NOT PERSONALLY GENEROUS
Sad but True
Our God has promised us an abundant life (John 10:10). Yet the vast majority of Christians live no differently than the people of the world who have no such promise. Surprisingly, many Christians do not believe God really wants to prosper them and therefore have never become generous. Basically, their excuses revolve around the fact that God doesn’t need their money, they can’t afford to get involved, they don’t believe it works, that it’s Old Testament, etc. However, for those of us who have broken through into the realm of God’s abundance, we know that God has a different plan.
Dianne and I were saved in 1972. In the beginning, we gave our church $100 a year grudgingly, because “God didn’t need our money.” In 1977, we began to tithe. Our entire lives changed when we became generous. In one year, we were filled with the Spirit, called into the ministry, and healed of barrenness. God later revealed it was in direct correlation to our beginning to tithe. (A tithe is giving 10% of all income to a local church each year.)
The World’s Plan
I have an MBA in finance. I know the world’s plan well. It involves getting your hands on all the funds and resources you possibly can, borrowing all you can, leveraging those assets into more assets, hoping for appreciation and cash flow, and taking a 5-15% return. It has worked for a number of people and made them very wealthy. Many others have simply seen their dreams go up in smoke or down in the latest depression.
I’ve also taken time to learn God’s financial plan. The God who created the universe most certainly has created an amazing financial plan that revolves around three things. First, God is Creator of an awesome plan. He redeemed it when it fell, along with Adam and Eve. It is a rewarding system, when people follow it. Our Father, like any good father, wants His children to prosper—have their needs met and live in abundance so they can pass on the blessings that He has for them.
A Life Partner for 10%
Let’s get real practical. God basically says He will be our partner in life if we make 10% our offering back to him. He asks that this 10% (the tithe) be given to the church we call home. It supports His work of spreading the Good News. For that 10%, He promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings beyond what we can contain (Malachi 3:8-12). That is a very stunning offer!
Want to Reconsider?
Based on this, I’m not sure why people don’t believe the promises regarding finances. As we said in my previous posts, there is much more written in the Bible about finances than faith or prayer. Yet people tend to disregard these promises as though they are trite, out of date, or simply irrelevant. I’m asking you to seriously consider how your financial plan is working. How about trying God’s?
If you’re reading this and you are a believer who is not tithing, I invite you to take a tithing invitation. Basically, if you attend The Vineyard Church of Central Illinois, I encourage you to begin tithing for the next four months. If you’re not impressed with how God partners with you during that time, come and see me. If you want your money back and feel that God has been unfair, we will refund it. I must say, I’ve made this offer many times and have only ever paid money back to one person. Everyone else has been a happy and satisfied camper. Most people who begin tithing never, ever stop. It’s too good of an opportunity to pass up.