Pastor Pat's personal story
Over the next couple months I am planning on writing a series of articles on giving and generous giving. As I begin to think about teaching on giving, I want to start by sharing a portion of my personal story. I have been a tither and a generous giver for years! In another article we will talk about the difference, but a tither is simply giving God the 10% of your increase that He commands while generous giving is giving beyond that first 10%. It is very easy to get greedy and think that God has given you what you have simply to meet your own needs alone, but that is rarely the case. God created us to be givers and so He gave us commands to tithe and instructions to give generously beyond that.
As a child, I was taught to give an offering in Sunday School and my parents would supply me with a quarter to give every week. After Sunday School we would go to church and I would listen to the Pastor teach on giving and tithing. I wanted to tithe but I didn’t have any money of my own. I remember very clearly the first time that I was able to tithe my own money. We had gone to the beach one Saturday and I had found a 10 dollar bill washed up on the shore. When I found it, I knew that 10% of it was for God. I don’t remember if I spent some on the way home or not, but I clearly remember being able to give a dollar in church the next morning. I remember wanting to dress up the next morning, so I pulled out a hand-me-down sports jacket for this special occasion of giving my first tithe. At that time in our family’s life, we were very poor. We never had new clothes, my parents shared a car (a jalopy) and money was never a luxury we kids had. On the way home from church, I reached in my jacket pocket and found another 10 dollar bill. I will never forget that. It was God showing me that I had done the right thing in honoring Him and then, in the way that only He can, entrusting and rewarding me for my faithfulness. From that day on, I have never knowingly failed to pay my tithe. I have found it an incredible joy to give to the Lord! So I am excited to write a series of articles that talk about different aspects of tithing and giving. The rewards are out of this world and the joy you find when you give with the right heart is unequaled by receiving!
Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
2 Corinthians 8:7
A church is not complete if it has great preachers, talented servants and great programs but lacks gracious givers. So I am excited to take the time to teach about giving. If you have never learned about tithing and generous giving then I encourage you to take a step of faith and build tithing into your budget and begin giving 10% to the Lord! After you learn to tithe you will have the passion and desire to increase your giving and you will find that you cannot out give God, because it all comes from Him in the first place!