Something that the Lord has placed strongly on my heart lately is how I manage my finances. At the end of every month, I get pretty stoked about pay day...who doesn't?! But then, the Lord never fails to remind me: Don't forget to tithe, Jess!
I know some Christians tend to be more chipper about tithing, but I'll be the first to admit that it is not something I insantly get excited about, and I'll blame it on my flesh. My flesh wants and craves more. My flesh doesn't want me tithe, let alone keep Jesus first. But if I don't tithe and give the first of my earnings to the Lord, then how will Jesus possibly stay first in my heart?
And then I get to thinking: how selfish of me to not even have the simple desire to tithe! Because when you think about it, when we tithe, we are acknowledging that Jesus is our ultimate provider. He is the one providing our jobs, allowing us to pay the bills, and just simply allowing us to keep moving forward. Tithing should be a result of our simple thankfulness for all that God has done and is currently doing in our lives.
But I also think that tithing represents an act of obedience. I believe that if we are obedient and follow God's command to tithe, then we will be blessed. Let's look at the verse in Malachi, for example:
"Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need."
What an interesting verse. God is literally saying that if we continue to trust Him by giving to Him the first of our earnings (or in otherwords at least a tenth), then we will be blessed. This means, that God expects us to act out in faith and trust that by giving Him our money, we will be blessed.
I am so thankful that shortly after I was saved nearly six years ago, God put it on my heart to begin tithing. I have been tithing since my early days as a Christian, and God has never failed to bless me in return. This doesn't mean that I'm constantly rolling in the dough or never going through rough patches, though. Even when financially things aren't easy, I still have tithed, and God has provided. And you know what? keeping Jesus first in my finances has meant everything to me, because it has allowed me to keep Him first in my heart. He is a God who wants control of all areas of our lives, and not just some.
What are your guys thoughts on tithing? Is it sometimes hard for you to do?