Let's get right to it, my friends. What did you put in the offering plate this morning? 10% of your income as required by scripture or did you pull out a twenty, a ten, a five and drop it in the plate? Did you honor all that the savior has given you or did you find a small enough bill to TIP God? I want you to receive all God has to offer you, so please... Keep reading.
We are living in a time of inflation. Gas is high; food prices have increased. Money is tight. You gave what you could afford to give. God knows your heart and he understands. Any of these sound familiar? They do to me. I've used every single one to justify my keeping money that belonged to God. What I was really doing was keeping money from myself?
Our message this morning was from 1Kings 17: 10 - 16. Elijah has been provided for by ravens while he was hanging out by the stream as God commanded him. How cool is that? Birds bringing him bread every morning and night. He is told to move from this easy life though and go to Zarephath where a widow woman will care for him. He does. Smart man. When God tells you to do something, do it. He finds the widow, asks for a drink of water, and she starts to go get it. Then, he asks for bread. The woman tells him that she can't do this, that she only has enough for her and her little son who will eat it and then, die. It is their very last meal on this earth. Elijah listens to her. Then, he tells her to go fix the bread for him first and that they'll be enough for them some too, that there will be enough for them all always. Did you catch that? He asked her to give BEFORE receiving a blessing.
As a single mom, I don't think I could have done it. I could not have put this stranger's needs before my young child. I would be so wrong. She does it, and by doing so saves her son's life. They have food, and when her son dies in verse 18, Elijah prays for the boy's spirit to be returned to his body. God answers this prayer. The boy is saved again because his mom did what God told her to do. God rewards obedience.
Let's go back to the original question... Did you tithe this morning as God commands? If you didn't because you were afraid you wouldn't have enough money for gas or to go out to eat with your friends or buy a new Easter outfit (or some silly ring like I wrote about earlier this week), what blessing did you keep from yourself? How wonderful life would be if we all did what we were supposed to do... Tithe. Don't just tip God.