of heart attitude. I keep saying it, but we keep forgetting it: God doesn’t need anything we could give Him. What He does want is our hearts, as we recognize that everything we have comes from Him and give back to Him in proportion to His blessings to us. It should give us joy when our tithe increases, because that means God has given us more. I have known people who choked when their increased income meant a bigger calculated tithe, and they drew back from giving. That’s loving money instead of God!
I have rejoiced to be able to tithe for almost 50 years now, and in recent years we’ve increased that to 15%. God is good, even though my income hasn’t been as much as the available deductions for either the US or Japan for quite a few years. It is odd to me to feel so unhindered financially when I see others with much greater “cash flow” seeming to struggle. I can’t help but feel it’s because we have made God our first budget item for so long. I’m speaking on Money this Sunday. I don’t want to brag, but I do want to make it clear that God is in no way stingy. I want the believers to come to the liberty of the Holy Spirit in their giving, so that they may experience the abundance of God not just materially but in every other way as well. This is in no way “Prosperity Gospel,” but a simple matter of priorities, just as Jesus said. (Matthew 6:33)
Father, I’m always hesitant to speak on money and giving, out of a fear of what people will think of me. Help me take my own focus off of myself so that I will be effective in helping others focus on You, Your kingdom and Your righteousness, for their blessing and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!