In God's Economy, It's All About Quality Vs. Quantity

Monday, May 5, 2014

“Moreover, we will bring to the storerooms of the house of our God, to the priests, the first of our ground meal, of our grain offerings, of the fruit of all our trees and of our new wine and oil." Nehemiah 10:37 NIV

When the subject of tithing is mentioned most of us immediately think in terms of money. I grew up a pastor's son in an Assemblies of God church in the mountains of Northern California. From my earliest recollection I was taught the importance of tithing. I remember getting 50 cents a week for my allowance and the first thing I did was set aside a nickel so that I could put it in the offering the next Sunday. I am extremely grateful to my parents for ingraining this Biblical truth into my heart. What they taught me was that I didn't just give God back a nickel out of my allowance but, more importantly I was taught that whenever I got any money, God came first in how I spent that money. As an adult I still make it a habit that when I get paid and sit down to pay the bills, my tithe is the very first check that I write. God comes first and everyone else gets their share second. I have to be honest and say that there have been many times when I have been tempted to skip my tithe because I had a bill that just had to be paid and I didn't have enough to pay my tithe and that bill. But I can tell you, that as I remained faithful and gave God the first of my fruits, I always somehow was able to pay that bill. It defied math but I always seemed to have extra money.

In God's economy (not just a fiduciary economy, but the economy of life) disciples always give their best to God first. In man's economy of life we give God whatever we have left over. Not only does that rob God but we rob ourselves because we can only reap back what we sow. What if every week we not only budgeted our money that way, but we budgeted our time? What if we gave God first crack at our talents and our schedules? I mean really set it aside for Him and determined that everything else comes second? I think we would be pleasantly surprised to find that we had extra time to accomplish our unending "To Do Lists", more energy throughout the week and weren't so tired on the weekends, and that we seem less stressed because we have somehow become more efficient at work. If we sow generously to God the best of everything we have, then we will reap a bountiful harvest of plenty. Malachi 3:8 says, "Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it." He's not just talking about money here.

I challenge you as a worshiper to give God the "first fruits" of your worship. Not your act of worship - what you do on Sunday, but your lifestyle of worship - what you do on Monday through Saturday. Give Him the best of your weekly schedule, the best of your mental and emotional energy, the best of your talents and giftings. I promise that you will be blessed beyond what you ever could have imagined. That's excellent worship in God's economy!

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