Leighton Farrell, long time pastor of Highland Park Church in Dallas, shared this thought-provoking true story about a prayer that someone’s income would equal what they were willing to tithe on.
A man at Highland Park Church once made a covenant with a former pastor to tithe ten percent of his family’s income every year. They were both young and neither of them had much money. But things changed. The layman tithed one thousand dollars the year he earned ten thousand, ten thousand dollars the year he earned one-hundred thousand, and one hundred thousand dollars the year he earned one million.
But the year he earned six million dollars he just could not bring himself to write out that check for six-hundred thousand dollars to the church. He telephoned the pastor, long since having moved to another church, and asked to see him. Walking into the pastor’s office the man begged to be let out of the covenant, saying, “This tithing business has to stop. It was fine when my tithe was one thousand dollars, but I just cannot afford six-hundred thousand dollars. You’ve got to do something, Reverend!”
The pastor knelt on the floor and prayed silently for a long time. Eventually the man said, “What are you doing? Are you praying that God will let me out of the covenant to tithe?”
“No,” said the pastor. “I am praying for God to reduce your income back to the level where one thousand dollars will be your tithe!”
As you can imagine, the man recognized the Lord’s blessing on his life and did not want to go back to previous income levels and no doubt was quick to pay his tithes. At least he understood the importance of honoring a covenant and did not just decide to give the Lord his leftovers. He thought he could not afford to pay his tithes. As it turned out, he could not afford Not to pay his tithes.
Do you recognize the Lord’s provision for you? Are you aware of His daily interventions in your life? People who are not Christians are totally oblivious to this but, as children of the Lord, we understand that, if He withheld His blessing from us for even one day, the consequences would be disastrous. We give our finances, not as an obligation or requirement, but as a recognition of, and thankfulness for, His daily provision as well as an expression of worship and devotion to Him for Who He is. He is worthy of All praise and glory and honor!
It is imperative that we give the Lord our first and best. I challenge you: Don’t give Him your leftovers. Don’t give Him only out of your excess, your extra pocket money. When you do that, you are only limiting yourself. He invited you to put Him to the test and learn that He will “throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it” (Malachi 3:8-10). There is a blessing to participate in giving and a curse not to. Ouch!
Make a commitment to Him, a covenant with Him, that you will honor Him with your resources. He does not need your money; after all, He owns everything. But He gives you and me the opportunity to honor Him with our resources and by faith trust Him to continue to provide for us. He is Faithful, and I challenge you to be also.
This Sunday, March 12, we will continue our new teaching series, Money Matters!, with an emphasis on “First Fruits!” Am I giving the Lord my first and best? Or am I waiting until the end of the month and giving Him my leftovers, if there are any left over? Your answer to these questions will make a Huge difference in your life. Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am either in the building or online for the Live broadcast on Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We Livestream every Sunday morning at 10:35am to both locations.
Coming Up: The 58th Hawaii Assemblies of God District Conference will take place March 27-29 at First AG (Red Hill). The evening services are open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend. Roneel Chaudhary with Chi Alpha Hawaii, the ministry to students at UH, will speak on Sunday, April 2.
Aloha ke Akua!