Isn’t it just amazing how God provides…in His perfect plan and in His perfect timing?!

We were short on money this week…Jax saw that we were going to be short $125.00 for our mortgage because we paid our tithe to church.

It always seems to be a struggle, although I know it shouldn’t be, putting in that money for tithe.

“You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.”   Deuteronomy 15:10

I never understood the idea of tithe, or giving 10% of your income to the church.  I remember Jax talking about tithing when we were first married.  He would say that we are to tithe because everything we have is from God so we need to give a portion back to Him.

“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you. O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own.”   1 Chronicles 29:14,16

I thought it was crazy.  Why would I give money to someone else, when it was difficult to make ends meet with the money we made as it was?!

So, we didn’t tithe.

“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

Knowing what I know now… yeah yeah, hind sight is 20/20…the reason we are to tithe stems from the Old Testament.  Israelites were to give a tenth of their income; be it from crops, cattle, or goods, to the Levites who served the Lord and ministered to His people in the tabernacle.

“For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the LORD, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel.”   Numbers 18:24

Hmmm…sounds familiar.  The church of the Old Testament, just as it is today, was non-profit and relied solely on the gifts and tithe of its congregation, and how its “employees” were paid.

Although I had heard this explanation, I still didn’t feel the need to tithe.  God in His gentle, loving, way continued to remind me that tithing is a command, but I still considered it foolish and continued to live and spend “my” money my way.

Yeah…interestingly enough God only allows that to happen for so long.

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”  Hebrews 12:5-6

“Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins?”   Lamentations 3:39

Jax felt called to quit a high paying job in order to go back to school and I wasn’t terribly concerned.  Yes, it would be challenging, but I figured it would be a new and fun adventure to see what God had in store for our family.  When Jax began working for a different company whose hours worked well with his classes, at a much lower wage, we started to feel a bit more of a financial squeeze, but we were getting by…and still not tithing.

But when God took Jax’s new job away…that’s what did it.

We still had bills to pay; rent, utilities, groceries, gas… plus we were driving an hour back and forth from Watertown to church in Verona on Wednesdays and on weekends…but now no job.  Stress levels went up significantly.  I couldn’t believe God would do this, and I questioned Him a lot.

However, we started noticing when rent was due, money would show up in our mailbox.  Or when we needed gas, we would find money in our cubby at church, or someone would take the car keys and fill up the tank.

It was absolutely astounding to see God work miracle after miracle of provision… and it was in those moments, in those times of great stress, worry and wonder how things would be paid, I literally saw that everything we have is from an awesome, amazing, and loving God.

“Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty.   Job 5:17

It was then that we began tithing.

“But there will be no poor among you; for the LORD will bless you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess—if only you will strictly obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all this commandment that I command you today.”   Deuteronomy 15:4-5

Now don’t get me wrong, it is still a struggle to tithe, but we have yet to miss a Sunday, and by the world’s standards, if you look at what we made last year and then at how much we gave to church, we would appear fairly crazy…

But the proof is in the pudding… how did God provide that $125.00 we were short this week you ask??

  •  An honorarium of $100.00 was received for Jax’s preaching, which wasn’t expected and had never been paid before
  • A friend had given me money the week prior to buy a birthday present for my daughter, in which I still had $20.00 left over
  • A couple “winner” scratch-off tickets totaling $11.00 from Christmas were conveniently found

“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”   2 Corinthians 9:7

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