After I joined NVC (New Venture Church), I freely gave to the church. I felt good about it and that was that. I knew about tithing, BUT, I always had more bills than paycheck, after making a few other necessary expenses like fast food, dinners out (hey, there was no time to cook in the evening since I was tired from work and arrived late) and other sundry things.
I would start to tithe as soon as I paid a few bills and soon, a few credit card balances started to come down. Ooooh! Look at the great deal! Well it wouldn’t hurt to use that card “just” this once…… Not surprisingly, the bills didn’t decrease.
Well, I started to give about 10% of my take home, sometimes less (OK, a lot of times less) and I had to give up some of the spending habits I had, but not too many, especially since I had a small monthly CBN donation charged on a credit card which should have surely counted toward my Christian support. I didn’t receive an abundance of riches back, so my storehouse was still extremely low, but I felt good about myself.
I attended the Experience class and came away with some inspiration and decided to bite the bullet (pay attention, because you will see this again) and go for it. I committed and I carried that agreement card around until it fell apart.
Wow, 10% of my gross was rough – really rough. After I turned in that first check, I felt good, but realized that I would have to make some drastic changes in my life. What followed was more than I could have dreamed about and in the opposite direction.
I got my next paycheck and didn’t bother looking at the stub, as I had direct deposit and I knew what it was. Oh well, the following Sunday I would write out another check for what I wrote the previous week. I had written the monthly rent check already and now the rest of my bills would have to wait until the 15th.
Surprise, surprise and Praise The Lord!!! An unexpected check magically came into my hands (It could have been a bonus, but I forget what it was.) and I wrote a check that Sunday for an additional amount more than my normal tithe would have been. Talk about feeling good.
I intellectually knew about the exceedingly abundance that was heaped upon me, but I just couldn’t believe it had happened to me. Some more of this windfall was shared and I was able to pay some bills. I was definitely convinced in my heart that tithing was the only way to go.
Six months passed, I was still tithing, and a cloud appeared on the horizon – a big, ugly thunderstorm of a cloud. I had to hire a lawyer and after maxing out all my credit cards, I was still short. I prayed, still having faith. Sunday came closer and the amount of my tithe would allow me to finish the payment with two or three dollars left over.
I could borrow the tithe and pay it back later. I gave in for the better and made my tithe. What followed made my head spin.
Work gave out a raise and it was retroactive for a month. After writing a check for my tithe, I had just enough to finish the paying the lawyer. Praise the Lord!!! Remember, the tithe is the first part that needs to be offered to God!
A day or so later, I get a notice from a credit card saying they needed a $500 payment right away. An on-line payment I thought I made (I had the printout to show it) was not credited and they naturally added penalties, overcharges and just about everything but the kitchen sink. Closer inspection of the printout showed “Step 2 of 3”.
At any rate, I didn’t have enough to cover the original payment anyway. I was tempted to skip the next tithe, but I just could not bring myself to entertain the idea more than a minute or so. I offered up my stress to God and calmed down. After all, if I don’t have any money in my account, the card company couldn’t take it, so why worry?
There was nothing I could do about it. Still I had trouble sleeping that night, but after some serious praying, I was able to sleep the following couple of nights.
A call from an employer I had worked for eight years ago, asked me to sell some old stock, because the Taiwanese company wanted to buy back all the shares held by US citizens. I had forgotten that I even had any shares left. I thought I had sold all of them when I changed jobs. Surprise, surprise and Praise The Lord!!!
After writing the check for my tithe on this new-found blessing, I was able to make the payment to the card company with some left over for another bill that had cropped up. Remember, the tithe is the first part that needs to be offered to God!
A day or so later, God gave me a chance to provide some consulting for a law firm (a different one) and another blessing was dumped in my lap. After writing the tithe for this, I was able to pay off a bill that brought my monthly payments to a level I could now make. Remember, the tithe is the first part that needs to be offered to God!
I had about a hundred or so left over, so I decided to treat myself to the Friends of the NRA Dinner. There is another long story here. The short story is that I won a rifle in one of the many raffles and I still had enough money left to write a check for my tithe on the rifle! Remember, the tithe is the first part that needs to be offered to God!
Praise The Lord and pass the ammunition!!! I told you about that bullet I had to bite earlier in this story. Now I have a few more to bite if necessary.
Remember, the tithe is the first part that needs to be offered to God! The storehouse has started to fill. I need to pay attention, as I will surely see this again in one form or another.
Live up to Mal 3:10.