Opening the Floodgates of Heaven
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse. . . . Test me, . . . 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. Mal. 3:10, NIV.
God has laid Himself on the line to bless abundantly His children who are faithful first in giving the 10 percent of profits that already belong to Him, and second in giving generous offerings to His cause from the remaining 90 percent.
Instead of putting their trust in God, however, most people choose to put their trust in their mortgage holder, the bank or savings and loan, Visa, MasterCard, and Discover.
Every year tax information researchers total the itemized deductions on Internal Revenue Service data from tax returns. The amounts people reported in itemized deductions during a recent year were very revealing. On average deductions based on adjusted gross income, taxpayers claimed four times more in mortgage or home equity interest paid than they did in charitable gifts! That means for every dollar placed in a offering plate, the average citizen paid out $4 in interest.
The amount people give is also revealing. Those earning $30,000 a year gave approximately 4 percent to charity. In other words, less than half a tithe—less than half of what already belongs to God. Do they think their friendly loan company will open generously the windows of heaven for borrowers, as God has promised to do?
The temptation to plunge into debt is greater today than ever. The result is a shaky pyramid of debt driven by discontentment with one's current income. And little if anything available for God.
Debt seldom brings a sense of well-being. Instead, it's associated with stress-related illnesses, such as ulcers, high blood pressure, and depression.
The solution to the stress problem is to trust in the Lord rather than money. "Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more importnat than food, and the body more important the clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? . . . But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well: (Matt. 6:25-33, NIV).
Are you giving an honest tithe and generous offerings? If so, pray that God will make it clear to you that His floodgates of blessing are open for you.
Used by permission of Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.
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