Thursday, July 06, 2006

"If God is real, let's do His thing!"

I listen to the Dave Ramsey Show on my MP3 player. The other day when I was listening, a caller called in and asked if they should continue to tithe while getting out of debt. Then, she asked if the tithe came from the gross or net income. Excellent questions. Dave's reply was priceless. Alot of callers call each day with tithing questions, and recently he has changed his approach on the subject. He says it really doesn't matter what he thinks, it matters what the Bible says. In Proverbs alone there are over 20 scriptures that explain that the tithe is the first fruits of the household increase that goes to support the local church. There is never a time in scripture that instructs us to stop tithing.

Then he explained that tithing does not ensure material wealth because he was tithing during his bankruptcy when he lost several million dollars. But he said something that really challenged me in so many areas in my life other than personal finance. He said,"Ever since I got saved, I have tithed. I don't know why. I just figured if God is real, let's do His thing!"

In Genesis, God didn't take up an offering or have a building fund drive for funds to create the universe. He spoke and it happened, simple, He's God!. So, why does God have us tithe? Because He wants to transform us into the image of Christ. He wants us to be givers.

We were challenged about our giving only a couple of months after joining Healing Place Church and we weren't quickly converted. But we took small steps. We should have dove right into it in faith, but we didn't, we crept along slowly. It's only because of God's grace that He met us at each small seed of faith and He blessed us, even though we didn't dive head first in faith. Over a period of 2 years, we were able to give the tithe and offerings above the tithe and still keep the roof over our heads, the shirts on our backs and the food on our table.

Then, we were introduced to Dave Ramsey's teachings. We started applying his teachings in June 2005 and since then we've paid off all credit cards, both vehicles, Brandi's student loan and are able to pay cash for Jada's adoption. We weren't this bold and confident 3 years ago. Then, we were ashamed of the material things we had, yet didn't trust God with a measely 10%.

We've sown a seed of faith in the area of our personal finances and God has been faithful. "If God is real, let's do His thing." And still, we're hesitant to do His thing in other areas of our lives. But, with His grace and our small seeds of faith, He will show us again that He's smarter than us and the more we trust in Him, the more faithful He is. But, over time, we must learn to take bigger steps and sometimes dive in head first in faith. We have to be confident that without faith, we cannot please God. I'm pretty sure the bigger the leap, the more He is pleased and the greater reward. Here on earth and up in heaven.


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