by Pastor Mark Jordan
“‘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 there will not be room enough to store it.'” (Malachi 3:10, NIV)
This week we are looking at the five components of the church membership vow as keys for a great new year. On Tuesday we considered prayer, and yesterday we explored our participation. Today we will look at a key that make us uncomfortable, and that is generosity.
Some believe that preachers love to talk about money. That isn’t the case in my experience. Talking about money can be divisive, because it often strikes at the desires of our heart. It has been said that your checkbook and datebook reveal your priorities, and talking about generosity can prick places we’d rather not touch. The reality is, though, that everything we have is on loan to us from God. When we read today’s Bible lesson in light of that fact, we come to see generosity in a different light…it’s the ability to recognize you are blessed for the sake of being a blessing.
God is a giver and wants you to be a giver, too. The only time in scripture we read God actually say to test Him is in generosity. God says that if we bring our lives generously to Him, then He will pour out blessings that the storehouses will not be able to contain. This is an amazing promise, isn’t it? It’s true, though, that there are times when we face generosity fatigue. I know that my inbox was inundated with requests for giving…and yours was, too, because I sent some. You might feel like you’re all give-out at this time of year, but as a James Hall testified in worship on Sunday, you can’t out-give God. He even says to test him in it.
Will you resolve to trust God with your finances in this new year? Approaching 2018 with generosity will help you experience the blessings God wants to shower in you.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being such a loving and generous Father. Forgive me for the times I bristle at the thought of being generous, because I know that generosity helps me see where you are pouring out your blessings. I want to bring my gifts to your church, so all may know of your goodness, beginning with me. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.