The Grace of Giving

Malachi 3:10 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. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not cast their fruit," says the LORD Almighty. 12 "Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty.

Ever since I was a little boy and went to church with my parents I have heard preachers talk about the tithe. It was always defined as giving ten percent and God would bless our life. Every place I went an offering was taken. For nearly 20 years the music ministry I worked for passed a bucket to cover expenses for the concerts we produced. And all the time I was missing a great truth about God's economy.

The longer I am in the church the more I notice my focus not being so much on the percentage as the participation. I have "tested" the Lord and He has always shown up in a huge way. At the church I founded, The Landing,we don't take up offerings. We lay out a buffet of God's Word and ask the people to give whatever is laid upon their hearts. As they leave they place their gifts in boxes at the doors of the church. No bucket is passed and miraculously, still no need goes unmet! There have been times I wondered how we could make it and God always proved that He was in control and those windows that this scripture talks about flew open.

I think that God wants us to learn how to be generous givers. To allow our giving of time, talent and treasure to be natural so that He can supply supernaturally. He brings abundance to us when we live this way so that we can be used to meet the needs of others and find our own needs met along the way. He tells us that our crops will not be devoured and our livelihood will always be fruitful if we learn the grace of giving. If all we focus on is a percentage, we can miss the person that God wants to bless through what we have. I know times are difficult in this country and I have to be honest...I have never seen more people blessed and more giving than in the church this year when it was supposed to be terribly difficult. It has shown me very clearly that God's economy IS NOT tied to the worlds. God supplies ALL of our need according to His riches in glory.

Tithing is not an option...it is a natural extension of our worship and should flow from our lives easily. As we become generous givers and practice the grace of giving, God will throw open those windows and pour out all that is necessary to meet our needs and the needs of those connected to us. Our church is truly being called BLESSED in this hour and I am astonished at what God is doing for His people through the efforts of people that stand on the promises of God and trust Him. We not only are experiencing a delightful land but a delightful Landing!

Practice the grace of giving today. Maybe a meal, a coffee or just some friendship and conversation. Perhaps God will cause you to make a donation to someone in need and bess them in a much bigger way. Don't focus on the percentage...focus on the person. What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you!

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