A Faith that works when life doesn't Part 5 (Day 7)
Tithe for the Past, Present, and Future
Throughout Scripture, God has commanded us to give him the first 10 percent of everything we make. That’s called tithing.
Why does God ask you to do that? He certainly doesn't need your money. It's all his in the first place. He just loans it to you while you’re alive.
The Bible says you should practice the principle of putting God first in your income for three reasons: the past, present, and future.
First, tithe out of gratitude for the past. Recognize that everything you’ve ever had has been a gift from God. You wouldn't have any of it if it weren't for God’s generosity!
Second, tithe to honor your priorities in the present. Put God first in all the areas you want him to bless. Jesus said when you seek his Kingdom first and make him your top priority, he will take care of all the other needs in your life.
Third, tithe for the future to demonstrate trust in God. Obeying God’s command to tithe shows that you believe his promise to take care of you.
Do you know what I have a hard time understanding? Some people trust God to keep his promises to save them and take them to heaven—but they don't trust his promise to care for them financially if they put him first by tithing. If you can't trust God with your finances, then how in the world can you trust him for your salvation?
“Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income, and he will fill your barns with wheat and barley and overflow your wine vats with the finest wines” (Proverbs 3:9-10 TLB).
Don’t give God your leftovers. When you choose instead to give him the first of everything you have, God promises to give you everything you need.
Talk It Over
- What are you afraid of having to give up if you are faithful to God with your tithe? Take time today to surrender the fear that keeps you from obeying God.
- How does keeping a budget help you be consistent in tithing?
- If you trust God for your salvation, what else do you need to surrender to him?
If you haven’t trusted Jesus for your salvation, why not do it today? Here’s how you start.
The Bible says Jesus laid down his life to show how much he loves you. You don’t have to earn God’s love or work your way into heaven. The Bible says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
If you’re ready to step across that line and make the decision to believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, pray this prayer:
“Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.
“I confess my sin, and I believe you are my Savior. You have promised that if I confess my sin and trust you, I will be saved. I trust you when you say salvation comes by grace, through faith, and not by anything I do. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today I’m turning over every part of my life to your management. You have the right to call the shots in my life.
“I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In your name, I pray. Amen.”
This devotional © 2021 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.