|Having visited several churches that were not fond of giving, the traveling preacher decided he would preach about tithing to this particular congregation. After all, he had seen the preacher’s worn out shoes and fading suit-coat. Someone had to say something. He preached with gusto and gave every passage he knew about cheerful giving. At the end of the service, he looked at the head pastor and asked for his hat. He waved it in the air and said, “Let’s fill the hat of this man of God with whatever we can give!”
The tattered hat got passed quickly from row to row. It was almost like watching the adult version of hot-potato. When retrieved from the last person, the traveling preacher received the hat back completely empty. In astonishment, he handed it back to the pastor. “I’m so sorry pastor”, he whispered. “Oh you did great! I actually got the hat back-amazing!” was the shocking reply.
My father, who was a Methodist preacher, would have to report how much everyone gave in the church bulletin; otherwise, the giving was non-existent. God doesn’t need our money. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, but if we don’t give, we are hurting ourselves. The truth is that when we do not give, we are robbing the very God who saved us.
Even in the Old Testament, Abraham offered the high priest, Melchisedec, 10% in tithes and offerings. We serve the same God, and the same stands true for us today. Spiritually you will be blessed. It may not be here on this earth, but your offerings will be eternally safe in your heavenly account when you give out of love and respect for your God.
Because we do not live in financially easy times, it takes courage to let go and give back what is truly God’s. Think of the woman who gave to Elijah….can you imagine giving of the last supper you thought you would ever have? I am sure what he asked of her made no sense at the time. But do you remember the result of her giving? The Lord blessed her greatly and saved the life of her and her son. It just serves as a reminder that if God can make the heavens and the earth, He can take care of you. God loves it when you give, especially when you give with joy. Don’t rob God. Purpose today to use your courage to let go and give.
Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder