Read: “‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,’ says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, ‘I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!’” Malachi 3:10
In Genesis 14, Abraham returns from war victorious, and WEALTHY. We’re talking Jeff Bezos (founder and CEO of Amazon) who? But, instead of reveling in his wealth, Abraham does something unexpected. Abraham meets Melchizedek, a priest, and gives him ten percent of everything he owns. Taking one-tenth of your earnings, a tithe, and giving it to the church as an act of faith and worship is an important Biblical principle taught today. But in Abraham’s time, this was a radical idea. The idea of a tithe wouldn’t be established until hundreds of years later.
When it comes to money, people can be wired very differently - from penny-pincher to big spender. But have you ever noticed that no matter how little or how much money we have, most of us struggle with feeling like we still need more? In giving back a portion of what he had, Abraham discovered something that seems almost contradictory - there is freedom in sacrifice. Abraham was rejecting the enslaving chains of greed. Did God need his money? No! But because Abraham knew that all he had came from God and belonged to God, he could experience the freedom found in giving. Like Abraham, when we give, we’re exercising faith that sets us free from the bondage of sinful greed.
Today’s scripture verse from Malachi is like a dare from God - He challenges us to test Him by giving back a portion of what He has given to us. Even if you struggle in your faith and find it hard to believe that when you give, God will bless you more than you can measure, isn’t it worth the risk? There’s no better time to test God’s faithfulness and discover His exhilarating freedom.
Do: If you’ve never given before, take your first step by starting now. It doesn’t have to be ten percent; start at one percent, two percent. If you’re already giving a little, see what God can do when you’re willing to sacrifice more, by giving ten percent. And if you’ve been seeing how God has been working in your life when you give ten percent, discover the blessings He can bring when you trust him with even more.