For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.
Tim sat in the pew on Sunday, waiting for the ushers to pass him the offering plate. He had most of $40 in his pocket, money he had made mowing lawns in the neighborhood. He’d heard about “tithing,” that is, giving 10 percent of your income to the church. But now that the money was his, it was harder to part with it. After all, it was his money. He had a $5 bill and a couple of ones, but not the exact $4 needed for a true tithe. So why not give $2, or even $1? Wouldn’t God be grateful for that much? It was more than nothing.
He thought and prayed for a moment, reached into his pocket and then pulled out his offering…
How much do you think Tim gave? How much do you think he should have given? And would God be happy with any amount?
Today’s scripture reminds us that what Tim put into the plate wasn’t God’s – everything in Tim’s pocket was God’s to begin with. He owns it all – the cattle on a thousand hills, all the birds of the hills and every dollar in Tim’s, yours and my pockets. Churches need the money to operate, and our generosity makes their jobs easier, but God himself needs none of it. He already owns it; he’s just waiting to see how we’re willing to spend it and whether or not we’ll be generous with Him and with His Church.
The way that we give tells a lot about our faith. If we’re stingy with God, then it’s likely that He doesn’t have a whole lot of our heart. If we’re generous with Him, then it’s likely that we trust Him more, and that He has more of our heart. The next time you’re in church, pray about how the Lord wants you to give to Him – in time and money. Let Him speak to your heart, and then act on what He tells you to do.
Reflection copyright © 2017 Doug DeBolt
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.