By Teresa A. LeNeave
Do you feel like you have leaking pockets? That your money disappears as soon as you bring it home? Does it feel like your pockets have holes in them and you can barely keep your head above water? Does it feel like your money disappears as fast as water down a drain? Do we blame it on the economy, or on ourselves?
Remember the words of Haggai when he told the Israelite people they were earning wages to put it into a bag with holes? What was the cause? ... Because they put themselves first and God's work fell somewhere after that. Do we give some or none at all to the work of a ministry? According to scripture when we help with the Lord's work first, we will be blessed. In fact, he said, "Test me and see". Malachi 3:10.
Haggai 1:3-7 says, "Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai, the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O you, to dwell in your paneled houses and this house (God's house) to lie waste? Now, therefore, thus said the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but you have not enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothes yourselves, but there is none warm; and he that earns wages earns wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus said the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways."
Giving is not all about money, but it is part of the equation. Giving can be your time, your talents, and your kindness. Remember the widow who made a cake FIRST for the prophet, then for herself and her son, which ended well for her? All through the years of famine her barrel of meal never ran out.
Never, never does God want anyone to 'borrow money to give', nor does He want you to 'put your giving on a credit card'. All God wants is the first fruits. First fruits is NOT money you have to put on a credit card. ANYONE who teaches you to give by placing you farther in debt is NOT someone you want to listen to.
God wants our first fruits in time, finance, love, doing good to others ... anything we have, we should give Him first place. How do we give to God who is in heaven and we are on earth? Our giving is to each other and to the work of the ministry.
Matthew 10:42 - "And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward."
God wants to bless you. Consistently, throughout scripture and beyond, He blesses His people. You are no different than the Bible characters we all know so well. You loves you and wants to bless you as well.
If your money seems to be going in pockets with holes in them, consider what you're doing for God. What are you doing and why are you doing it? Be diligent and wise with what God gives you. He wants to bless us. Malachi is the only scripture that says, "Test me and see if I won't pour out a blessing you can't contain."
Using restraint and wisdom in our spending; living within the amount of money we earn; and giving God the tithe is a winning combination.