I was just reading Rick’s notes on John 6.1-13 and the recurring theme of God giving in abundance and there being leftovers comes up over and over again. When Jesus handed out the bread, there were leftovers, when He turned the water into wine, I HOPE there were leftovers!, when they caught all of the fish, there were so many the nets began to break…So I’m left thinking…where are my leftovers? It’s sad to say but that was my first reaction. Then my neck was a little sore and I looked around (heh, my stiff neck, Ex. 32.9) and I see all of the stuff we have at our house. My sons have robots! I have 2 nice cameras (still and motion) There are appliances, furnishings, conveniences, lavishings!
I think I’ve spent all of my leftovers on myself. If you add in credit cards, I’ve even spent FUTURE leftovers on myself!
Which makes me want to start giving even more.
Any of the Christian budgeting theories and books and manuals and videos will tell you in your budget to factor in your income, then take 10% off of that for your tithe, and then make your monthly budget. They get the 10% from the present-day teaching that Jews used to give 10% of their income to God. (often thought of as a donation to the temple, but it really wasn’t) Check out this link http://www.acts17-11.com/dialogs_tithe.html I just came across looking for the OT reference.
So instead of arguing the case for giving vs. titheing, I’m just going to post the above link and move on.
When I lived in Asia, I didn’t really have an income. I had a balance of money, and every month I would ask for whatever I wanted that month and I would get it. I also was really convicted by this teaching of Jesus in Luke 6.30 & 34. I wasn’t 100% at it, but I did loan out a lot of things that I would have never considered loaning before. Now if I kept track of what I gave away or loaned out to make sure I stayed at 10%, where would my joy be? And how many times did I meet beggar kids and signal them to hide from the grocery store security guards while I bought them bags of groceries, and keep track of how much I spent on them? Honestly, I did that as much as I kept track of all of the people that would write us a kind note via email and then drop $100 into our account.
A lot of the churches in my neighborhood preach the message that ‚Äúyou can’t out-give God‚Äù and I would say that is correct. He is continually out-giving us, and just as He keeps no account of His mercy or our sin, I think He would appreciate us freely giving out what we freely have received. I think they are going to have some regrets when they have to give an account for taking money “given to God” and buying Cadillacs and gold rings, which is why I’m going to spend today looking to see how I can give away my leftovers…but not starting with my sons’ robots.