Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,” says the Lord of hosts, “if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows Then I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,” says the Lord of hosts. “All the nations will call you blessed, for you shall be a delightful land,” says the Lord of hosts. Malachi 3:10-12
It was 1969 and we were just baby Christians. We were living in Amarillo, Texas and attending a little Baptist church there. The pastor had recently preached a sermon on giving and how 10% of our earnings belonged to God. Arnie was really bothered about that. He didn’t understand why God needed 10% of his paycheck. He really struggled over the sermon and the new revelation about tithing. Arnie was the type that needed confirmation on things before he totally bought into it.
It was a beautiful Sunday and we decided instead of going to church we would take a little trip up to Texhoma, Oklahoma which was about 2 hours away. We didn’t have much money to do a lot of things back then. We had two children at the time and Arnie was working Saturdays so we felt we needed a break. We decided to take the money set aside for tithe and take a little trip. After all it was our money, right?
We packed a picnic lunch and started out for Texhoma. We forgot that there was what they called a “blue law” in that area. Nothing was open on Sundays, not even a gas station. We got to the border of Texas and Oklahoma and found a little rest area where we could stop and eat our lunch. When we got ready to leave the car wouldn’t start. We had had problems earlier in the week with it starting but it seemed fine that morning. We sat there in the rest stop trying to decide what to do. A car pulled up after seeing the hood of our car open and asked if he could be of help. Arnie told him he thought it was the starter or the alternator. It so happened that this man owned the only gas station and auto parts store in Texhoma but was closed because it was Sunday. He told Arnie that he thought he had the part we needed and that he would go there and get it. He returned shortly and they proceeded to fix the car while I tended to two fussy children that were hot and tired. When they got the car fixed Arnie asked, “How much do I owe you?” The man told him if he could just pay for the part that’s all he would owe. Arnie asked how much and the man gave him the price. I looked art Arnie and he looked at me in total disbelief. The price was the exact amount of what we would have put into the offering plate as our tithe. Arnie got his confirmation!
We learned a valuable lesson that Sunday. It doesn’t pay to rob God of what belongs to Him. We have also found out over the years of giving that you truly can’t out give God. He has truly blessed us in so many ways. Arnie never doubted God again over tithing. If fact he was one of the first to take out the check book or his wallet and give over and above to those in need.
If you struggle with giving, try putting Tithe at the top of your budget as the first thing you pay and watch God stretch the rest of your money over the month to meet your need! It’s amazing how it works, but it does. Sometimes I sit in amazement as to how I managed to pay all of last month’s expenses and when it doesn’t add up on paper it’s because God was put first! Try it! You might be amazed!
God is so good all the time!!!
Notes from the Staff @The Woods