Generous Gifts It is the season of giving.

There is nothing better than to give a gift and see a child light up with joy. God lights up when we do what is just and right; when we act in faith and love.

I’m not one to promote an “if-then” God. For example, “if we do this then God will do that.” That said there are definitely things we do that are beneficial and those that are not (1Cor10:23).

We are told not to “test” God in multiple places of scripture. However, there is one place God does invite us to test him.   In Malachi 3:10 we read, “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house, and thus put me to the test, says the LORD  of hosts; see if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you an overflowing blessing.” In short, God has challenged us in giving.

It makes no mathematical sense that giving our resources away will multiply them?  But this is exactly what has happened when people choose to give ten percent to God.  When Pr. Denise and I committed to tithing, we found we had more than before. Perhaps this is why Jesus says in Luke 6:38 “give and it will be given to you, a full measure pressed down, shaken, and running over.”

We also read in Proverbs 11:24-25 “Some give freely, yet grow all the richer; others withhold  what  is  due,  and   only  suffer  want.   A generous person will be enriched, and one who gives water will get water.” Giving also addresses the attitude of one’s heart and is a principle that is taught throughout the Bible. God provides guidance for our benefit, and God wants to get our hearts right so that we might be blessed to be a blessing (Genesis 12:2).

When we give through our tithes and offerings, we are worshiping God in a tangible way. We are acting in faith and prioritizing God’s will in our life. We acknowledge God’s existence as Creator (Genesis 1 and 2) and that everything is God’s (Haggai 2:8, Job 41:11). We are lining-up our financial lives with God’s direction for abundant life (Matthew 6:33). We are following the example established by our adopted father Abraham (Galatians 3:7) when he gave a tenth of everything he had to Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20). We are being faithful because tithing is an act of faith. (Leviticus 27:30-33, Deuteronomy 14:22).

Thank you for being a part of God’s ministry here at St. Paul and having generous giving hearts this Christmas and throughout the year with your tithes and offerings! I am confident God's heart swells with joy!