Sunday, February 23, 2014

Give Until It Hurts

"Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me.
But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ 
In your tithes and contributions."
Malachi 3:8


Our pastor's Bible lesson today was about how God's people were robbing Him...or attempting to rob offering defiled meat, sick animals, and partial offerings to the Lord. As a result, the Lord became angry with His people.

As we went through Malachi 3 and the verses that reveal God's anger, I was convicted. Let me tell you why...

A couple of weeks ago, our church hosted missionaries from Scotland. They discussed their ministry called 20 Schemes. In America, we call government housing "The Projects". In Scotland, they are called "Schemes".

My husband went to listen to the missionaries speak about their ministry in Scotland. He came home with powerful and inspirational stories about how God is using this ministry to bring people to Him. Immediately, my husband wanted to give monthly to this ministry.

And I was against it. Why? I said we couldn't afford it. 


Give Until It Hurts

As you can imagine, the Lord used our pastor's message today to convict me. He used Malachi 3 to really convict me.

And that's a good thing. 

When the Holy Spirit convicts our hearts, it's proof that we belong to Him. It's assurance of our salvation. And it hurts. 

A lot.

I was convicted because I wasn't trusting in the Lord for provisions. I was trusting in the money we see each week in our paychecks. I was telling the Lord, "We cannot afford to give to your ministry. Sorry." I was telling the Lord that I had forgotten all that He had done for us. I was telling the Lord no

How crazy is that when all that we have already belongs to the Lord? 

Give All you Have To Give

So, after the lesson this morning, I turned to my husband and told him we'd better start giving to 20 Schemes...immediately! I fear the Lord. I revere the Lord. And I believe His word. You see, in Malachi 3, He reminds His people of His promise. 

He reminds them how He does not change. He reminds them of how they are not their enemies or by Him

Wow. That really spoke to me and pierced my heart. It was if the Lord was reminding me of all that He has done for us, but He was also reminding me of all that could have happened to us through the years. And how we were spared pain and misery only because of God's grace. 

The Lord isn't interested in our sacrifices. He isn't interested in our rituals. When He tells us to give to Him, it isn't for His sake. He is eternal and has no need.

The Lord tells us to give for our sake and for His name to be glorified. How? Ask a Christian about a time when the Lord provided for them. Will they glorify themselves? No. They will tell of the Lord's mercy and protection and in the end, it is the Lord who will be glorified by their testimony. 

Amen. That's how it should be. Ask me about the times when we had no money, yet bills were paid. Ask me about a time when we had no insurance, and yet all 3 of us remained healthy. We owe it all to the Lord. 

And that's why we are to give. Give until it hurts. Give all that we have:

  • Our time
  • Our talents
  • Our income
  • Our children
  • Our home
  • Ourselves

GIVE. And give with a cheerful heart. Don't be like I was. Don't withhold anything from the Lord because it all belongs to Him anyway. 

Just give.

Your turn: Was there a time when you gave thinking you couldn't afford it, yet the Lord provided? How do you feel about giving to the Lord?


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