Worship was a little disappointing to me yesterday. Our time of praise and prayer was amazing, but the preaching left me a little let down. I had prepared so much more information than I was able to share and even went over at the 11 am service. Sorry nursery and children’s workers.
I did not get to tell a story that I wanted to share that communicates the heart of the matter as it applies to tithing.
In early July I was studying at Reformed Theological Seminary, as I do one week a year, and visited
But the greatest impact occurred when the service was over.
As we were leaving worship, I overheard two young women talking. One was a believer in Jesus, but the other was clearly a guest. The believer was explaining the offering that the church received.
I’m not in the habit of listening in on other people’s conversations, but the lady that was clearly a guest had asked the believer if that was the membership fee she had given when she turned in her check in the offering. That got my attention.
The believer told her friend that it was her tithe. She explained that when a person becomes a follower of Jesus that God becomes first in everything and that includes their money. So every time she makes any money she gives the first tenth or tithe to God.
The guest asked the believer if she should give. And I’ll never forget the believer's beautiful response. She said, “No, don’t give your money. It’s what I’ve been telling you. God wants your heart. Until God has your heart, nothing else you give really matters.”
They then went another direction in the parking lot and I didn’t get to hear the rest. I wanted to follow along and listen, but I’m afraid they would have thought I was stalking them. I just prayed for the guest that she would indeed choose to love God and receive His amazing love and grace into her life.
When it comes to giving or doing anything for God, we must realize that God above all wants our hearts. Once He has our hearts and is first in everything in our life, then everything else will fall into place.
Yesterday, as I was speaking on tithing, I could tell that there was a great deal of reticence among the people. I know that many in my church do not tithe and when I teach on it they get uncomfortable.
I hope I communicated the Gospel and the Biblical truth that God wants your heart. If God has your heart, you delight in giving Him your first dollars, the best part of your day to be alone with Him, and service to His Kingdom cause.
If God does not have your heart, anything else you give really doesn’t matter to Him. It’s like a man giving a woman flowers because he has to and not because he wants to. No matter how many flowers he gives or how costly they may be they don't matter if he doesn’t truly love her. They in essence are a guilt offering that can't remove the guilt of lacking love.
Give God your heart. Choose to love God. He loves you. When God gets your heart, your treasure will gladly follow. "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21
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