Last Sunday’s message allowed me to examine the condition of my heart when it comes to giving. I agree that even as a child of God, I tend to forget Who has been providing for me day by day; we are all work-in-progress when it comes to tithing and in all kinds of giving. Ptr. Mel reminded us to check our heart’s motive in giving and I felt guilty about never having about how much I should be giving back to God; this was, indeed, a wake-up call for me.
Giving truly reveals the condition of our hearts (MOTIVE). Even though I have been practicing tithing, I have never thought of actually giving more monetarily, on top of my time and talents. It dawned on me that a true follower of Christ volunteers his/her time, talents, and treasures. It was an eye-opener for me that even Ptr. Mel was transparent about his own experiences and struggles with giving.
This is the first time I really came to appreciate God’s design for tithing; I used to understand it simply as a command and proof of God’s sovereignty over all things. Now, I’ve come to a deeper understanding of it: not just a “fitting” command but also a “fitting” response to our Sovereign God who gave His all and continues to provide for our daily needs (MANNER). He provides us with the capacity to earn (work + talents) because He loves us and He wants us to share that kind of love for others as well. Tithing is a knock on everyone’s hearts that we must put God first above anything else since He is not only a Sovereign God but a Loving Father to everyone. We only need Him and Him alone. It is true that no one can serve two masters (Matthew 6:24) and only when we let go of the money, we can now have two empty hands that can receive the blessings He chooses to bestow upon us (MATURITY).
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and be enslaved to money.Matthew 6:24 NLT
I personally can testify that God truly blesses a cheerful giver. I used to worship money and tried to possess as much as I could until there was a time money finally possessed me. I used to feed my greed over material things in order to satisfy my ego, even if I knew it was a senseless gratification. I never disciplined myself nor took my parents’ discipline by heart. Not so long after that, when I was already working and making my own money, I found myself drowning in debt. I tried to run away from it but when I met Jesus, I finally surrendered everything to Him. I started to tithe bigger amounts, more than I could imagine have ever imagined. But while this was happening, the Lord allowed me a certain measure of comfort: I was still taking Grab rides going to CCF, DGroup, and B1GFridays, and I was able to pay all the necessary bills. Not a single day went by in which I felt deprived of money; indeed, He provided for me day by day. While it was a difficult journey, I was able to settle my debt toward the end of 2017. Praise God for His Faithfulness!
I have been living proof of Matthew 6:25-34 ever since then. I also appreciate that in this church, while we’re encouraged to tithe as in the Bible, we are never obliged me to donate or give to its tithe boxes, unlike my previous religion. It is truly a result of the overwhelming and unchanging love that I have received and I’m continuously receiving from the Lord, and because of it, I can freely and cheerfully give.
That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?27 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?Matthew 6:25-34 NLT
28 “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, 29 yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 30 And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?
31 “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ 32 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.33 Seek the Kingdom of God[a] above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
34 “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.
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