Who is stealing my money?
By Teresa LeNeave
Does your money disappear as soon as you make it? Does it feel like your pockets have holes in them and you can barely keep your head above water? Is it the fault of the economy or could it be something we are doing? Maybe it's not "who" is stealing our money, but "what".
In the book of Haggai, the prophet told the people they earned wages to put it into a bag with holes. That doesn't seem fair! Who wants to work all day and put their money into a bag full of holes? The obvious is that the money disappears and you never know where it went. In Haggai, there was a reason their money disappeared. He said it was because they put themselves first and God's work fell somewhere after that. If that is happening to you, and you never seem to have any money, the Bible says: "Consider your ways."
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 saith 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 saith the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways."
Forget about get-rich-schemes. They don't work, but giving to God does. The best way to KNOW what you're spending your money on is to log every penny you spend for one month. You will be absolutely amazed. Log every pack of gum, candy bar, bottled water, soda ... it's the little things that you think are not important that is stealing your money - I promise you that!
After you know EXACTLY WHAT you are spending, then consider giving God the tithe (10%) of your income. I can promise you, giving to God has blessings attached to it. Remember the widow who made a cake FIRST for the prophet of God, then for herself and her son? The Bible says they made it through the years of famine with enough to eat. That same, nearly empty, barrel of meal never ran out until the famine was over.
One thing is important for you to know: God only expects you to give what is yours. Never, never, never does God want anyone to 'borrow money to give'; nor does He want you to 'put your giving on a credit card'; nor does he want you to give away the money for your light bill. All that will get you is no lights and a reconnect fee.
All God wants is the first fruits.
First fruits is something you have received; you have access to it; you already earned it. First fruits is the first of what you bring home. You may ask, "How do we give to God who is in heaven and we are on earth?" The answer, according to scripture, is when we give to the work of the ministry or to someone in need, we are giving to God.
Matthew 10:42 says, "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 sees and God knows.
If your money seems to be going in pockets with holes in them, consider what you're doing. KNOW exactly where your money is going. That includes cash, checks, and credit and debit cards. The secret to financial change is to know what the "little unimportant things" are that you spend money on. Then, cut back on those "little things" that rob you (the gum, sodas, cheap toys, etc.); pay yourself 10%; and give God 10%. You will see a change in your finances. It's not "who" is stealing your money, but "what".