Like many people in these troubled times, several things in my life have changed. My wife Kathy and I had to make lots of adjustments. But there is one thing that we will never consider letting go of; it is our lifeline.
I know what it’s like to be laid off. I was unemployed for almost 9 months. I know what it’s like to work two jobs. I am now working two jobs and I am not earning as much as I did before I was laid off.
But, I have been through downtimes before; you probably have to. Life has an ebb and flow; there are lean times and then there are days of plenty. Just because you are experiencing a downtime does not mean that God has left you or that He does not care.
My wife and I have been practicing a basic fundamental principle since 1976. Some refer to it as tithing; others call it giving, abundant giving, or abundant sharing. The Apostle Paul called it “giving and receiving.” I think what he said sums it up very nicely.
Now, some people may jump up and adamantly declare that tithing is Old Testament Law and that it does not apply to Christians. I might remind those who feel that way that Abraham is the first person mentioned in the Bible who practiced the tithe. He was called the “father of all that believe,” as well as “the friend of God.” He lived long before the Old Testament Law was even given, let alone written.
The purpose of this article is really two-fold. If you practice the principle of giving and receiving, don’t stop now, especially in the days that we are living in. And if you don’t practice it, then you ought to really consider starting.
During the time I was laid off, we made several adjustments. But one thing we did not change. We continued operating the principle of giving and receiving. It is something I believe God set up as a lifeline, to insure His blessings whether times are lean or not.
All of the promises of God are contingent upon believing. “Give and it shall be given unto you,” the Bible says. If you really believe that, then you take the corresponding action. And during those months of very lean times, we never lost our house, we didn’t need to sell our cars, and we still had plenty to eat. Looking back on those days, it really is miraculous that we made it.
Now, even with more income coming in, we are not “out of the woods” yet. We continue to look to our God for His supply. We look to Him to direct our steps and show us how to continue to increase. We can absolutely expect it because we operate the principle of giving and receiving.
During these days of economic uncertainty, knowing that our taxes will be increasing and that the looming threat of inflation lurks, many, many people have scaled back. Restaurants, movie theaters, and other entertainment venues are either very limited or, are no longer in the budget. People are cutting back wherever they can.
And, because of the days, we are living in, many Christians are tempted to cut back on their giving. For me, I have seen this principle work in my life for nearly thirty-five years. Not only is it not an option for me to cut back on my giving, but, it is something that I pay first every month.
When I give my portion every month I am reminded of my partnership with God. I am reminded of His promise to supply all that I need. I can actually, as the Bible says, give cheerfully because I know that God will back up His promises.
But keep in mind, this act of giving of our first fruits is not a slot machine. I have heard people say, “Well I gave and got nothing back.” That is saying that God did not honor His part of the partnership. God does not lie. If He set up this principle, and we do our part, then He will absolutely do His part in supplying.
Don’t just give to see what will happen. People do that all the time with slot machines. They put their money in, hoping they will get something. God is not a slot machine.
When you give, remind yourself that God has promised that as you give you will receive. He has promised to supply all that you need. When you do your part, He will do His part. And if that is true, then you have every right to look for and expect His blessings.
Keep your eyes and ears open, expecting to receive His blessings. Look to God to direct your steps so that you can receive His supply. It may be a job you never considered. It may come in a way you would have never thought about. The point is, expect to receive.
That’s why I like the phrase the Apostle Paul used when he referred to it as “giving and receiving.” When you give, expect to receive. And whether times are abundant or lean, you can always stay in partnership with God, who has promised to supply all your needs.
Michael A. Verdicchio offers a FREE LIFETIME MEMBERSHIP to, “Enriching Your Life Now!” as well as a FREE NEWSLETTER at http://www.ConfidenceAndJoy.com He also offers a FREE series of articles on success at [http://www.reducingstressatwork.com/]
Michael is a husband, father, minister, author, and broadcaster. He has also been the voice on numerous projects and productions including Mike’s Pep Talks!