Raise your hand if you’re guilty of giving God what’s left, instead of putting Him first. Be honest.
Ashamedly, I’m raising my hand.
Recently our Pastor posted this thought and it stepped all over my toes (as it should have).
“When your life is super busy, what is the first thing you take time away from? Recreational activities? Work? Prayer time with God? Gathering with His people? Time with family?
When your budget is really tight, what is the first expense you cancel? Tithes and offering to God? Charitable giving? Satellite TV? Phone? Restaurant dining?
If we are honest… our devotion to God doesn’t match our verbal proclamation of how much we love Him. His is the first to go in each category and yet we will still look up to Him in disappointment when we feel He isn’t living up to our expectations of Him!”
After I read the Pastor’s post, I read the book of Malachi for myself because his thoughts were based from there and it was a chapter I had not read in full. I began to think of where I’m short-changing God.
Lately, running to multiple doctor appointments each week causing co-pays, deductibles, and stress; allowing the enemy to cause me to feel down and out; and dealing with life, in general, I’m just to a point that I feel overwhelmed.
Life has a way of making us feel that way occasionally.
In all of that, my prayer time has suffered. My praise has suffered. My tithes have suffered. Therefore, my entire being has suffered. Have you ever noticed how that works?
I’ve been giving God what’s left, instead of the “first fruits” of my heart, spirit, and earnings.
And, while I share all this information and feel it’s personal, I can’t help but feel I’m not the only one this happens to so I’m being open and honest. I think we all get caught up in life sometimes and fail to put Him first.
I love that in Malachi 3 there’s hope. “Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.”
He’s giving us the chance to right our wrongs. Now, it’s time to grow from what we’ve learned.
While He’s specifically speaking of tithes in the verse here, I can’t help but feel this would be true if we tested this in our prayer and praise too.
When you give of your time, talents, and earnings, don’t do it reluctantly, with an “if I have to…” attitude. I think if we’ll remember that without Him we’d have nothing, it’ll really bring those thoughts back to an attitude of thankfulness and willingness.
I wrote this on Saturday and have sat on it for a while, thinking before hitting the publish button. The sermon Sunday was very closely related to some of these thoughts (God is good!) so, I get to leave you with one more thought from our Pastor about faith:
Give God the first fruits of your heart, spirit and earnings. Do it in faith and watch him move.
Malachi 3:10 “Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”