The whole tithe — your whole obedience!

Malachi 3:10 (New International Version)

10 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 you will not have room enough for it.

OK, its Christmas and money is always tight at Christmas. I got paid before Thanksgiving and wrote a tithe off of that. I also gave some more money to the Foreign Missions offering. But I sat down to pay bills yesterday and debated about writing the final check to cover the 10% of my husband’s salary. (The big check.) Well, I’ve procrastinated the last two times I looked at it.

My children receive money each month to cover the expenses they are responsible for. (From Debt-Proof Your Kids : An Interesting Thing Happened on the Way to Getting a Financially Confident Life … My Kids Got One Too)

I follow Mary Hunt’s Debt Proof Your Children which I highly recommend. I think my children didn’t tithe last month and it has been bothering me.

So this past Thursday during our devotional I read this verse from Malachi to my children. I fell under such conviction — I cannot be a hypocrite — that I got out my checkbook and not knowing how we would make it through the month — I wrote a check. I let the kids see me write the check and I showed it to them.

I said: “Children, this is a hard check for me to write. I do not know how we will make it through the month but God says he will open up the floodgates of heaven and I believe Him.” I tore the check out and let them look at it. I said, “Watch and see what God will do — we will not only make it through the month but God will bless us.” I said this trembling and afraid but knowing God is real and He said test Him.

What a relief! The first blessing was obedience and the relief that comes in knowing that I have honored God with my firstfruits. But I want you to know that within 30 minutes after going to work — a person unexpectedly walked in my room and handed me several crisp bills that were far greater than the amount of the check I had just written.

Now, I am a woman who cries in public about every other year. I am a businesswoman and typically leave my public tears at home for my prayer closet. I lost my composure and had to leave the room. God’s providence and care for me were so great and so fast — it took my breath away.

You see, God says: “Test me in this.” Other places he warns against putting Him to a foolish test — but He does not consider this a foolish test — he says — Test me in this!

Tithing is the best thing I’ve ever done– but it is never easy. The nagging question always sits at the back of my mind. The amount of the paycheck grows and it is tempting to hold a little back for “expenses.” But the fact is, my husband and I live far better on 90% than we ever lived on 100%. It is supposed to be a sacrifice! If it was easy it would be routine. It is a conscious decision and denial against all that is in us that is human and an acceptance of all that God is as divine.

I kept those crisp bills in my pocket all do so that I could feel God’s love in my pocket. I felt His promise as reality! I took them home and had them guess what was in my pocket. I told them what happened and let them count the money. I warned them against thinking that God would always give them money at hand (my son who is the investor was ready to earn 40% in 30 minutes.) I also reminded them that November was the first month both of them had run out of money since we had been doing their plan. They both said it was the first month they hadn’t tithed.

What a lesson for us all! God is real! Jesus never exempted us from the tithe — He said to tithe but also to give justice and the love of God.

Luke 11:42 (New International Version)

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
“Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.

So, my message to you this Christmas. Don’t rob God. He is always faithful. Test Him in this! Believe in Him. Teach your children to tithe. Be a tither.

Merry Christmas!

Here’s the book I use to teach the principles of money to my children:

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