I’m currently reading a book, The Generosity Ladder, by Nelson Searcy. Generosity is one of my main goals for my life, so I often read books about this topic. Mark and I happen to also be reading the book of Malachi right now, so it’s the double-whammy of God’s voice on this topic!
Even though Mark and I have always been faithful givers, I still feel like the fear of generosity can sneak in and get a grip on me, so I frequently go back to the basics and remind myself of the promises of God. I bet you are in the same boat, so I’ll share with you some of my devotions and reading on the topic. Hope it helps you as well!
In Malachi 3 it says,
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. 7 Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
8 “Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. 9 You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 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. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
I love the “if-then” statements of God. He says that if I bring the whole tithe to his storehouse, I can count on Him to see that I am taken care of. Does that mean that He won’t put my faith to the test at times? Sure He will, but I will just proclaim right back to God what He said! And if He will do all of that for just my tithe, how much more will He do when I lay it ALL before Him?
Here is one paragraph of The Generosity Ladder that I appreciated:
“Fear keeps people locked in the lie of the scarcity mentality – the idea that the more you give away, the less you will have for your own needs. The only way to break out of the trap of that lie is to take the first step in faith: give an initial gift and get on the [generosity] ladder. As much as Paul understood the struggle we have with ourselves, he also knew that following God’s commands and principles was not something to be left to feeling. Sometimes we just have to decide to get started with what’s right, no matter how we may feel about it at the time.
Emotions are fleeting, but God’s truth about his plan for our financial lives is timeless.”
Such a great last sentence! I cannot base my decision making on emotions…true generosity will ALWAYS make my stomach tight…probably because that is the point. God wants us to step out in faith so He can show up in our lives in miraculous ways!
Also on my reading list on this topic for the week was a great blog on what our tithes could do to the world. Here’s the LINK if you’d like to read it as well. It’s almost unbelievable what world our children would grow up in if we just got this one principle nailed down in our lives and churches. Well, I’m dreaming for that future, how about you?