On every Lord's Day each of you should put aside something from what you have earned during the week, and use it for this offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you earn. I Cor. 16:2
Today is our last day on fresh attitudes about money. I hope you are growing as a result of what you are learning. Two days ago I wrote about finding a starting place in giving and then grow from there. I received this e-mail from a new member and he said I could share it with you. Here it goes:
We came to New Community and when we first walked in, fear came over me saying Oh no, what have I done, I'm going to have to give my money away! But before the offering, we were told if you are a first time guest to just give the connection card I thought I was off the hook! But then that voice in my head that said the money I brought for today? You need to leave it. Knowing that God says Try Me, I gave my first $20. I work at a deli where I make a living off of tips. So after that first $20 I noticed a small increase in my tips. You know in the bible where it says you reap what you sow. I'm here to tell you it's true! Because I wasn't tithing, I was making only enough to get by. So I was reaping what I was sowing. Then I began giving and noticed a small increase in my earnings, not much but enough to notice. Then the next week I gave $25...I'm rolling! Ok maybe it's not 10 % maybe more like 3 %. But again I noticed a small increase. So the following week I gave holding tightly $30. And again I noticed an increase in my tips. This went on for a couple weeks and we had to go to Arizona when my mother fell ill and we didn't think she would make it. ( Personal note to you Chris and the staff of NCC, thank you for your prayers in this matter, because I know that it is what helped my mother have a full recovery. Thank you and God bless the staff of NCC)
So needless to say I did not tithe that week, if you want to call what I was giving a tithe. However I did keep the $30 for the tithe and next week I had another $30 to give for a total of $60. I let God know this was two weeks in one and not to expect this every week. A little voice said ya right. So after giving the $60 I delivered a very large catering at work, my tip was $130 WOW!! I started seeing a pattern. So I made a vow to God that I would always give $60. I heard that little voice again saying I'm not through with you yet, you still have 4% to go. Then something Pastor Chris said in a service about debt, " think of it as a mountain. You can either climb it alone, or trust in the one who created it. Don't get me wrong God didn't create my debt, but He did create the principles on how to get over the mountain, if you trust Him." That really convicted me. So I went out on a limb and said I'm going to give 10%!
The pattern I noticed here is not the amount, but the willingness of the heart. God says in 2 Chr. 16:9 that the eyes of the Lord are searching the whole earth to show Himself strong to whose heart is perfect toward Him. And In Jer. 17:10 it says that He is searching the heart and trying the reins and giving to every man according to his ways and according to the fruits of his doings. Why is God looking at our heart? Because it controlls my emotions. And when my emotions are in line with the word of God, it becomes my hope and answer in all things. I am now an over 10 % tither and God is blessing me above and beyond my expectations. I don't miss the 11 % although, there is another voice that tries to tell me that I do, I choose not to listen, but to trust in the voice of truth. Lance Rogers
Tomorrow I will begin and new discussion about another fresh attitude I am adopting for 2006.