“…give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
“The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully…God loves a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:6-7).
At times I sit back in awe as I consider the genius of God and His grand plans. Since God has called me as shepherd in His flock, many of my thoughts and musings are about the church. The Church, God’s Plan A in regards to the fact that she is the vessel that He has chosen, redeemed, and empowered to reveal the wonders of His Gospel to a watching world. I’ve recently been thinking about the way God has chosen to finance His work, a plan in which the church is blessed, the individuals in the church are blessed, and the world to which we are called to minister is blessed.
My devotional reading this week has been in the Old Testament Book of Malachi, listen to these words, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows. Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts.”
The work of the Lord is financed, both locally and globally, by the freewill tithes and offerings of His people. In the Malachi passage the instruction is bring the whole tithe to the storehouse. The tithe is ten percent of one’s income, the storehouse is the local church. When all believers do this there is more than enough resource to carry on the work of the Lord, both locally and globally. But He does not just leave it there, He then promises a blessing to those who will bring their tithes to Him. 1. Overflowing blessing. You can’t out give God. This is what Luke and Paul were talking about in the passages above. 2. I will rebuke the devourer for you. Here God promises to put Himself between you and those things that attack and diminish your resources. 3. Your vine will not cast its grapes in the field. This is God’s promise to protect your livelihood. To the agrarian society that Malachi was written to, this promise meant that their crops would come to harvest. And to those who might be tempted to doubt the truth of these words, God says, “…test Me now in this.”