Friday, December 26, 2008
Being Blessed to Be a Blessing
As we come to the end of 2008 I would like to share a testimony of God's blessing.
My husband and I have been in ministry for over 25 years and have preached tithing and have seen the benefits of giving faithfully tithes and offerings. We have been attending a local church while my husband is finishing up his Doctorate in Virginia Beach.
Last December during the church's yearly building campaign I felt God impress on me to pledge for my real estate business (while Stan is working on his Doctorate I am bringing income in by selling real estate.) Now the real estate business is not the greatest right now, but right after I filled out my pledge I was invited to be part of our company's relocation team. In order to be on this team you have to complete a certain criteria. I had not reached that criteria and they asked me to be on the team under a mentoring program. I was with another company the previous year and had not had any sales and had only been with my present company for 6 months.
That was a blessing from the Lord. I began receiving clients through this relocation program. Over the past 12 months I have closed 10 transactions. I have faithfully given my tithe on every transaction, and have tried to keep up with my pledge. At the end of November we had extra income I put toward my pledge. I debated on whether to do it or not because of the cruise we were going on in two weeks. I told God I was giving this money toward my pledge and trusting Him to provide the rest of my pledge by the end of the year.
As soon as I put the money in the envelope I received a phone call from a woman, in California, I had been in contact with since April. They were suppose to come to Virginia Beach in October and wanted me to help them find a house. I had not heard from her in a couple of months. She called me, said they were in the area and had decided to rent, but they wanted to purchase the house and wanted me to represent them. We closed on the house on the Monday after I returned from the cruise. The money to fulfill my pledge came from that closing, along with money for Christmas for our kids.
The reason I am writing on giving is to encourage each of you reading this article to faithfully give your tithe, and trust God as you pledge above and beyond what you think you can give. If you give what you know you have, you are robbing yourself of being blessed by God. I would like to challenge you to get out of your comfort zone of giving and pledge to give God a certain amount this year to some ministry. An amount in which you have no idea where it will come from. I am not just speaking about financially. I am speaking more importantly about being blessed spiritually.
As you step out in faith, trusting God for the impossible, your faith is challenged and growth is inevitable. It is my opinion that Christians, for too long, have just trusted God for what they need to just "get by." That is wonderful! Think about this for a moment...what about trusting God to meet your needs and bless you with more than "just getting by" so you can be a blessing to someone in need?
It is so amazing and fulfilling to see what God can do with what you give Him to use. You may not be able to be actively involved in ministries like A21 Campaign or Project Rescue (both of these ministries help rescue girls and women from human trafficking) but you can help them by giving financially. This is just an example. There are many ministries in your individual churches that can be blessed by your giving.
"Will a man rob God? Yet you rob me. But you ask, 'How do we rob you?' In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse - the whole nation of you - because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. 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 you will not have room enough for it." Malachi 3:8-10 NIV
Ok the previous verse was Old Testament, so here's what the New Testament says,
"Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Luke 6:38 NIV
Throughout the Book of Acts you will find examples of people giving to those in need.
If we are barely getting by how can we help those in need when we feel a tug in our spirit to do so? We need to carefully look at our lives, especially during this time in our nation and world. Economics is not all that great, but we serve a great God. Trust Him to meet your needs. Do what you can do to help your family. Give the tithe on what you are receiving. Trust God to bless you. Give a little extra when you don't think you can and see God bless.
Now you have to be careful to not just start giving in order to get for selfish reasons.
I believe the correct way to look at this is...give out of the goodness of your heart, knowing God will bless you, in order for you to be a blessing to others.
In other words...
Be Blessed to Be a Blessing.